The General Data Protection Act (GDPR) was introduced in May 2018 to a huge furor. Headlines were made as companies scrambled to ensure that they were fully compliant with all of the new rules. In truth, businesses had no excuse for this panic: The GDPR was passed into law two years earlier, in 2016, giving organizations a lengthy grace period.
However, the truth is that many companies still are still unsure of their GDPR compliance. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can turn GDPR into a positive for your business and an opportunity for growth and development.
A chance to modernize your system
The GDPR could be the perfect rationale to upgrade and modernize your IT system. Your organization can benefit enormously, not only from the perspective of controlling personal data but also from an operational standpoint.
For example, you might be working with a large number of paper documents that are difficult to keep track of, especially as your business grows. The GDPR can provide you with the impetus to move to a fully digital system, which will be easier to work with and also support compliance.
Develop trust in your brand
The GDPR coming into force revealed just how little many consumers knew about the way businesses were using their information. Indeed, it might have come as a shock to many organizations that they would have to alter the ways they had been using customer data. But businesspeople might also have been surprised to learn that their customers had very little understanding of this usage.
This indicates that there is a huge opportunity for brands to develop trust by being open, honest, and proactive in informing customers about how their data will be used. Research shows that many customers are willing to have their data used in a way that benefits them. For example, 44% are happy to share data their data if they are sent relevant offers. Hence, you can use the GDPR as the rationale to provide your customers with additional information about how you are maintaining data security and to offer them the opportunity to receive offers and further details.
Some businesses are under the misapprehension that basic GDPR compliance means they no longer need to worry about it. However, the truth is that your organization requires regular reassessment to ensure you are keeping up with trends and updates.
This presents another opportunity. Understanding what is expected from a GDPR perspective helps you better defend against cyber attacks. A key aspect of GDPR compliance is the need to maintain cybersecurity that adequately protects personal data.
Making major changes to your system is a big undertaking, and it might not be easy to get leadership approval. However, you can build the business case by explaining that the system needs to be upgraded for full legal compliance – and it is also a chance to improve operational performance and risk management. Powerful cybersecurity is a big benefit to your business, and complying with the GDPR might be the motivating factor that convinces your leaders to make the proper investment.
Ultimately, the GDPR was not brought in to punish businesses, but rather to protect citizens and make the rules clear. The greater emphasis on using data correctly and defending the company’s digital assets can only be seen as a positive.
Building Digital Trust is crucial when so much of the world’s business is conducted online without face-to-face interactions.