Why CEOs Are Embracing Machine Learning and Blockchain
According to research, customers consider the reliable protection of their personal data as one of their greatest factors to consider before purchasing from a company. Forward-thinking CEOs are gravitating towards AI and Blockchain as a means of keeping their customers' data secure.
According to a 2019 survey by Pew Research, 70% of US adults believe that their data is less secure today than in the past. More than half of those surveyed also mentioned that they follow privacy news somewhat closely. Further, in a Global Web Index survey, 60% of Europeans worry about how their personal data is being used by companies.
These numbers represent everyday consumers who are also your customers. When a majority of your customers are clearly concerned about data security, what can you do as a CEO to protect customer data and offer them peace of mind that their data is safe with you?
You can’t bury your head in the sand and wish away these concerns. As Ken Mortensen noted last year in an article for CEO Today Magazine, every organisation must acknowledge these concerns and improve its policies and processes to ensure data privacy. Consumers today understand the value businesses can derive from utilising customer data and it is unlikely that they will give you a pass for not instituting safeguards to protect their data.
Fortunately, many CEOs now appreciate why it is very important to protect their customers’ data. In a report titled ‘Tomorrow’s Experience, Today: Harnessing a Customer-First Approach in a Changing World’, KPMG states that three in five CEOs now believe that protecting customer data is one of their most important jobs.
As tech capabilities improve, CEOs are now open to rolling out various tech products and services to help manage, process, and safeguard their customers’ data. Some of the technologies that companies are using today include Augmented Intelligence and Blockchain Technology.
Consumers today understand the value businesses can derive from utilising customer data and it is unlikely that they will give you a pass for not instituting safeguards to protect their data.
Augmented Intelligence makes it possible to combine machine intelligence with human intelligence to come up with processes and solutions that are far superior to what would be normally produced by either of the intelligences alone.
Companies have embraced Augmented Intelligence in their efforts to process identity verification processes fast and securely in order to eliminate online fraud and identity theft. The technology makes it possible for some tech solutions to extract data from scanned or photographed government-issued IDs and match the data with real-time data being provided by a user.
Augmented intelligence is becoming a necessity in Identify Verification processes given the variables involved such as the huge number of ID types, liveness detection, range of channels consumers can use to capture their IDs, and the need for big data.
Without Augmented Intelligence, ID verification becomes a pretty inefficient process. With Augmented Intelligence, customers get a frictionless onboarding process. Businesses also reduce their expenses on manual reviews as well as the probability of lost conversions due to ID verification which adds an extra step to the conversion funnel.
A Blockchain is a linked list of records (blocks) where every succeeding block has a cryptographic hash of the preceding block. This makes the data unmanipulatable.
Most big companies have already mastered the general applications of Blockchain. The focus today and going forward is the creation of rules that can operationalise the technology in their businesses for the benefit of the business and their customers.
As an infrastructure technology, Blockchain provides almost all companies with an opportunity to change how they manage and use customer data. Blockchain has been made popular by the cryptocurrency world where it has provided the basic infrastructure for fast and secure transactions. Blockchain is also now being used to process and manage customer data effectively and safely.
It Is No Longer Business as Usual
Businesses need to appreciate that the handling and protection of customer data are slowly becoming indispensable customer experience metrics. Moreover, it is now not up to the company to decide how strict their data protection policies are. Many jurisdictions are enacting laws to guide consumer data privacy. Activism is also making national news of small data breaches that would get no attention of the public in the past.
In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a significant game-changer in the European Union. In the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which was signed into law in 2018 signaled clearly to any data-focused business that it was no longer business as usual and that it was time to give consumer data privacy the attention it deserved.
Businesses need to appreciate that the handling and protection of customer data are slowly becoming indispensable customer experience metrics.
Going forward, every CEO must update their mindset on how they collect and use customer data. The regulatory changes are just signs of what the consumer sentiment really is. In fact, CEOs today can emphasise the progress they have made in data security to attract new business from privacy-conscious consumers.
With a majority of consumers now paying attention to privacy-related news, any significant changes that a company makes will surely get the attention of the public. What’s more? The conversation from engaged audiences on privacy-focused blogs and micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter can spread the message for your company further than you can imagine.