Consumer pressure is driving UK businesses to pursue responsible technology, according to a new report from technology consultancy Thoughtworks and MIT Technology Review.
The State of Responsible Technology features insights from senior executives – of which 12 per cent were UK-based – to explore how organisations understand responsible technology use, what has motivated them to adopt more responsible practices and what benefits they hope to achieve from doing so.
Around a third of participants (32 per cent) said customer pressure was the main motivation for implementing responsible technology practices. In addition, 46 per cent said it was motivated by improving the perception of their organisation to customers and increasing attractiveness to investors and partners.
“The phrase ‘customer is always right’ is particularly relevant when it comes to customer data,” said Patrick Sarnacke, managing director UK at Thoughtworks. “They are right to have high expectations, demanding companies demonstrate that any personal information is used responsibly, sensitively and appropriately. It is good to see that this message is being heard by large businesses and being made a priority. At Thoughtworks, we work with businesses to meet the rapidly changing demands of consumers, whether that be new products and features or addressing new concerns about privacy.”
UK respondents also highlighted sustainability and environmental impact (55 per cent), diversification of the technology workforce (55 per cent) and elimination of bias in artificial intelligence (52 per cent) as important factors in responsible technology practice.
The report features a series of in-depth interviews with technology experts from organisations including H&M Group, MOIA and California Polytechnic State University. It follows Thoughtworks’ Responsible Tech Playbook, which aims to help businesses to use technology tools and techniques to identify strategies to be more inclusive, transparent and aware of bias.