Although a quarter of the public considers technological changes to be positive, nearly as many feel nervous about what’s ahead. There are serious concerns from the public about the readiness and intentions of organisations and their business leaders to lead the country during this time of flux.
The public (40%) believes that the primary purpose of an organisation should be to have a positive impact on life in Ireland, but more than half think that companies do not truly care about their impact on the world (53%). A further 65% are worried that sustainability is not being taken seriously enough by organisations and, for over two-thirds (68%), tighter regulations are needed in order to ensure that organisations are acting responsibly.
When thinking about the change the country is likely to go through, over a quarter (27%) were most concerned about a lack of trust in organisations rather than their technological advancement. In fact, when asked about emerging technologies, such as AI, driverless vehicles, virtual reality and drones, Irish citizens are unsure about their positive impact in national life. People are most excited about the changes to their everyday lives, like 5G - better networks to perform their daily tasks more effectively. Nonetheless, half of citizens want organisations to adopt new technologies (52%) but are still reticent about the lack of education (36%).
Interestingly, this public reality might be affecting businesses, as leaders (46%) feel that citizen nervousness has stopped their organisation from adopting certain technologies. On the other hand, business leaders are acutely aware of the importance of building trust through acting as responsible business through good corporate social responsibility. Three quarters agree that they have become more responsible over the last five years, with 39% saying it is an area they’d expect to improve.
However, leaders recognise that there is an issue with public trust, with nearly half admitting that people trust less in their organisation than they did five years ago. Some leaders simply conclude that the public’s demands are too high – and more than a quarter don’t think they will ever be able to meet public expectation (31%). But with consumers increasingly making purchasing and employment decisions based on an organisation’s social impact, responsibility is likely to become a key determinate of which businesses succeed and which do not.
Tony O’Malley commented: “As business leaders it has never been more important to listen to the public and our business customers. This report tells us, categorically, that societal and business life has changed dramatically in recent years. How we collectively respond to these changes will have a major bearing on the success of Ireland over the coming decades. We know that adaptability, agility, flexibility and especially trust will be essential.
There is an onus on organisations to provide real leadership, education and reassurance to the public so that we can rebuild the trust that has been lost in recent years. In doing so we can collectively break the cycle that is preventing us from fully embracing this technologically driven change and all the positive benefits that it can bring.
Being a responsible organisation is now business critical. The public is increasingly discerning and demands that organisations act in the best interests of society. It’s never been more important that we get this right. With a greater understanding of the public’s experiences and expectations, leaders can respond to change in the right way – and ensure that as a nation, we succeed together” It is clear from the survey that organisations need a radical approach to technology planning, with a strategy that gains the most value from emerging technologies, but equally one that ensures humanity is at the heart of every innovation.
While this ambition could seem daunting for leaders, it’s absolutely possible, particularly through expert partnerships. By drawing on a deep understanding of technology, the wider private and public sector environment and how to put people first, organisations will succeed.
These are undoubtedly challenging times, and more is being asked of organisations than ever before, but there’s also huge opportunity to transparently shape positive change in Ireland. Transparency – including communicating with employees and the public – is an imperative.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com.
Part of the global network, Fujitsu Ireland is an information and communication technology (ICT) company, providing business solutions to a diverse range of blue-chip organisations. Our products and services positively touch 99% of the population and approximately 132,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our ICT power and experience to shape a better society and to enable our customer’s aspirations and ambitions with innovative technology. Our global strength facilitates an effective local delivery, through collaboration and co-creation focused on business outcomes. We honour our Japanese culture by building long-term relationships and giving our customers a unique people-centric approach to innovation. For more information please see http://ie.fujitsu.com
Date: 04 September, 2019