Embracing digital transformation
The digital revolution offers a great many benefits; improving productivity, creating jobs, widening access to health and education and improving the environment that we live in.
Yet the digital revolution also raises a series of challenges. There will be major impacts on the workforce, with the nature of work changing, calling for new digital skills and a commitment to lifelong learning. Many already suffer a digital skills gap, including 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs. Finally, business risks customers losing trust in technology; nine in ten internet users in the UK and the US would avoid doing business with companies that do not protect their privacy.
We still have it within our power to take action and ensure that the digital revolution works for all of us.
As Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President, Veolia UK & Ireland (Responsible Business of the Year 2016), points out: "Technology is all well and good but it has to serve human beings rather than the other way round. Robotisation does not happen overnight - we have to take account of humans in all this."
Setting the agenda
In order to understand and define the role of responsible business in this digital age, Business in the Community has launched a programme that will set a new agenda for UK businesses - this will also provide the theme for this year's Responsible Business Week (24-28 April).
In collaboration with Accenture Strategy, a report entitled A Brave New World: Why business must ensure an inclusive digital revolution, was launched in November 2016, which serves as a call to action for all UK businesses, NGOs and policymakers. The report seeks to highlight that it is only through collaborative and innovative approaches that we will fully benefits from the opportunities provided by digital transformation.
Since November, Business in the Community and Accenture Strategy have launched a second phase, to define the priorities of responsible business in a digital age. The priorities, launched in April 2017, are as follows:
This work marks the first step and following Responsible Business Week, will be shared for wider consultation. Please reach out to Catherine Phillips (Catherine.Phillips@bitc.org.uk) Business in the Community, for further information. Business in the Community are committed to leading action on this agenda and look forward to working with you to drive businesses towards ensuring an inclusive digital revolution.
Watch The Future of Digital is Human panel debate as part of Responsible Business Week 2017, with Amanda Mackenzie, CEO, Business in the Community, Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, TUC and Carolyn Fairbarin, Director General, CBI
A Brave New World is a BITC initiative in partnership with Accenture Strategy and supported by Barclays, Fujitsu and McCann London.