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Using digital transformation to achieve integrity imperatives

Why do most digital transformations fail? Because business and tech leaders lack a common language to join business, technology and organisational change strategies. This perpetuates silos, enables tech hype cycles to persist and stands in the way of executing highly integrated approaches to digital transformation. Our research, A new language for digital transformation, proposes five digital imperatives for CXOs to better align, innovate and grow the value they gain from digital transformation: experiences, insights, platforms, connectivity and integrity. And, while mastering all of these digital imperatives is important, the digital integrity imperative is essential to achieve business outcomes related to resilience, security, ethical tech, and trust and to enable a cyber-minded culture that can address continuously evolving threats. This blog article will highlight how an end-to-end interdisciplinary approach to digital Integrity can help organisations deliver more successful digital strategies.

Integrity starts with strategy

The rapid adoption of digital transformation has changed the way we think about cybersecurity. Cyberattacks, data breaches and other cyber events are increasing as threat surfaces grow and businesses adopt more digital technologies in various areas of their industry, in pursuit of new business models and enhanced customer experiences. With the ever-changing landscape, it’s become clear that a holistic approach toward digital transformation is needed — one that takes into account the entire journey, not simply looking at the destination.

Our research proposes that an organisation start with the enterprise objective as a strategic north star to build resilient cyber capabilities. This approach means having a clear understanding of the business goals and then mapping out the cybersecurity solutions (people, process and technology) that will help achieve those goals. Several strategic considerations could go into thinking about business requirements and outcomes related to integrity, such as organisational purpose; environmental, social and governance (ESG); digital trust; and ethical tech. These considerations will help shape and prioritise the actions that an organisation can take to operationalise its cyber risk strategy.

Once the strategic objectives are set, organisations can think thematically across the five digital imperatives to adopt an integrated, cross-functional approach to digital transformation. The intent is not for companies to address each of these imperatives at once but, rather, to use this approach as a framework to help think about which digital capabilities will have the most significant impact on business objectives (again measured in risk tolerance). For example, a global health care company was able to create an improved and more transparent experience for consumers, customers and suppliers. It achieved this metric by creating a holistic strategy for digital transformation, touching on each of the five imperatives (in varying degrees) — using a platform approach to improve end-to-end data connectivity across customer insights and experience in a way that considered cybersecurity and data integrity as a means to improve and support innovation.

Executing technology-enabled strategies

As digital transformation initiatives continue to evolve, it’s important for organisations to have a clear understanding of how they want to execute their technology-enabled strategies. Technologies such as identity and access management (IAM), risk-based multi-factor authentication, zero-trust security, cryptography, federated security, data backup and recovery and cyberthreat intelligence can help unlock the business value of digital transformation while protecting data and minimising risk.

Thinking more broadly about what integrity outcomes an organisation needs to achieve can help prioritise where to focus technology investments. For example, a financial services company uses an AI-based platform to automate the underwriting process for life insurance. To enable data integrity and to support ethical standards related to fairness and transparency, the organisation has a team of experts who work closely with legal, compliance and risk functions to monitor underwriting requirements. This approach helps discern that the models being used are compliant and that no bias gives specific classes of people an advantage.

Driving an effective digital transformation

We know cyber is a board level issue, digital trust is critical to consumer trust and risk is a top business issue. As CEOs, CISOs and cyber leaders work on the front lines to ensure cybersecurity, ethics and trust, a common language can help to elevate the conversation and maximise the impact.

For more details, explore the full research report, “A new language for digital transformation,”

by Deborah Golden, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory; Rich Nanda, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Ragu Gurumurthy, Deloitte LLP; Sam Roddick, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited; and Brenna Sniderman and Diana Kearns-Manolatos, Deloitte Center for Integrated Research, Deloitte Services LP.

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