Published on in Digital Transformation

Something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is the role of trust, both for business leaders and for businesses generally.

It’s something that is increasingly being raised at senior levels within companies and in discussions with our commercial partners. Trust has become a priority issue for businesses in all sectors but especially in the technology sector.

My thoughts on this topic are quite straight forward: We need to consider trust as a highly valuable currency and treat it with the respect it deserves. It is not something that can be taken for granted because, if we do, we will lose something that is very difficult to regain.

This thought has been supported with survey evidence by a recently published Fujitsu Ireland report, Driving a Trusted Future in a Radically Changing World, which shows that in a period of radical change, organisations appear to be running out of trust with customers and consumers. Over the last 5 years, wide ranging political, social and economic change, driven by technology, has altered the relationship between organisations and the public – and ultimately reduced trust.

Furthermore, the findings reveal that interestingly, there is an expectation amongst the public that companies should have a primary objective of contributing substantially to the betterment of society. However, more than half of respondents (53%) think that businesses do not truly care about their global or societal impact. I believe these two findings are strongly linked.

If this is the problem, then what is the solution?

I believe there is a clear route to building and maintaining trust, which is acting as a responsible business and delivering a results-led approach to corporate social responsibility. As a business, it is crucial to recognise the significance of this belief, especially at a time when trust itself is undergoing a transformation with the public being increasingly discerning about the brands that they choose to engage with. Trust is something that must be hard-earned, built slowly over time, maintained and never taken for granted, otherwise it will be to the detriment of that organisation.

From my perspective, businesses including Fujitsu Ireland need to take tangible actions to genuinely demonstrate that people are at the centre of all decision-making and strategic focus. Digitisation must be to the benefit of users, customers and businesses and this should be at the heart of every businesses core operations. As a technology company, Fujitsu aims to educate and lead people through these changes, so that we can build upon the numerous benefits that technological innovation can bring.

Trust can affect your business in ways that we don’t often think of such as talent recruitment and retention; customer retention and business development; investor relation as well as things that are harder to measure like brand reputation. It is certainly clear that trust affects business bottom line and must be taken seriously.


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Tony O'Malley

Tony O’Malley is CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and Chairman of the Fujitsu Ireland Limited board. He is leading the delivery of Fujitsu’s innovative ICT services to the public and private sectors.

As CEO, Tony is committed to creating value for customers and putting into practice Fujitsu’s vision to create a Human Centric Intelligent Society.

He also oversees significant research programmes in Ireland in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Japan, in particular addressing Data Analytics and Healthcare systems for assisted living.

Tony sits on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council and is a member of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Advisory Committee.

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