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23 Apr. 2019 | Comments (0)

Today, more and more businesses across most industries are looking to pioneer digital business models to create value. Digital value chains, along with arti?cial intelligence (AI), automation, big data, and machine learning, have become an integral part of many Global 2000 companies. However, recent data privacy scandals and ongoing media coverage of technology’s unintended consequences on society and the environment highlight the potential dark side. This points to the need for companies to consider and extend the ethical principles to their digital transformation journey. So, what does that mean?

Responsible Digital is a relatively new concept that calls for companies to extend wider ethical considerations to the use and application of digital, both internally and externally. The concept is also described by some as “corporate digital responsibility”—an extension of the responsible business principles to incorporate digitalization.

There are six key aspects companies need to be aware of and manage effectively.

  • Upskilling and retraining their workforce to ensure that employees are best placed to transition into new roles as they emerge in the future
  • Managing health and well-being issues that arise due to the always-connected culture
  • Adopting ethical data practices to build trust
  • Working toward having a trustworthy, transparent AI ensuring benefits of technology are shared by all
  • Managing the associated environmental impacts of digital and technology

There are numerous examples to show that digital technologies are a force for good. However, the outcomes depend on how they are developed and applied. Many companies today are at an early phase of their digital transformation journey, and don’t have a holistic governance approach to manage digital transformation. Extending the ethical lens to digital will allow companies to leverage its bene?ts in a responsible manner, and make sure that any unintended consequences are managed effectively.

You can read more about issues that companies need to consider as part of their digital transformation journey in The Conference Board report on Responsible Digital [complimentary - registration needed]. You can hear more on this topic by joining our upcoming webcast.

  • About the Author: Anuj Saush

    Anuj Saush

    Anu is a senior sustainability researcher in The Conference Board Corporate Leadership practice and has over 15 years of sustainability experience working across the private, public and third-sector. …

    Full Bio | More from Anuj Saush

     

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