Action Week: Why digital trust is life in the fast line

Annie Turner caught up with Tesla’s first-ever CIO, Gene Glaudell, who explains how he got involved with TM Forum, why digital trust will make the world a better place and what we’re doing about it.

“I haven’t been this excited about going to work since I was the first CIO at Tesla Motors,” says Gene Glaudell.

What’s he so excited about? Digital trust, but let’s back up a bit. Two years ago, Glaudell was focused on global financial services and digital payments, and specializes in advising top execs about seemingly intractable business and technology issues.

He explains, “I came across a Commonwealth Bank of Australia case study and found TM Forum was central to its successful strategy, and of course financial services are now undergoing the same disruption that telecom has been going through for 15 years.”

Glaudell joined TM Forum, because he “recognized the value of its assets and community to jump start financial services’ taking the transformation journey too”. He got involved in the steering group for the Forum’s Internet of Everything program, its privacy efforts and work on the Digital Platform Reference Architecture.

The breadth and depth of this work brought home the critical and urgent importance of trust to every part of the digital world.

He states, “Platform-based businesses must create a trusted and secure ecosystem if they are to thrive.” This realization was endorsed by the fact that trust was found to be the second most important aspect of the IoE Roadmap of challenges, researched and published by the Forum last fall. “The big ah-ha was realizing that digital trust turns privacy and security risk management expenses into revenue-enhancing competitive advantage for digital ecosystems”

Glaudell carried out his own additional foundational research and here at Action Week in Lisbon has worked with the Forum’s members to explore ideas and validate interest. The next step will be to publish a whitepaper on digital trust very shortly. It will outline:

  • how and why digital trust is central to sustainable digital ecosystems (which in turn are a core part of the Forum’s focus);
  • the importance of transparency and that while establishing digital trust is essential in a world of partnerships and ecosystems, it requires a fundamental rethink of strategy, culture, people, processes and technology; and
  • the role of digital trust in enabling real-time, data-based decisions in ecosystems, including between IoT participants; this is a neglected area that urgently needs attention.
  • a Digital Trust Roadmap of Challenges

He concludes, “TM Forum is the natural place to do this work because of its open, collaborative nature and presence, because telecoms is core to the digital world, the right people are here and because digital trust will make the world a better place. Certainly I expect to be focused on it for the next several years.”


    About The Author

    Snr Director, Research & Media

    Annie Turner has been researching and writing about the communications industry since the 1980s, editing magazines dedicated to the subject including titles published by Thomson International and The Economist Group. She has contributed articles to many publications, including national and international newspapers such as the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, and a multitude of business-to-business titles. She joined the TM Forum in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing the content of the Research and Publications portfolio.

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