GDPR may be just around the corner, but it’s not too late to take control of your data and prepare your organization. Here, we outline five simple steps that can help you get on the path to continuous compliance.
With the deadline for GDPR closing in, it might be tempting to implement as many data protection measures as possible as quickly as possible. While this sense of urgency is warranted, as always a measured and strategic approach is best. Companies first need to understand GDPR, how it applies to them, and exactly what their obligations are. This will give them a clear view of the data management and protection measures they need to address their compliance needs.
To better monitor their data, organizations first need to make relevant information easily accessible to all the right people internally. Years of growth and diversification may have left them with disjointed systems and ways of working, making it difficult for individual teams to understand how their data fits in with data from across the organization. This makes customer information almost impossible to track in a cohesive way, which is why it’s crucial to centralise data and ensure it is constantly updated.
The next step for organizations is to facilitate the exchange of information between teams. They draw on more customer data from more touch-points than ever today to help personalise products or services, but this also means the information they collect is spread thinly across the organization. To gain a more accurate view of their data, organizations need to integrate their systems and processes so every team has access to the data they need.
With businesses collecting such large volumes of data at such a rapid rate, complexity quickly becomes the enemy of governance. Rather than opting for a breadth of technologies to manage this information, they may want to consider using a single system that sits across the organization and makes data management simple. Cloud-based applications are well-suited to this end, as they allow businesses to centralise both data and data-driven processes, making it easier to track where and how information is being used at all times.
New technologies can only go so far in making an organization GDPR compliant. As ever, change comes down to employees, culture and processes. Data protection must be baked into the organization’s DNA, from decisions made in the boardroom down to the way service teams interact with customers.
Much of the focus around GDPR has been on the cost organizations will incur if their data ends up in the wrong hands, but it’s worth remembering that above all else the law requires them to show they have the people, processes and technologies in place to protect their information. By following these simple steps organizations can put themselves in a better position to take control of their data.