Joe Baguley, VP & CTO EMEA, VMware
Digital Frontiers is our annual study of consumers around the world – understanding their appetite and attitudes towards some of the technologies shaping our world. It always throws up some interesting insights and the latest version is no different. This year’s findings tell us that we’ve reached a pivotal moment in how technology innovation and digital experiences can positively shape our lives, economies, society, and planet.
But while excitement remains, scepticism is forming. There is a clear gap emerging between the digital appetite of consumers and their confidence in how their data is used to create services and experiences, which could ultimately undermine technology’s potential to drive change. Yes, people are hungry for digital progress – with over two-thirds (68%) wanting investment in technological innovation to make our world a better place. But the growing mistrust around who has access to, manages and stores the one thing technology can’t live without – data – could compromise the progress of digital economies and slow innovation.
Most people are in the dark about how their personal data is being used. Their only real understanding of data is when a security breach story hits the headlines – and not all the incredible things we can do in medicine, with autonomous vehicles, in mobile entertainment, shopping and society. Right now, the perceived price of progress is too high – consumers are not yet fully on-board with sharing the data required to fuel change. But if we’re to see any progress, they must know what happens to their data when organisations ask for it and feel confident it is being handled securely and sensitively.
Unlocking the value of data could be worth Euro 550 billion to the EU by 2025. But we in the industry and government must take an active role in helping consumers become more aware and confident about their personal data, so we can collectively help boost digital economies. We can do this by building transparent solutions rooted in individual choice and control over data; inspiring and educating to help foster a technology-literate population; and building trust that the parties handling sensitive data are fit to do so.
The past two years have seen a seismic shift towards a truly digital-first world, but now we need to reset and realign to usher in the next frontier of innovation.
To get a full download on the research, where we explore everything from appetite for digital experience in the financial services, healthcare, government and retail sectors – all the way through to the metaverse – read our Exec Summary here.