As technology has rapidly developed in recent years, our trust in it has also evolved.
For example, over the last three years, the concept of fake news has come from virtually nowhere to dominate the political, cultural and social landscape.
It was even named word of the year in 2017.
Fake news is emblematic of the way that some technological developments have eroded society’s trust.
And at Fujitsu Forum, we’ve been exploring the difficulties this creates for public and private sector organizations around the world.
Because while every institution faces unique challenges and opportunities, it’s clear that trust – from stakeholders, partners, employees and of course employees – is absolutely critical.
That’s why driving a trusted future was the theme of this year’s Fujitsu Forum, as we came together to identify the steps that organizations can take to foster the trust – and the future – that we need.
Here are five of the things that we learned about driving a trusted future.
Set out your vision to navigate complex times
Our world is entering a period of chaos; disruption can come from anywhere and it’s more challenging than ever before to run a business.
It has become vital for every organization to develop a strong vision to navigate through uncertainty – and deliver a sense of direction for everyone from partners to customers.
At Fujitsu Forum, we heard from one company with a very strong sense of direction: 150-year old marine engineering business Van Oord.
Van Oord has seen many changes, but has always been driven by a desire to create a better world for future generations through marine ingenuity.
The company is achieving that vision by using data to work more sustainably and effectively, protecting the seas for years to come.
At Fujitsu, we’re likewise driven by our vision: to use human-centric technology to change society – by being a digital transformation partner to organizations around the world.
A strong vision will enable organizations to navigate turbulent times – and make it clear to every stakeholder why you do what you do.
Perhaps for that reason, three-quarters of the people that we surveyed say they’re more likely to trust organizations that set out a clear vision.
Listen to President Takahito Tokita exploring Fujitsu’s vision during his opening keynote:
Drive innovation by taking new approaches to new problems
Every organization will need to innovate to be ready for the future. But digital transformation is about much more than new technology: it’s changing the way you operate.
That’s the same whether you’re talking about a business problem – or a global problem. A great example discussed at Fujitsu Forum is the new digital rice trading company, Rice Exchange (Ricex).
The global rice trade is worth $450bn a year, but it’s incredibly inefficient – with a fragmented stakeholder landscape, slow paper-based processes, a lack of trust and delays. This causes issues from higher costs to food wastage.
To tackle this challenge, Ricex has worked with Fujitsu to develop a blockchain platform to link buyers, sellers and service providers. This immutable ledger will bring transparency, security and trust to a complex marketplace – and help to remove friction and delays.
Co-creation is becoming key to innovation, as three-quarters of organizations develop products and services in collaboration with customers. Together, we can find new approaches to the problems of today – and create a brighter future.
Act with agility to keep up with change
Our guests at Fujitsu Forum were clear about the need for change, and it’s encouraging to hear that 67% of organizations worldwide are undergoing transformation.
In today’s climate, new challenges are emerging all the time – and for change to be successful it has to happen fast. But with the right approach and partners, you can tackle even huge problems, fast.
A group of Fujitsu Distinguished Engineers came together to tackle the challenge of making cities safe, resilient and sustainable, which is one of the UN’s sustainable development goals.
The teams were given seven hours, insight on sustainability from experts and the chance to collaborate with people they don’t usually work with, all using a human-centric design experience.
At the end of the day, there were 27 new concepts, ranging from using technology to create sustainable behavioral change to reducing emissions through Transport-as-a-Service.
With the right approach, we can create change quickly, and ensure that innovation is a sustainable process.
Cultivate ecosystems to create a network of trust
The rising importance of ecosystems has been another major development in the last few years. That’s because today the challenges we face are too complex for any one company to tackle alone.
Ecosystems give us the opportunity to benefit from the unique characteristics of multiple companies – and create meaningful answers to difficult questions.
At Fujitsu, we’ve always worked closely with our technology partners. One of our keynote sessions explored what it takes to build a trusted ecosystem, with contributions from Nutanix, Intel, Microsoft and NetApp.
And by building an ‘empathetic culture’ within your ecosystem through transparency, you can begin to build digital agendas that benefit all of you.
If you are part of a strong ecosystem, you’re more likely to have the answers to your customers’ questions – and have proved yourself to be worthy of their trust. Perhaps for that reason, 63% of people are more likely to trust an organization with an ecosystem.
Become truly human-centric
Both public and private sector organizations are now thinking more carefully about their role in society. It’s something that matters to customers; 67% of people trust an organization that makes a positive social impact.
But that can’t be a CSR exercise: it’s about organizations understanding their role in society and the need to make a positive contribution to the world around them
Of course, that includes considering how technology is used and its impact on people.
This was something discussed at length during our breakout session on artificial intelligence and ethics. The session explored the ways that we would – and would not – be prepared to use AI, from self-driving cars to medical decisions and even robotic managers at work.
Our panel concluded that it’s not just how new technology is used, but how it’s created. Coders and data scientists should be trained in ethics first, so they’re thinking about the implications of what they’re creating from the start. This will encourage more of a move towards explainable AI.
And the public must become more technically literate, to properly engage in debates around artificial intelligence.
As we develop and use technology, we must remember that everything is about people. People should define their challenges, and then technology should help to solve them. This human-centric approach will deliver a bright future – and it’s something we believe in passionately at Fujitsu.
I discussed these challenges further on Fujitsu Forum TV - watch below:
Delivering a trusted future
You can’t accomplish anything without trust, from your partners, stakeholders, employees and customers.
But trust has to be earned – and organizations should take active steps to show their worthiness
Fujitsu Forum gave us many inspiring examples of how organizations are driving a trusted future. But it’s a conversation that’s just beginning.
Download the Fujitsu Technology & Service Vision to read more about how human-centric innovation underpins everything we do.