07 February 2016

Trusted Enterprise: Digital Science in Business...

Digital Trust has been a cornerstone for any serious organization in our 21st century era.  The foundation for an Operational Risk Management (ORM) design, begins with the engineering science of a sound and endurable platform for "Enabling Digital Trust of Global Enterprises."
The Accenture Technology Vision 2016 verifies "Digital Trust" as one of five major trends:
As every digital advancement creates a new vector for risk, trust becomes the cornerstone of the digital economy. Without trust, digital businesses cannot use and share the data that underpins their operations. To gain the trust of individuals, ecosystems, and regulators in the digital economy, businesses must possess strong security and ethics at each stage of the customer journey. And new products and services must be ethical- and secure-by-design. Businesses that get this right will enjoy such high levels of trust that their customers will look to them as guides for the digital future.  Source:  Accenture Technology Vision 2016
The concept of data ethics as a significant component of establishing "Digital Trust" is vital.  When you introduce the concept of ethics to the dialogue on software engineering in the global enterprise, there are several key considerations.  Adding the moral governance of actions taken as a result of insights derived from the analysis of information, is also a valid vector in the design of trustworthiness for modern digital applications.  Yet this means nothing, without first understanding how humans make their decisions to trust.  How effective the entire ecosystem of "Digital Trust" becomes will always come back to the root.  Digital Ground zero.

Ground zero for "Digital Trust" is the actual "Trust Decision" itself.  The science of the "Trust Decision" elements and process has been the focus of researchers and academic study for years.  In order for us to truly understand how to achieve digital trust in business, we must first grasp the science and evidence of the core elements and root of our "TrustDecisions."  Does "Achieving Digital Trust" in the enterprise ensure that, as a business you are "Achieving a Defensible Standard of Care"?   Not necessarily.

The two concepts are mutually exclusive, yet they still have affinity for each other.  Accenture's Technology Vision, provides the enterprise with sound reasoning about how to create a path towards improving digital trust, especially as it pertains to the reputation benefits associated with the "Brand."  Adding the element of ethics, drives the consumer thinking that the business has addressed privacy requirements in terms of the legal rules and usability factors.

Incorporating the conversation in the Board Room about data ethics (collection and use) or how as an enterprise you must design-in legal controls in order to alleviate liability, requires something new.  It requires all interested parties to go back to the root.  How does the human make a decision to trust?  How does a computer make a decision to trust another computer?

The people sitting around the Board Room table are thinking about creating more wealth.  They are not asking themselves, how do computers trust other computers?  In our digital age where decisions are being made as a result of the execution of zeros and ones at light speed, someone has to be designing the trust architecture with the right people in the enterprise.  The question is now at hand, who is that person or business unit?

The answer is going to be different in each business or organization.  What is the maturity of the particular digital ecosystem and how vast is the landscape for the computing assets?  One fact that must be acknowledged early on, is that it probably does not entirely exist today.  The ideal unit of people and systems that are necessary to achieve digital trust, are currently spread out across the typical silos of a business architecture.  IT, Marketing, Legal, Info Security, Privacy perhaps.  However, the dedicated and funded "Digital Trust" team, task force or department, has yet to be established.  So what?

Continue to operate as you are.  Without the advantage of truly understanding the elements of "Trust Decisions" and how this is relevant to "Achieving a Defensible Standard of Care."  A trustworthy computing division, may have existed in the past at your organization, yet initially with another focused mission,  "Cyber Crime" intervention.  You see, the idea of trust and why it is so vital to the success of the information technology industry is not new.  Smart malware researchers and software engineers understood this at the dawn of the Internet.  So why is this any different?

Trustworthy computing in the 90's is not the same as the application of "Trust Decisions" in the year 2016 and beyond.   Especially today, with the speed of cloud computing adoption and the outsourcing of core data transactions across borders.  The international implications of privacy laws and the routing and storing of data outside of your native country, is now in play.  Negotiations by a Nation State to bypass traditional use of mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is the new normal:
If U.S. and British negotiators have their way, MI5, the British domestic security service, could one day go directly to American companies such as Facebook or Google with a wiretap order for the online chats of British suspects in a counter­terrorism investigation.

The transatlantic allies have quietly begun negotiations this month on an agreement that would enable the British government to serve wiretap orders directly on U.S. communication firms for live intercepts in criminal and national security investigations involving its own citizens. Britain would also be able to serve orders to obtain stored data, such as emails.  Source:  Washington Post
The requirements have changed.  The next era of "Achieving Digital Trust" requires so much more.  It now requires standing up and providing substantial resources to the "TrustDecisions" Unit within the enterprise.  What does this mean to the future of the Trusted Enterprise?

It means that the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), General Counsel and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) will be using data and Digital Science to design a new architecture for the Trusted Enterprise.  They will deliver it to the desk of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) very soon.

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