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72% of business leaders fear data exploitation, Fujitsu survey shows

By Ben Moore
Tue 23 Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Fujitsu has released its Future Insights Global Digital Transformation Survey Report 2019, which highlights the results of its survey conducted among 900 CxOs and decision-makers at large and mid-sized companies spread across different industries in nine countries, including Australia. 

With this survey, Fujitsu aims to understand the state of their digital transformation journeys with regard to AI and other advanced technologies, and to clarify how business leaders around the world perceive the concept of "trust", an increasingly urgent theme in recent years. 

The third iteration of this survey also revealed the six success factors in digital transformation initiatives and the importance of organisational abilities such as leadership. 

The survey additionally takes an in-depth look at trust toward online data and decisions made by AI or a person.

Fujitsu will ultimately draw on these findings to accelerate its work with customers in advancing their digital transformation initiatives to achieve greater trust in business and society.

Background

We live today in a world that is more connected, more globally integrated, and faster-paced than ever before. 

While the benefits delivered by digital technology seem obvious and ubiquitous, issues surrounding the trustworthiness of personal data control and decisions made by AI remain a growing concern.

In light of these persistent challenges, Fujitsu embarked on the third iteration of its Global Digital Transformation Survey, first carried out in 2017, revealing the status of digital transformation initiatives and clarifying how global business leaders perceive "trust", which represent important themes in driving business success in recent years.

Summary of findings

1. Status of digital transformation

87% of companies surveyed have already begun their digital transformation journey. 

Players in financial services and transportation companies were found to be the most advanced in their initiatives. About half of the companies in these industries delivered positive outcomes.

Fujitsu's previous survey revealed that six organisational capabilities are required to deliver positive outcomes in digital transformation projects: Leadership, Ecosystem, Empowered people, A Culture of Agility, Value from Data, and Business Integration. 

Analysis of this year's survey also reveals that successful companies possess these organisational capabilities, which it refers to as "digital muscles."

2. Trust in online data

72% of respondents were worried that organisations may exploit personal data without their permission. 

In some cases, however, respondents found it acceptable to provide personal data. These include cases in which the company receiving the personal data can be trusted and where the personal data provided can be used to enhance products and services.

3. Decisions made by AI or by a person

Respondents remain uncertain whether they better trust decisions made by AI or by a person. 

The survey shows that respondents tend to trust decisions made by AI more in situations where the human impact is less significant. 

Moreover, 63% of respondents said that they would trust decisions made by AI if the AI shows substantial reasons for reaching the decisions, and 66% indicated that they would trust a company that published a code of ethics governing the use of AI.

4. Empowering people to drive successful digital transformation

Companies in which management places an emphasis on long-term perspectives, practices empathic leadership by sharing their messages and passion with employees, and empowers their staff tend to achieve greater success in their journeys toward digital transformation.

Fujitsu also annually publishes Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision, which sets out ways in which business and society can be innovated with technology. 

Fujitsu Future Insights – which includes this survey report and whitepapers that detail the state of digital transformation and possible future trends across industries – provides deeper analyses of the challenges influencing transformation initiatives in specific fields and the impact of technologies, and also offers suggestions for possible future scenarios and strategies related to those fields.

Survey Overview

1. Period: February 2019

2. Respondents: 900 CxOs and decision-makers at large and mid-sized companies spread across 9 countries worldwide

3. Methodology: Anonymous online survey

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