The GDPR deadline is nearly upon us, and while for many companies, it has felt like a rush, panic and burden to ensure they are fully compliant in time, it is important to realise that there are actually benefits of GDPR to you as a business or individual.
With the introduction of high fines for non-compliance becoming a significant risk to most businesses and the difficult task of creating a strategy to ensure compliance, it is easy to think that GDPR is all doom and gloom. In fact, there are many benefits of the new data privacy laws for both organisations and individuals.
The benefits of GDPR
Organised and localised data
There is no doubt that getting all the data for your business in order will require considerable investment. Furthermore, many companies need to hire a Data Protection Officer to ensure they are GDPR compliant. While the initial project may be a challenge, the benefits of having organised and localised data make that initial investment worthwhile. Having a data-centric approach and a robust framework for your databases means you will know exactly what information you have available to you, and where it is stored.
The new regulations encourage firms to consolidate personal data into one unified platform, giving the opportunity for businesses to better respond to customer requests, engage with them in ways they prefer, and ultimately innovate the way they interact.
Build customer loyalty
One of the major benefits to businesses is the enhanced trust that you will build with your customers. Currently, individuals generally do not trust companies to protect their personal data. So much so that in 2015, Eurobarometer conducted a survey which found that eight out of ten respondents felt they do not have control over their data.
Being able to prove to your customers that you are ‘cyber safe’ will be a significant selling point for businesses in all industries. It provides an important marketing message to sell your business, attract new customers and maintain existing ones. The added layer of security that GDPR offers to both your business and its customers can act as powerful leverage against other companies that are not as invested in data security.
This benefit might seem a bit counter-intuitive to businesses that are having to invest in new systems, applications and team members to meet the strict GDPR laws. In reality, after the initial outgoings of becoming compliant, the cost of staying compliant will in most cases, actually save you money.
It is estimated that the total savings will amount to around €2.3 billion a year. At the moment, companies need to deal with country-specific data protection laws, which can mean working with up to 28 different local authorities and regulatory experts at one time. GDPR is providing one reformed set of regulations that all businesses in the European Union must comply with.
Another way that GDPR will cut costs for your business is by forcing you to undergo a thorough data audit and get rid of any data that is no longer required or useful. Many organisations have duplicated and unnecessary copies of digital data which they are paying to keep and store online. Once you have had a thorough clear out of this data, you will know you are only paying for the information that is actually valuable to your business.
Most people are now aware of the high compliance fines that are coming into force with GDPR in May 2018, but that is not the only reason to ensure you are fully compliant and keeping your customer data secure.
A security breach can cause huge brand and reputational damage, even more so if your company ends up being taken to court and into the media. Market research has shown that over 50% of security breaches are a result of careless employees. This figure shows how important it is to not only invest in ensuring your software is compliant, but also that your staff are fully trained on how to handle customer data securely. With this, you receive the benefit of protecting your brand and having confidence in your team.
Accurate customer information
Getting GDPR-ready will improve the level of accuracy within your database. The new regulations will mean that customers not only have access to the data you hold about them but can also validate and update it when they please. This customer right does already exist; however, the new regulations require the data controller to rectify any identified errors when they are made aware of them, meaning the information on file will be greatly improved.
Better protection for individuals
In addition to all of these benefits to businesses and organisations, there is also a huge benefit to everyone within the EU as individuals and consumers. GDPR means that your personal data will be much safer and in turn making you better protected against cybercrime.
Some of the regulations included have been around one way or another for many years but will now have much higher consequences when breached. One essential addition is the ‘right to be forgotten’ which allows you to request that all of your personal data be completely removed from a business database.
Realise the benefits with Cyan Solutions
It is no doubt that preparing for the upcoming GDPR is a top priority for thousands of organisations across the globe, and it will not be a quick and easy fix. Even so, the changes required to be GDPR compliant can also be seen as essential competitor differentiators in the future. To ensure you are embracing GDPR in the best possible way for your business, get in touch with our team of experts at Cyan Solutions who can make getting GDPR-ready stress-free and painless for your business.