CCS Insight Predicts: Trend watching – AI and a new age of Security and Trust

CCS Insight Predicts: Trend watching – AI and a new age of Security and Trust

Here’s part 2 in a blog series sharing some of the key insights and tech trends from CCS Insight’s annual ‘Predictions Week: 2021 and Beyond’.

This time round, we focus on the subject of Artificial Intelligence, security and trust.

Trust is the fundamental force in shaping technology decisions

At a time, when there’s more uncertainty than ever, there’s a theme that B2B brands simply can’t afford to ignore:

“Customers now place an elevated importance on their trust in their tech suppliers because dependency on technology to improve business resilience has never been higher.”

According to CCS Insight’s Senior IT leadership investment survey 2020, the attribute that tops the list in shaping trust in tech suppliers in the minds of senior leaders is the security of technology. Other important areas include: resiliency, transparency and commitment to customer privacy.

This is important because trust is now the fundamental force shaping technology decisions in the enterprise. It is also an area where AI and ML is maturing as well.

Earnest comment:

When developing campaigns or specific propositions, B2B marketers need to give real consideration to how they can build trust in their business and allay perceived risk. Think about how you can provide real thought-leadership and guidance to your customers during these challenging times. Find ways to deliver value across every marketing and sales interaction. Create content and tools that helps buyers persuade their stakeholders – and justify purchases.

AI deployments have accelerated during the pandemic

Firms have made AI investments in a number of areas including chatbots, contact centre transformation and demand forecasting.

What’s more, close to half of all firms have production applications running in their environment based on machine learning (up from 20% 12 months ago).

60% plan to increase their investment in AI in the next 12 months

However, attention is shifting to securing AI itself – as firms become more operationally dependent on the technology, they are thinking more widely about the risks – not only to their infrastructure and data, but also machine learning models and algorithms.

The prospects of attacks on AI are growing – including adversarial attacks, trojans and data poisoning. Security is now listed as the most significant challenge customers face with ML.

CCS Insight Predicts:

“The security of machine learning becomes the main priority for investment by end of 2020.”

Earnest comment:

B2B marketing platforms and tools a plenty are lining up to offer AI enabled capabilities. However, it pays to be mindful of the potential risks as well as the benefits. By all means don’t hold back investing, but be sure to ask the right questions of vendors when it comes to the security of their platforms.

Privacy is growing in importance

The lifeblood of machine learning is data. The crisis has shown how important data is to organisations.

The need to collect more customer data for insight and create more personalised experiences, creates tensions with the rising need and complexity of privacy regulations.

In an age of trust, ensuring the privacy of data in AI systems will be crucial moving forwards.

Expect to see technologies such as confidential machine learning, differential privacy, homomorphic encryption, as well as techniques around synthetic data and data anonymisation emerge out of the labs and into everyday AI strategies.

CCS Insight Predicts:

“By 2024, 50% of large organisations deploy privacy enhancing technology to support their machine learning applications.”

Earnest comment:

If you’re a B2B marketer in the AI or cybersecurity space, it’s worth exploring the potential implications of these trends for your product roadmap – and working with your business to position itself to capitalise on potential demand. At the least, these new emerging technologies could provide a rich subject for thought-leadership to help customers navigate this evolving landscape.

Next in the trend watching series: The rise and rise of the Cloud

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(Header photo: fabio on Unsplash)

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B2B Insights

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B2B events Technology

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Paul Hewerdine

Strategy Partner

I head up the Strategy team at Earnest. I helped found Earnest, and I love a tricky brief and an ambitious client – and play my B2B marketing with a twist.