Privacy, security, and protection are some of the most crucial issues facing both individuals and organisations worldwide today. We live in the digital age and privacy in the digital age must account for the data that defines our lives. Data is our identity. We function in a data economy. Protecting our identities means protecting our data. People are painfully aware of the constant risk of their personal information being stolen and misused, and hackers and criminals are always one step ahead of the curve. That is why it is up to companies and organisations to enforce better security measures and enhanced data organisation. And those measures and organising principles will come to have greater definition in May 2018, when new EU legislation will pass entitled the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.
While some business leaders will feel the imposition of stricter regulations as a burden, others might view it in a more positive light. Computacenter, working with IBM, takes the latter opinion and aims to help organisations embrace the GDPR with open arms. The new law is fundamentally about the right to privacy and control over data. For companies, GDPR compliance will mean the development of state-of-the-art technology to facilitate a deeper understanding of their data in order to ensure that everything is always where it should be. IBM’s Governance, Regulatory, and Legal Consultant, Greg Campbell argues that this can only be a good thing for businesses that are ready to adopt new approaches. He say, “Getting to the state of organisational and technical maturity that the GDPR by implication suggests is appropriate has the potential to pay dividends in terms of unlocking the true potential of data though organisational and technological efficiencies.”
Not only will companies see enhanced technological efficiency, as Campbell points out, but they will also have the opportunity to build trust with their client base. Colin Williams, Computacenter’s Chief Technologist focusing on Networking, Security, and Digital Collaboration, puts it this way: “The regulation calls for ‘state-of-the-art’ systems, which means you’ll be judged on your efforts to improve your security should the worst happen. You need to show that you’ve actively invested in protecting data. Don’t do it as a defensive measure – do it because it helps you get closer to your customers and shows that you’re on their side.”
While the fines for non-compliance with the GDPR may be damaging—they could be as high as 4% of a company’s global turnover—these should not be the main incentive for getting security measures up to speed. Rather the incentive exists in the chance to innovate and streamline the way data is accessed, organised, managed, and protected, leading to greater overall performance and potential. Computacenter and IBM view the GDPR as a golden opportunity. The question is, are you and your team members ready?