Despite having had more than a year to establish enterprise-wide compliance with GDPR, many UK businesses are still running massive risks by failing to do so. What’s more, with artificial intelligence (AI) now having a tangible effect on business through the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and other innovations, and with cybercriminals operating at an industrial scale, the problems caused by non-compliance are set to get much, much worse.
Yet, research conducted in late 2018 found more than 70% of businesses failed to meet GDPR requirements, with retailers being particularly lax. At least some of this non-compliance is due to businesses being frankly unaware of the data that have and where it is stored, but regardless of cause, a more recent study shows that the lack of compliance persists.
In 2019 and beyond, this is simply not a tangible position for any business to hold. Far from being just another admin burden, GDPR is a vital safeguard against proliferating threats and a practical means by which to optimise the use of data. It could be argued that GDPR has come at exactly the right time, as digital transformation in our personal and business lives makes data one of the most valuable commodities around. Data is power. Companies who can access, use and process their data optimally can turn that ability into a serious commercial advantage. Which begs the question, why would managers not prioritise GDPR compliance?
Why does GDPR compliance matter?
Failure to comply with GDPR can lead to crippling financial punishment from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) but perhaps more worrying is the threat of reputational damage. In a global marketplace being transformed by digital, success lies in the ability to process data in a way that facilitates engagement with customers, and personalised client journeys. The loss of reputation that accompanies a data breach or GDPR transgression threatens that possibility: studies show that 80% of customers will abandon a company in light of a data breach and 87% will defect to a competitor if they don’t trust the company to handle their data properly.
Source: Financial Director