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My view on the GDPR – “a positive step forward and a chance to think about how you manage your data”.

by Peter Fleming

For a number of us, Friday May 25th 2018 has been a date constantly on our minds. The GDPR and the impact it will have on our customers, our employees and our businesses has dominated the thoughts of everyone managing data and information. As the date draws nearer, the focus is increasingly on how we will process personal data and whether we’ll know if we are doing it in the best way.

However, instead of worrying, we should be looking at the opportunity the GDPR provides to focus on our customers and employees, to put these people first and rebuild trust and advocacy, and to create open, more transparent relationships with the people whose personal data we manage.

The GDPR is encouraging us to re-evaluate our relationship with personal data, to think about how and where it is stored and to look for ways to make it easier to handle. Beyond the GDPR deadline, and with the right information strategy in place at your organisation, your data could be easier to store, retrieve and use.

The GDPR couldn’t have come at a better time

In the last few years, we’ve seen and read stories about cyber-attacks, data leaks, and organisations mismanaging personal data – sometimes with global connotations.

Because of this coverage, customers are increasingly concerned with how organisations manage their personal data and are asking important questions. How do these organisations capture my data? Where do they store it? Who is it shared or even sold to? How is this personal data used and what decisions are made using my personal data? What are you doing to protect my data?

The GDPR has arrived at just the right time to answer these questions. By setting a minimum standard of security and transparency, we can ensure no matter how data changes in the future, the relationships we have built with our customers and employees will remain open, transparent and mutually beneficial.

Don’t just aim for compliance – try to become ‘compliant by design’

The GDPR is an opportunity to bring about change in the entire culture of information management. For those organisations who have neglected to think about their information strategies for many years, the GDPR is the catalyst for much-needed, long-overdue change. You can therefore choose to look at it as an opportunity to invest in an information approach that will help you manage new information with GDPR best practice in mind, rather than one that will simply make your existing data compliant and call it a day.

Furthermore, you can take this opportunity to re-align your business processes around information best practice, seeking long-term benefit and the chance to add value to your data and information. An approach that puts compliance at the heart of your day-to-day activities can provide all of this – it's a principle we call ‘compliance by design’.

To achieve a sustainable information strategy, look for tools that will help you to discover and manage your data and information long into the future. At Aiimi, our proprietary discovery platform, Insight Engine, provides an enterprise view of your information, helping you to understand what personal data you store, where you store it and who has access to it. InsightMaker provides you with knowledge about the management of your data across your organisation, irrespective of the systems you use to manage it.

Alongside InsightMaker, we provide consultancy to ensure your approach to managing personal data is in line with GDPR compliance, that it's sustainable and that it can provide long-term benefit to your business, employees and customers.

To put it simply, our approach helps to ensure GDPR compliance feels like a natural process. Not only is this approach helping organisations adapt to the GDPR in the short-term, it’s helping to ensure all data created by our clients in the future will be compliant by design.

The future under GDPR

The GDPR is a positive step forward for businesses, but it shouldn’t stop with short-term actions. This is a rare opportunity to think about how we manage our data – especially personal data – and embed new systems, policies and working practices that will truly deliver an enterprise understanding of information.

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