Fostering Trust in a Digital World – Establishing a Trust Organization
In 2020, I founded the Chief Trust Office at SAP with the purpose of shaping the global security narrative, dedicate resources to transparency on security, privacy, and compliance, and reinforce our reputation as a trusted business partner. Since then, we have overcome challenges and crises with tenacity and teamwork and have accomplished more than we could have planned when the organization was established.
We have outlined our mission and accomplishments in our first Annual Message titled “Fostering Trust in a Digital World” (log-in required). This message is meant to share our perspective and commitment to trust, how we shape and deliver on customer commitments, and how we foster trust across our ecosystem with our stakeholders. In this blog, I’ll share key takeaways and concepts from my inaugural Annual Message.
What Trust Means for SAP
Trust is the invisible thread that makes or breaks business relationships and the foundation on which businesses are built. In the last few years, it has evolved from a simple abstract concept and unspoken rule of business to a growing business category.
SAP believes that fostering customer trust is paramount. We explore the realm of trust in the context of security privacy, compliance, and transparency.
Figure 1: SAP’s Concept of Trust
We understand that implementing the right controls and embedding security into product development is just as important as keeping our customers and partners informed about our security policy and processes. Engaging without our customers, acquiring the appropriate certifications for industry standards, and educating our employees on how to protect SAP data and our customers’ data are just a few examples of how we meet our customers’ business needs within this context.
Mission of the Chief Trust Office
Our world is growing increasingly depending on digital environments, which requires software providers to balance the needs of security, privacy, and the customer experience through trust. Understanding the growing need for this business category, the Chief Trust Office was established.
Our organization aims to drive core leadership in setting responsible policies, frameworks, and processes with our customers and users serving as our best example. We remain committed to scaling trust and transparency in the field by:
- Strengthening trust with our customers and cloud technologies by building a strong security foundation
- Providing smoother communications between our business units
- Offering greater transparency to our customers to foster trust and long-term relationships
- Helping to shape the global security narrative by setting new limits on existing industry standards
In delivering on our commitments, the Chief Trust Office at SAP has increased the scope and strategic responsibilities to help serve as an organizational catalyst in this important differentiation on trust and transparency.
Trust in Action
In “Fostering Trust in a Digital World”, we have multiple examples of how the Chief Trust Office fosters trust with our customers. A notable example is our effort to invest in tomorrow’s cybersecurity workforce.
The Chief Trust Office launched a program in 2021 that aims to invest in innovative security-focused programs with the primary goals of facilitating collaboration between universities and industry, which are critical for developing early talent and narrowing the gap in the cybersecurity workforce. Through hosting and participating in university events like career exploration workshops, an Inter-University Cybersecurity Range, and other events, we’ve expanded our talent community and empowered early talent with skills necessary to excel in a career in cybersecurity.
To read more about SAP’s commitment to trust, more recent examples of demonstrated trust with contributions of the Chief Trust Office, and more insights from my team, please read the complete Annual Message “Fostering Trust in a Digital World” on the SAP My Trust Center (log-in required), or reach out directly.