Data protection, or more specifically GDPR, is very much the talk of the town at the moment. And it's understandable too, because the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation will change the way so many businesses deal with their customer data. It wouldn't be remiss to describe it as perhaps the biggest shake-up of global privacy laws for the EU in decades.
In this post I’m not going to list all the changes, because if you’ve done your research, you know them already. What I’m interested in looking at are the positive changes the new regulations can bring.
So when you're steeling yourself to take on the task of getting compliant before 25 May, maybe refer back to some of these more positive points (it might make the job a little easier).
Getting ahead of the curve
Processes for handling personal information can often be overlooked. Yet mishandled data, left unchecked and un-cared for, can serve up the most time-consuming and costly curveballs. Well, funnily enough, GDPR could save the day. But it's not just about avoiding sanctions. There are some real, tangible, benefits that will make sense to any business, large or small. Here are just a few of them.
1. It’s time for a spring clean
With Spring finally on its way (give or take the odd snow flurry as I write this!), this is the time of year to de-clutter. And whilst daunting at first, a spring clean never fails to make everything look and feel better. Right now, you're probably holding on to much more data than you will ever use. That's cold hard cash, both in terms of storage space and hours of wasted time wading through useless files. GDPR requires you to ditch anything you do not have a use for, and in the process will cut your costs.
2. Working smarter
Good process is built on efficiency, and efficiency leads to good process, and GDPR proves no exception to that rule. Under GDPR, you’ll need to be able to retrieve and even delete personal data as soon as a customer requests it, so here are a couple of ways that preparing yourself for GDPR can make you a more customer-focused organisation.:
Here are a couple of ways in which complying with GDPR could help your business run even more smoothly:
- Better service through improvements in service process
- Employees spend less time seeking, retrieving and copying information
- Better sight of risks and actions in place to reduce the impact of risks that become issues
3. Building customer loyalty
Trust - it’s one of the most powerful ingredients for business. But the harsh reality is – what takes months or even years to build can dissolve in seconds.
Again, the new GDPR regulations can help with that. We already have many EU regulations that protect personal data. But with the new laws, businesses now have an extra obligation to also protect the customer privacy. If you can put a big tick in the box marked GDPR compliance you're not only enhancing company reputation, but also strengthening customer confidence, because they’ll know their data is safe with you. If their data is safe with you, they’re more likely to leave it with you.
4. The sting in the tail
I've listed a few benefits there in the hope that they help you remember exactly why you are embarking on this grand clean up of your data. But if that wasn't enough, let’s not forget about the potential fine of £20m or 4% of your annual turnover! That’s a game changer for any business.
The long and the short of it is that there are so many resources out there to make some serious changes to your use of personal data – some scary, but also some which could provide serious value to your business. So make sure you take some time to understand what these changes really involve and what's required of you and your teams. It might seem quite a daunting road at first, but we've created an off-the-shelf GDPR course that can help you along the way. The course will help you identify the fundamental changes, principles and definitions around GDPR regulations, so that you and your teams can feel prepared.
As you will no doubt have worked out from this post, I am responsible for building courses. We always try and give our courses something different – a personal touch, you could call it – which is not always easy. But GDPR was different. Far from being a stale compliance topic, GDPR is all about the personal touch. The simple fact: There is no-one reading this blog that doesn’t have a personal investment in GDPR, whether you’re a business owner, employee or consumer - this topic matters to all of us. If I can help companies, even in a small way, take better care of our personal data, then I will be happy. So much so that it would almost be selfish... if it not for all the juicy GDPR benefits that I have outlined in this post! GDPR may well be the perfect example of win-win.
If you have any questions about the course or would like to talk to the team about getting GDPR ready please get in touch.