Disconnect between business, IT leaders

By siliconindia   |   Thursday, 23 November 2006, 06:00 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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Bangalore: In this era of cutthroat competition, business executives focus hard on revenue and, increasingly devote resources to corporate governance and security matters, to upscale their company’s prospects. Despite the high investment on security aspects, almost one in every three of over 1,700 senior-level corporate and technology leader respondents interviewed as part of an international survey do not trust their companies' ability to handle private or sensitive information. Moreover, they are either unsure or do not believe that most of their business partners consider them to be trusted enterprises.

The Ponemon Institute, a privacy organization, conducted the survey, as part of a broad research project called the Unisys Trusted Enterprise Index. The findings of the survey are based on a sampling frame of 30,000 IT leaders, which include CIOs, CEOs, boards, security and privacy expert in the UK and the US.

"The overall lack of preparedness among business leaders to monitor and protect the trust their companies have with customers, vendors and even employees concerns me a lot,” said Mike Gibbons, Vice-President and General Manager, Enterprise Security, Unisys. This he said more alarming keeping in mind how devastating a breach of trust is to a company's reputation and bottom line.

"Equally disturbing is the disconnect between business and IT executives over how to build a trusted organization," he added. While IT leaders surveyed stressed on protecting privacy and IT security, business leaders among the respondents sighted financial-oriented measures such as risk management and good corporate governance to be more important.

The survey expressed the point of view of the IT leaders thus: They believe that positive media coverage, IP protection and responsible marketing practices can help build trust in a more effective way than business leaders can. Along the same line, they felt that inadequate intellectual property protection and weak privacy erodes trust.

According to the study, retail banking, among all industries, is the most trusted in both the U.S and UK. The views among US business leaders and that of UK counterparts however, differed on trusted industries. While Healthcare enjoys the ‘the most trusted’ tag in the US, in the UK its figures at the bottom of the trusted list. Similarly, the Government is highly trusted in the UK and one of the least trusted sectors in the US.

Notwithstanding an increased sensitivity to corporate ethics and compliance among corporations today, business leaders surveyed regarded customer satisfaction, leadership, prudent fiscal management, and customer respect as the most influential builders and stewards of trust. The study noted that factors like market capitalization, market share and others rank much lower.

The survey noted that the top five factors that erode trust within an organization are unethical business practices, customer dissatisfaction, and lack of respect for employees and customers and poor leadership.

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