The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a significant piece of legislation in the field of personal data privacy. Often, GDPR is misunderstood and associated with the fines for non-compliance. While fines are certainly a possibility if a company does not comply, it is important for companies to understand the benefits of GDPR for themselves. If this is done correctly, the GDPR compliance approach can be much easier. (See also: Demystifying the most common GDPR myths.)
Let us understand the different ways in which GDPR is likely to help companies, if implemented correctly.
Where do most organisations stand today?
As companies grow, systems and processes evolve. As part of this growth, changes tend to be evolutionary. This means that certain basics, like keeping a register of data, may not always be in place. This leads to a situation wherein most companies cannot easily answer questions about what data they have, where it is stored, who it is being shared with, etc.
The benefits of GDPR
If companies invest in GDPR compliance in the right way, they will get the benefits from the following:
1) Make a register of data processing. That is, list what personal data is being captured, as well as when, for what purpose, and so on. And, this will bring a lot of insight into the data that exists in your company. Once your company knows all this, your investments into data analytics will become much more valuable than the usual current approach of taking your CRM systems and starting to analyse it.
2) Demonstrate transparency. Specify what data you collect, why you collect it, and how you process it. Again, doing so requires a huge effort, but once done correctly, your customers will have a lot of trust in what you do and why. Once they understand this, and feel confident about your approach, they should trust your company more. And, we all know customer trust is one of the core elements in the growth of any business.
3) Minimise the data that is collected. Now, this is easier said than done, but if a company really invests in minimising the data that is being collected, there can be immense benefits, like business processes will become efficient, the costs of storing data will be reduced because you reduce the data that is captured, and so on.
4) Secure the personal data. Security of data has always been a big topic. But, not every company has done enough. Now, GDPR asks for ensuring the security of personal data, and if this is done well, it should reduce the number of personal data breaches. And, if the number of breaches is reduced, it is certainly very good for business when examined through cost, reputation, and many other perspectives.
GDPR is not about fines. It is about being transparent and accountable while protecting personal data. And, if you do this well, your company has an opportunity to increase customer trust, generate more business, and reduce threats of personal data breaches. So, next time you have a conversation about GDPR, start with why it will be good for your business. And, being in business, you should have many more reasons than the ones listed above.
Use this free GDPR Readiness Assessment tool to find out what else you need to do to become compliant.