Published: 20 April 2017

Reading time: About 4 minutes

By now we all know that the date for the GDPR implementation is looming. It’s May 2018 just in case you haven’t heard the news. But far from being an annoyance; GDPR is good for business. Yes, it’s vital that companies begin the process of becoming compliant with the new regulation. Obviously, it’s important not to wait too long to start the process.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, the GDPR provides the perfect opportunity for organisations to start understanding their data, processes and procedures. And more importantly, weed out the dead weight and become more efficient in the process.

Of course, a key motivation for many is threat of notably higher fines. These reach up to 4% of annual worldwide turnover from the preceding financial year, or 20 million euros, whichever is greater, for serious breaches of GDPR principles. However, it’s important to remember that the GDPR is going to replace the Data Protection Act, which is out of date and unfit for purpose. Its purpose is to provide organisations with an up-to-date framework to operate under, not to trip them up. With that in mind, let’s look at the 5 reasons GDPR is good for business:

1. Start Understanding Your Data

Using the power of the Cloud to organise your data requires more than simply uploading it and then forgetting about it. However, look at GDPR as the perfect time to begin categorising and understanding your data. You can start to generate real value from it, as well as getting rid of annoying data silos. Additionally, Cloud software is uniquely placed to enable you to keep track of your data, with tools available (such as AI.SYNCPOINT+) which will help you keep on top of governance regulations.

2. Weed Out the R.O.T

Did you know that, on average, 60-80% of the data most organisations are paying to store is redundant, obsolete and trivial (ROT)? That’s anything from emails, to HR records that can legally be destroyed. The new GDPR regulations stipulate your organisation must prove any data you hold on EU citizens is legally obtained. So it’s the perfect opportunity to start clearing out the unnecessary (and possibly non-compliant) data your organisation is paying to store. This will not only create clarity in your data storage but has the potential to generate significant cost savings.

3. The Right Time to Move to Cloud

Many organisations have been considering transitioning to Cloud services. Not only is the Cloud more efficient and scalable but it can also help promote better productivity within an organisation. The one thing that holds many back is a fear about data security. But, with Microsoft’s recent announcement that its Cloud services will be GDPR compliant has lessened this fear.

4. Find Out Who Really Wants to Interact With Your Organisation

The core principle of the GDPR is to ‘give citizens back the control of their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environments for international business by unifying regulation within the EU’. This means that it will become compulsory to get consent to store and use any EU citizen’s data. Ultimately having to obtain consent to process and use data is a golden ticket to warmer leads and customers. It’s safe to assume that if a lead has ticked the box saying they are happy to be contacted, they are at least interested in what your company is offering.

5. Greater Clarity, Less Room for Error

As mentioned above, the aim of the GDPR is not to trick organisations into making mistakes. Rather, it is designed to provide a clear framework for all organisations to work under. At present, the Data Protection act is a directive, which requires EU member states to achieve a specified result without dictating the means of achieving that result. Basically, this means that across Europe there are varying rules and stipulations regarding Data Protection and organisations have to be aware of them all in order to do business. The GDPR will bring an end to this, and in the process provide greater cohesion and stronger data protection.

Ultimately, the goal of the GDPR is to bring Data Protection regulations up to date. In the rapidly moving online world, we cannot continue to rely on regulations that were drawn up when dial up internet was the standard. So, whilst there is still a lot of work to be done before most organisations will be fully compliant, the reasons for doing so are a positive step forward.