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100 Days to GDPR: Are you ready for it?

It’s the final countdown to the biggest change to data protection and privacy regulations in 20 years. Just how ready are you for the new regime and the opportunities it will bring?

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GDPR in 100 days

May 25th will be here before we know it and many of us are in the middle of frenetic activity getting our houses in order. But this work is much more than about just ticking boxes to ensure the minimum compliance requirements are met. The new rules represent a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the relationship between businesses and their customers. And those businesses that properly understand and manage this change will be the ones that can benefit from the opportunities it brings. So, at this critical stage in the lead up to GDPR, we need to ask ourselves, just how ready are we to meet this challenge?

Are you ready for the regulation?

GDPR’s prime objective is to give consumers more control over their personal data and how it is used. It will be compulsory for businesses to implement and practice responsible data process management (if they haven’t been already) with more transparency and accountability to their customers. This includes the key requirements of having a legal and legitimate reason to process any personal data, as well as the technical platforms and systems in place to ensure such data is fully secured. Alongside that, customers must be told clearly and directly how their data is being used.

The most important task you can undertake in the GDPR run-up is a full audit of all the data you hold. Conducting such an impact assessment will establish both source and the legitimacy of the data use, helping you retain access to a critical business asset. Audits also answer other important regulatory questions such as knowing where your customer data sits within the organisation; who has access to it; and what processes are in place to ensure data was collected and is being used responsibly. In parallel, the assessment needs to establish that your data processing systems are able to meet the new transparency standards of the regulation including having a clear audit trail of all activities; giving customers the ability to easily access and rectify their personal data; the right to data portability; and for the client to withdraw consent and to have their data deleted from your systems.

Businesses that fail to become compliant and practise responsible data processing risk not only being subjected to hefty fines, but losing customer loyalty as well.

Are you ready for the opportunities?

May 25 represents a big milestone for GDPR, but it’s only the first stage of a much longer journey. Businesses will need to develop a long-term strategy for GDPR compliance. Done properly, this creates the foundation for ongoing customer engagement and long-term brand loyalty. Because consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their data privacy rights and sensitive to how their information is being used, they’ll be more likely to do business with those companies that are upfront about how their information is processed and the benefits they get as a result.

A global survey found that ‘81% of consumers will be more likely to share their personal data once the regulation is in place’. The value for both parties will be in having highly-targeted, logged-in experiences compared to anonymous web browsing. ‘Personalisation with consent’ will become the new normal as your customers seek control over the experience that you provide. This shift in power is beneficial as it will help reduce the admin overhead of data cleaning exercises, making it easier for businesses to ensure they hold compliant data and are delivering to the consumer what they want, when they want it. Businesses that prove to be more customer/data centric will likely gain the most from GDPR by developing deeper trusted relationships with their audience and delivering a more relevant customer experience. And this will flow through to the bottom line.

The opportunity is huge, so preparing for the long-term implications of GDPR should therefore be approached just like any other business growth strategy. But putting in the effort now will pay real dividends in the long term.

How can we help?

Our platforms have GDPR compliance baked in. They have been designed to create highly personalised and intuitive user experiences that engage your audience through the collection of real-time data, including web activity. To support this, a Trust Centre provides full transparency and allows consumers to directly manage their data using comprehensive self-service features. And data quality dashboards enable you to have a comprehensive view of data held and its compliance. This is complemented by workflow tools that allow you to stay on top of all incoming GDPR-related communications and requests. Put together this powerful suite of tools gives you everything you need to make a success of GDPR.

To learn how our platforms can help your organisation become compliant with the new regulations and provide you with ongoing opportunities in the GDPR world, please contact us on 0207 766 9810 or email info@abacusemedia.com.

 

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