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Time to reset public trust and deliver a better customer experience
One of the breakout sessions at our upcoming Microsoft event, ‘Winning Trust – Enabling Transformation’, is about showing the public the positives of data analytics
“What has been an onerous compliance process for most organisations may turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to them”
“As AI and machine learning move into the mainstream, organisations must navigate a path that allows them to leverage the data that’s available to them without compromising the privacy of their customers”
There is a temptation to dismiss the fallout from the Facebook/Cambridge Analytics scandal, when around $120 billion was wiped off Facebook’s market capitalization, as what happens when a social media giant loses the run of itself. The episode, however, has far reaching consequences for all of us.
What it’s done is break the trust between the public and organisations that collect their data – a trust, it has to be said, that was fragile to begin with. When people get something for free on the internet, they increasingly understand the adage that they are not the customer but the product, that they have agreed terms and conditions that open them up to targeted advertising that generates revenue.
Worse still, there’s now a widespread public perception that more cynical forces are using social media platforms to put out false news that undermines the very fabric of democracy. These are big challenges that every organisation, public and private, is going to have to take on board.
In Europe, the EU’s implementation of GDPR has given citizens the right to exert more control over their personal data and make public and private bodies financially culpable if they fail to meet regulatory requirements in the way they process and manage data.
What has been an onerous compliance process for most organisations may turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to them. Being forced to integrate privacy into every process, and prioritise the way people’s personal information is managed, encourages a culture of responsibility rather than simply ticking boxes around regulatory requirements.
This is an important change that will help organisations move from winning trust to enabling transformation. As AI and machine learning move into the mainstream, organisations must navigate a path that allows them to leverage the data that’s available to them without compromising the privacy of their customers. It’s a difficult journey that some high profile Irish organisations have already begun.
There is a meeting of minds between Microsoft and customers. We understand that becoming a data-driven organisation is the best way to generate actionable insights that can enhance the customer experience. It’s possible to develop a cultural mindset inside an organisation where the customers are comfortable with sharing elements of personal data because they get to see the benefits in more personalised services.
When we launched Azure and Office 365 in the cloud eight year ago, we built trust into the propositions. Compliance and security are baked into our hyperscale cloud offerings in ways that are too difficult and expensive for organisations to emulate on premise.
It’s my view that a combination of GDPR imposed governance and compliant cloud platforms provide the foundation we all need to reset trust and advance analytics-driven strategies that will promote customer confidence and deliver real customer benefits.
National Technology Officer for Microsoft Ireland