GDPR: create opportunity from change

Surely everyone is aware by now that the new General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on May 25th? But back in September last year, a post by Steve Norledge of IBM about GDPR quoted a survey from Spiceworks* which found that 60% of companies had not started any GPR compliance activities at that point, and that 15% had no plans to do anything about GDPR in the subsequent 12 months!

GDPR is designed to bring regulation up to date with today’s world where we, as individuals, share much more of our personal data. The intention of the regulation is that our data will be better protected and we will be safer from any harm should those data become compromised. As we’ve pointed out in a previous blog post, this can only be a good thing for us as individuals.

But there’s a further business opportunity that IBM identifies. Any company can respond to GDPR by grasping the opportunity to improve its data governance, streamline its data collection and processing, make its data storage more secure and resilient and improve its internal processes. By doing so it would demonstrate that it values and safeguards the personal data of its clients and prospects. It can then use this as a differentiator in the marketplace.

Far from seeing the upcoming shifts as a burden, CIOs should approach them as an opportunity: to both improve their brand value in the marketplace and to improve their business value by making operational improvements.

Steve Norledge, IBM

The post also quotes a recent KPMG survey* that found more than half of respondents were concerned about how companies use their personal data. As the author points out, this represents an opportunity to build that trust and build a brand in the marketplace that people trust with their personal data.

Beyond this, GDPR also represents an opportunity to improve operational efficiencies, reduce operating costs and improve security.

We have talked to businesses that are reluctantly diverting some of their “Digital Transformation” budget to implement GDPR compliance. But in many businesses there’s an opportunity to do the reverse – to use the compliance budget to actually transform the business.

Our approach is Digital Evolution. It’s Digital Transformation taken one step at a time, each step delivering real business value – allowing everyone to adapt to the change while continuing to run business as usual. It’s evolution rather than revolution – it achieves the transformation of the business via an easier to manage and easier to embrace path. And it can deliver GDPR compliance along the way.

If this seems like a sensible approach – by all means read the IBM white paper linked in the article, but then give us a call about how to do the implementation.


*Links to these surveys are provided at the end of the IBM article.