Tech

The State of Responsible Technology

It can be concluded that responsible technology has now gone beyond a hypothetical or buzzword—it has become a concrete business consideration across all industries. Leaders are increasingly thinking about how responsible tech policies can impact brand perceptions by customers, investors, suppliers and partners. Organizations are thinking more seriously about how their employees, both current and future, view the use and creation of technology. And forward-thinking business leaders in both small and large companies expect that responsible technologies and practices related to environmental sustainability in particular will continue to gain in importance.

Here are a few other key takeaways:

Organizations expect responsible investments in technology to pay off by improving brand reputation and customer and employee retention. When asked about the tangible business benefits of implementing responsible technology, the top three responses included better customer acquisition/retention (47%), improved brand perception (46%), and avoidance of negative unintended consequences and brand-related risks (44%). This top three is followed by attracting and retaining the best talent (43%) and building resilience (43%).

Large companies take the initiative, while smaller ones react. Drivers for responsible technology policies come from a variety of internal and external sources. Large companies were more likely to say they were driven by a desire to attract investors and partners (53%) and to live up to their mission and values ​​(44%), while smaller companies were more likely to cite a desire to improve the perception of their activities. organization (54%) and strengthening employee retention (45%).

There is no consensus on which responsible practices should take precedence. Organizations cite a wide range of priorities for their responsible technology practices, including inclusive design, data privacy, environmental impact, removing AI bias, and diversifying the workforce, all of which rank in the top three for about half of respondents. User privacy and surveillance were considered less important than all the other options offered, with only 35% of respondents listing it as one of their organization’s top three priorities.

Top management should be involved in the implementation of an effective policy. The most frequently cited barriers to the adoption of responsible technologies are lack of awareness among senior management (52%), organizational resistance to change (46%), and internal competing priorities (46%).

Organizations both fear and value the regulation associated with responsible technology. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) cite compliance with existing laws such as the GDPR or anticipation of upcoming (and potentially far-reaching) regulation as their top motivation for adopting responsible technology practices, although this figure varies greatly by industry. and geography. While some business leaders express concern about the upcoming regulation, others call it an important industry benchmark.

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This content was prepared by Insights, the user-generated content division of MIT Technology Review. This was not written by the editors of the MIT Technology Review.


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