IBM’s 20th edition of its bi-annual C-Suite Study, “Build Your Trust Advantage,” polled nearly 380 C-level executives across Africa to examine how companies are achieving market leadership by emphasizing trust in their use and sharing of data.
The study, conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics, found that market leadership is most frequently attained when an organization establishes a high level of trust in the data sourced from its customers, its own business processes, and across its partner ecosystem.
In fact, 91 percent of leaders surveyed in the study strongly believed data helps create a strategic advantage in strengthening their level of customer trust as well as their bottom lines.
The study also revealed that an extraordinary set of business leaders – dubbed “Torchbearers” – understand that transparency, reciprocity, and accountability with regard to data are critical ingredients for earning trust among key stakeholders. The businesses led by this group of leaders were found to be outperforming their peers in revenue, growth, profitability, innovation and managing change.
“Leading organizations that have put trust at the core of the way they use data with their customers are creating massive opportunities for greater success,” said Ian Fletcher, Director – IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV). “Today’s businesses need to be able to earn trust from their customers while also trusting the data from their own processes and ecosystems, or they will quickly fall behind their peers.”
While the study focused on the need for transparency in how companies handle customer data, it also highlighted the importance of trusting data that’s created within an organization. Standout business leaders were found to be taking great pains to ensure that the data generated within their organizations was accurate and clean, so they could leverage it to make the best-informed business decisions, such as developing new business models and entering new markets.
Other key findings of the study were:
The study also revealed the importance for organizations to create trustworthy data ecosystems. Data that simply stayed within the organization without being shared was more likely to grow irrelevant. Leading organizations were found to be liberating their data while simultaneously de-risking data exchanges in a shared ecosystem – allowing the data to circulate widely, without sacrificing their responsibility to secure permissions and safeguard it. Standout business leaders were also found to be ahead of their peers in acquiring and sharing data extensively with network partners, as well as in integrating new modes of monetization into their data strategies.
Please access the full study here