That’s the percentage of CEOs who say society wants
companies to take on greater public responsibility than five
years ago, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey of 391 CEOs (PDF format) at companies in 23
industries on six continents.
The public, McKinsey found, wants companies to be involved
in such causes as keeping the food supply safe and increasing
the healthfulness of food, building in ways that are
environmentally sustainable and helping curb the spread of
It all boils down to trust. Customers increasingly say they
need to trust a company before buying products and services,
McKinsey says. Companies, therefore, needs to grow and keep
their reputation as trustworthy.
IT leaders can either help that cause or blow it: TJX’s stolen customer credit card data, Gap’s breach
of personal data on 800,000 job applicants, and TD
database of information on 6.3 million customers all
show the downside of a tarnished reputation.
Your company can be curing AIDS, stopping child labor,
inventing the world’s first no-emissions vehicle and all
sorts of other noble things. But if you expose your
customers’ information, if you don’t protect it,
there goes your image.