Information and communication technologies now play a central role in driving efficiency and productivity improvements through dematerialization and automation for most businesses. This trend is being further strengthened with the continuing influence and adoption of new disruptive technologies like Big Data, Analytics, Internet of Things and Mobility. The trend of disintermediation is changing the way customer and business interactions takes place. Disintermediation gives consumers direct access to information that otherwise would require a mediator. As a result, new business models are being created and e-commerce is gaining wide acceptance. Unique opportunities for product innovation made possible by IT is resulting in democratization of ICT making technology more accessible and affordable to customers. All these trends contribute to IT becoming ubiquitous in everyday life addressing different needs of end users.
However, technology is not without its associated risks and challenges. The pervasive nature of technology also raises concerns related to data mismanagement, increase in surveillance, loss of privacy, and possible abuse. WEF Global Risks Report 2016 lists large-scale cyber-attacks and major data fraud/theft among the top 10 in terms of likelihood. Customer stewardship hinges on meeting customer expectations by being responsive to the emerging trends and offering portfolio of products and services which integrate resource efficiency, dematerialization, organizational transparency, connectedness and collaboration. Engaging with customers is critical to meet customer expectations and it is the foundation on which stewardship rests.