These innovations often carry huge potential. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are just one example of how some technologies are already revolutionizing entire industries. In the utilities sector, for instance, smart grids and meters are allowing companies to cut down on inefficiencies, while better meeting the growing demand for energy. Meanwhile, financial services institutions are now considering applications of blockchain beyond cryptocurrency to enhance security or reduce process inefficiencies.
New technologies are also helping to solve some of the great challenges of our modern age, including health epidemics, inequality and climate change. Take for example forestry: with the help of AI, big data and cloud computing, teams of foresters and biometricians are now able to predict the size, species and health of forest trees, saving countless hours of manual fieldwork and helping to combat global warming.
The trust deficit
Yet it is impossible to ignore the many risks that are equally inherent to these technologies. Technological interconnectedness, complexity, and rate of deployment have also given rise to harmful side-effects ranging from limited operational shutdown to structural damage and even loss of life in the very worst cases.
When technology fails to deliver as expected, organizations creating or deploying these technologies face potentially severe financial, operational and reputational consequences culminating in a breakdown of trust. Trust is the crucial bond on which organizations rely to not only survive but thrive through immensely complex and uncertain times. When technology is poorly designed, mismanaged and misused, consumers, employees, partners and stakeholders alike cease to have confidence in organizations.