‘Do no harm’ isn’t good enough
Digital transformation is changing nearly every aspect of our lives, from how we engage with customers, colleagues and partners at work to how we handle finance, health and social engagements in our personal lives. These changes are having a tremendous human impact, and the potential for unintended harm or discriminatory outcomes is creating ethical dilemmas for which we have no standards or legal precedent.
It’s not enough to repeat the mantra of “do no harm” with the hopes of building neutral technology free from bias. We have to actively consider the impacts of the products and systems we design, develop, deploy and operate; and we have to thoughtfully apply core values to our tech decisions in order to maintain trust with our customers, colleagues and partners.
of business and IT execs said they plan to increase efforts and investments in digital ethics.
of execs said they’re training employees to make better ethical decisions.
of execs said IT owns ongoing responsibility for digital ethics.
Source: “Rethink how you cultivate trustworthy technology,” Avanade, 2021
Cultivating trustworthy technology
The imperative of digital ethics is getting widespread attention, with recent regulatory action, growing concerns about technology’s ethical harms, and executives’ desire to attract more customers, employees and investors by demonstrating a commitment to responsible business practices.
Careful consideration of digital ethics is helping organizations achieve benefits like higher customer satisfaction, stronger employee loyalty and faster rates of tech adoption. More importantly, it’s also helping ensure that successful tech projects don’t come at the expense of certain individuals, social institutions or the environment.
To find out more about how organizations are addressing these issues, the outcomes they’re experiencing and their plans for the future, we fielded a Global Digital Ethics Survey with 800 business and technology leaders. This report explores results from that survey, with key takeaways we can all use to improve our ethical practices.
Rethink how you cultivate trustworthy technology
Results and insights from our Global Digital Ethics Survey.
How to get started
Start embedding digital ethics into your organization and processes today. Extend digital ethics considerations into your existing governance structures, metrics and audits. Each function involved with designing, building, deploying and operating technology will have a role to play. The following blog posts provide practical advice for executives looking to strengthen their digital technology initiatives with good ethical practices.