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Partner, Risk Consulting, PwC Germany
Whether it is virtual assistants, smartphones and smart homes, investments with the Robo Advisor or AI-based cancer diagnostics: The continuous technological change has a great impact on our society while creating a variety of opportunities for companies. Yet, benefiting from those requires trust.
Clients, employees, investors, and other players demand from businesses that they deal with data, digital technologies, and applications in a responsible and fair manner. All stakeholders are increasingly interested in learning whether a business complies with the legal requirements and addresses ethical conflicts of interest. Therefore, it has become vital to meet those criteria for many organizations. Nowadays, businesses who want to capitalize on digitization need a compass of values as well as embedding these within the organization in order to be sustainably successful.
“Due to the complexity and speed of technological developments, an ethical compass is of utmost importance in the context of digitization. A key success factor is its embeddedness in a functioning management system.”
Use our Quick Check to determine the maturity degree of your company in corporate digital responsibility and digital ethics in just 5 minutes.
Digital and data-driven solutions are the basis for many business models and corporate strategies. Companies that successfully design digital change can gain competitive advantages.
What are the decisive factors for a successful digital transformation? On the one hand, technical efficiency is key. Yet, on the other hand, it is at least equally important that the stakeholders accept and effectively use digital solutions. And this can only happen if the digital transformation is managed in a responsible manner. This is essential for stakeholders to build the necessary trust in solutions.
Together with you, we develop custom solutions that start where unintended consequences of digitization – such as rising costs, reputational or competitive risk – both arise and where they can also be fixed concomitantly: the human individual.
Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) and Digital Ethics are holistic concepts and perspectives that we use in order to design digitization in a responsible manner – by our interdisciplinary team and together with our clients. Both concepts are closely linked and constitute a key element of managing a business with integrity.
The core of our consulting approach is embedding digital ethics in your company. We look at the consequences of digital technologies on the environment, society, employees, clients, or investors as well as at the acceptance of digital business models.
For implementing Corporate Digital Responsibility and Digital Ethics, we recommend an iterative process in which decisions on digitization are continuously re-examined. In doing so, the focus has to remain on the human individual – i.e., on users, customers, or employees.
During the implementation, building on the existing processes and structures in your company has proven successful. Further, it is important to integrate CDR into the strategy for digital transformation and combine this with relevant activities from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the relevant management systems.
In our consulting, we rely on the CDR Building Bloxx, an approach that considers established standards for sustainability reporting such as the GRI framework and other common (ISO) norms. The CDR Building Bloxx include overarching definitions of CDR activities and delineate areas of activity for specific CDR topics (coloured Building Bloxx). For the holistic implementation of CDR, we recommend building on existing processes and structures in your company and adjusting the individual blocks modularly to your organization.
Our experts will help you confront the digitization process in a responsible, ethical and structured manner that is geared towards lasting success. We not only work with you to develop a suitable strategy, but also identify opportunities and risks and always consider your organisation as a whole. We can draw on successfully completed projects, satisfied clients, interdisciplinary approaches and teams and a global network to ensure your journey is a successful one. Let us work together to establish CDR and digital ethics in practice and embed them permanently in your organisation's DNA.
“A responsible, ethical approach to digitization shapes the reputation of a company and improves both the quality of its products as well as its relations with all stakeholders. The basis is a comprehensive strategy for the responsible and ethical use of technology, while the focus has to be on people.”
Why should companies proactively address Digital Ethics? Because it matters for the strategic and operational success of businesses.