What can businesses do to create a sustainable digital future?

The Digital Era is characterised by the overwhelming use of data – with huge benefits, but also potentially catastrophic side-effects when people and business cannot control the use of their data. This 'data pollution' poses a significant threat to the sustainability of the digital world. If we don't act fast, it will severely damage public trust in how data is shared and managed. And this will negatively impact new business opportunities.

It is time for every organisation to take steps towards creating a sustainable digital future. This means helping to shape a data environment in which clients, suppliers and employees can access and control their own data, and in which the value from data is not only maximised, but also shared out fairly. So don’t delay; act today!

People and organisations currently have little to no control over the data they create, because regulations such as GDPR gave them rights but no tools.  This is a growing problem, because the awareness of this lack of real control is increasing and public trust is declining as a consequence.

The risk is real. Growing mistrust in digital services make it harder for businesses to capitalise on the benefits of the data economy. This will reduce their competitive edge, resulting in less relevance, fewer customers and diminished long-term business success.

This era calls upon business leaders for giving the means for data control to stakeholders, leading to ‘soft’ infrastructures for sharing and managing data. Just as 'hard’ infrastructures such as roads and railways were constructed by visionary individuals a century ago, a similar path is now needed for trusted data management and exchange.

So, business leaders – it is time for you to seize this opportunity! Whether you are in retail, manufacturing, financial services, put your own trust circles in place by giving your suppliers, customers, vendors and employees control over their data… and then by offering those who provide you with access to their data a fair share of the benefits. This will boost your commercial success based on a more balanced and sustainable relationship with your stakeholders.

Together, we can build a better digital society in which people and organisations are in control of their data, and in which the 'data benefit balance' is realigned more fairly. This will create a solid and sustainable foundation for the next growth cycle of the digital economy.

Douwe Lycklama | INNOPAY
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