Published on in Digital Transformation

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a hot topic for boards, business leaders and IT professionals alike.

But it’s not just about proving compliance to regulators after 25th May 2018. GDPR is designed to result in a single, uniform set of data regulations.

Businesses compliance will be critical for building trust and earning loyalty as well as becoming a commercial differentiator. Individuals will want to know they can trust your organisation to protect their personal data.

Some see these additional requirements as a threat. For the more progressive thinkers, however, the new law offers a huge incentive to establish the data-driven organisation they’ve always wanted in a time when much more data is being collected.

It’s also a great opportunity to improve customer relationships and encourage openness and transparency.

The potential fines for non-compliance have grabbed much of the headlines on the topic, but data-savvy organisations will see that being compliant ahead of schedule offers a number of clear commercial opportunities:

  • A smooth transition to the new world of GDPR – with everything in place ahead of the deadline, there is no cause for alarm or extra cost of going about business as usual.
  • The ability to act faster than others – with strong data management and governance, you can use facts rather than opinion to make decisions, and you can make those decisions faster than competitors who’ve lagged behind in the way they check and use data.
  • Monetising data compliance by earning customer trust – with the ability to prove to people that you can protect their personal data, you will become a trusted and ‘go-to’ brand – retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.
  • Improved business reputation – major data breaches regularly make headlines, but organisations of all sizes can fall victim. In a 2016 survey, nearly half of all Irish businesses had suffered a cyber-attack, more than double that of just a few years earlier. And human error is also a major factor in security breaches. With the real threat of a data breach, being certified as GDPR-compliant is going to be a major plus in marketing terms, boosting your business’s security reputation in the eyes of potential customers.
  • More accurate data – getting GDPR-ready will improve the accuracy levels of data stored in a company’s database because it will allow not just to access their personal data but the ability to inspect and validate the stored information. This already exists to a degree, but since the new regulations will require data controllers to rectify any identified errors it means the accuracy of data stored will be greatly improved.

On the face of it, GDPR may seem like a rigorous and annoying compliance burden. And that’s precisely why many companies have delayed in planning for it. But if you view it instead as an opportunity for change and improvement, it could have a positive impact on your sales and marketing operations.

With revamped processes, increased transparency, better data quality, greater customer engagement and improved security, you will generate and build customer trust as data privacy and protection becomes embedded throughout your organisation.

In turn, this will help drive sales, enhance customer retention and boost your profitability. And having a strong data management and analytics capability will give you hindsight, insight and foresight. GDPR has the potential to open the door to many opportunities that will make sound commercial sense.

The fact no two organisations are the same means there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to GDPR. That is why a risk-based, tailored approach is the most effective way to achieve compliance and realise the commercial potential of data protection.

Talk to us today to find out how we can help your organisation with GDPR issues

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Caragh O’Carroll

Head of Partner Management at Fujitsu Ireland
Caragh heads Partner Management at Fujitsu Ireland driving growth in the Retail, Transport and Utilities sector.

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