With thousands of developers, publishers, authors, designers, production houses, and distributors, Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platform is a complex ecosystem of relationships. Collaboration within this ecosystem is key to producing a high-quality product that attracts top talent and satisfies consumers, but Microsoft recognized the sticking points that needed to be addressed.
A multitude of manual processes and siled systems meant that developers and publishers could not tie complex royalty calculations to the underlying data. As a result, they had to spend time and resources reconciling, validating and recalculating royalties to verify accuracy.
To reduce complexity and increase confidence in data, Microsoft and EY have partnered to co-develop the world’s first blockchain-based financial records system for end-to-end royalty transaction processing, from contract creation. integration with SAP for payments. The blockchain solution provides near real-time access to reliable transaction data from source systems to game publishers.
The result? Publishers can access information on royalties earned in just four minutes instead of 45 days after month end. Royalty administration costs have been reduced. There is greater visibility of the underlying data. Microsoft benefits from faster, more efficient processes and lower operational costs.
With confidence, everything goes easier. Collaboration is easier. Innovation is a source of value. The technology can be deployed quickly. But getting there is far from easy.
We live in an age of increasingly smarter technologies, where an organization’s ability to be trusted really matters. But the way data and smart technologies like AI are used creates significant confidence gaps. For example, the public believes that smart technology is moving too fast and that regulators cannot keep up, as shown in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020.
There are many high profile examples of data misuse and unintended outcomes of AI use that have contributed to these gaps. One example was in June when an AI tool to reconstruct pixelated photos turned a photo of Barack Obama into a white man. It has become a hot topic of debate in the AI community: Was the bias to create more photos of white people than of people of color the result of incomplete data or indicative of racial bias? integrated with AI from undiversified data sets and development teams?
Gaps in trust have reframed the question “Can technology do this?” in “Should technology do this?” It is no longer a question of capabilities. It’s about trusting the intelligence a business uses and on which customers, markets, regulators and ecosystems rely. Can businesses and government organizations guarantee the results of their technologies? Without trust, an organization’s ability to function and innovate is diminished.
Confidence in data and technology results from action. There are methods and techniques that integrate trust in data, systems and business models to create lasting value. At EY, we call it Trusted Intelligence.
Trust must be designed from the start. Trusted Intelligence embeds trust in a tangible way that encompasses behaviors, processes, business models, and results as data flows through the organization – accelerating transformation and lasting value.
Going back to the history of Xbox, we can see how trust was built into business intelligence:
- Data from a multitude of manual workflows and non-integrated systems has been replaced with reliable data
- Reliable data is also created by automating complex royalty calculations, product tokenization and smart contract integration using AI based on secure cloud technologies.
- Trust is maintained through the blockchain-based recording system that generates invoices and statements with integration with SAP for settlement and processing of payments, as well as post-accounting journals
- And finally, trust is embedded in the way people work by applying clear rules and transparent processes.
As businesses seek competitive advantage, the application of Trusted Intelligence offers a new frontier of opportunities to accelerate digital transformation.
While the digital transformation was well underway before the pandemic, Covid-19 has picked up the pace. In a recent EY webcast on the impact of Covid-19 with nearly 2,000 attendees, 82% said they are accelerating digital transformation.
This confirms what we are experiencing with our customers in the market. We know that those who achieve radical and exponential value creation respond to three key factors:
- The ability to put humans at the center what they do: when it comes to customers, it’s not “How do we get more customers to buy what we make or do?” but “How can we give customers more of what they want?” This new state of mind is supported by committed and motivated employees.
- Deployment technology in speed: today’s customers and employees demand speed. This means automation through AI and other smart technologies, as well as cloud-based services. This means using agile methodologies and technology that help you respond to dynamic conditions.
- Innovate on a large scale: Organizations need to innovate at two levels – survival today and success tomorrow. Collaboration is the name of the game, for example across ecosystems and alliances. Innovative ideas must be built using big data, smart technologies and reliable cloud infrastructure.
Each of these pilots is amplified by Trusted Intelligence. Embedding trust is how organizations can close trust gaps and accelerate their digital transformation.
Put trusted intelligence on your agenda
Intelligence and the value of trust are inextricably linked, and more value creates more trust. There are some fundamental questions that organizations and governments must address to close the trust gap, capitalize on transformation, and gain competitive advantage:
- Should I trust my data, technologies and automated processes?
- Should I trust the data, technologies and automated processes in my ecosystems?
- Does my ecosystem trust my data, technologies and automated processes?
These questions define the strategies, investments and actions of organizations as they reshape their business models.
As businesses and governments transform to meet new challenges, it is essential to put Trusted Intelligence at the heart of operations. As the Xbox example shows, smart technologies such as blockchain can build trust in the data and the platform, thereby increasing transparency. With reliable data and technology, a business can move forward confidently and quickly.
Businesses driven by trust will be able to harness the three drivers of transformation: people, technology and innovation. They will be able to get ahead of their competitors. To shape new markets. To lead to better futures.
This content was produced by EY. It was not written by the editorial staff of MIT Technology Review.