The waiting is over and GDPR is upon us. Hopefully, organisations will have spent recent months developing a personal data governance programme and ensuring their compliance with the new regulations.
But it’s not just about compliance. A company that has spent thousands on its GDPR strategy will want to look for a return on that considerable investment. That means looking beyond the regulatory standards and discovering how a business that understands and complies with GDPR – and ideally, even goes further than the processes the regulations demand – can use its newfound expertise to create a genuine competitive advantage.
As organisations become increasingly digitally driven – with the implementation of new IT systems, connected devices etc. – there is a clear need to get to grips with personal data governance. Failing to do so will harm the business through a combination of data leaks and attacks, unnecessary data storage and management costs, poor data compliance, and potentially even large fines and reputational damage.
But by the same token, organisations that have developed appropriate data management and governance processes are placed ahead of the game when it comes to digital transformation and will be able to leverage that expertise.
Under GDPR, EU individuals have a number of rights over their personal data that are now enshrined in law, including the right of access, the right to be informed and the right of erasure.
Having rights is one thing, but individuals also need means by which they can actively pursue them. They must be able to invoke their rights and have access to a mechanism to track and trace progress in the fulfilment of their requests. Simply meeting the basic regulatory requirements in a secure and timely manner presents significant challenges.
However, this is about much more than just satisfying a regulatory obligation. Successful implementation requires proper integration with customer/employee lifecycle management processes and systems. Organisations must acknowledge that they are competing for personal data and, if they want to keep it, they need to keep individual data subjects happy.
Those that do will be more attractive to an increasingly GDPR-savvy populace, showing that they are a trustworthy data guardian.
As time moves on post-GDPR, consumers will increasingly recognise the value of their personal data to organisations. They may even monetise that data by ‘selling’ it to trusted brands – either directly or through information exchanges.
The current ‘surveillance by design’ culture – with value derived from behavioural tracking – will move towards the inverse ‘privacy by design’ approach. We might see more personal data exchanges, where organisations share individuals’ data with their willing consent. And again, only those businesses capable of providing that level of trust and service will thrive.
What’s increasingly evident is that GDPR is more than compliance – it is a real opportunity to drive ROI, but only when managed correctly. To find out more, please contact us at +44 (0)20 3582 5055 or get a demo here.