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Nearly 1 Year On, How Has GDPR Affected Businesses?

ByDave Stopher

Mar 21, 2019

It’s been almost a year since the new GDPR rules came into play, forcing businesses to change their practices in order to meet the tighter data regulations. Prior to the rules changing in May 2018, businesses were desperately trying to make the changes required in order to avoid potentially high fines.

So, now that it’s been almost a year since the regulations were introduced, how has it affected businesses?

Some businesses still have long way to go to be compliant

After six months of the new GDPR regulations coming into play, many businesses reportedly still had a long way to go to comply. The reasons behind this include issues with data sprawl, uncertainty surrounding data ownership and the sheer volume of customer data collected.

Large businesses in particular are struggling to comply due to how many systems they have in place managing their data. A recent poll found that the average large business uses approximately 24 systems to store and manage its data. In fact, 1 in 5 large businesses use over 40 systems, making it clear just how difficult it is to ensure they are complying with new regulations.

Although as it stands, the maximum fine for failing to meet GDPR has yet to be issued, some businesses such as a Portuguese hospital, have been penalised. Compliance complaints are also on the increase as consumers become more aware of the regulations businesses now need to be following. This means, businesses can no longer afford to ignore GDPR and hope for the best.

Is it impossible to fully comply with GDPR?

Recent research carried out by EY, suggest the majority of companies aren’t able to fully satisfy the GDPR terms. In fact, 1 out of 5 businesses claimed they felt it was impossible to fully comply with the new regulations.

However, despite many businesses believing meeting GDPR rules is impossible, 44% feel that their business either almost or fully meets he regulations. The ways businesses have worked towards being fully compliant include training, technological developments and hiring data protection officers.

What about the positive impact of GDPR?

Not all businesses report a negative experience surrounding the GDPR regulations. IT professionals see the changes as positive for commercial operations. Just 18% of IT decision makers claim GDPR has had a negative impact on their business. In contrast, 53% claim it has had, or is going to have, a positive impact.

Companies which are having issues complying with GDPR regulations can make the process a little easier by ensuring they have better systems in place. Companies such as SSG Insight for example, can help to provide full computerised management systems.

Overall, nearly a year after GDPR was introduced, some businesses are still struggling to meet the new regulations. However, there certainly hasn’t been an overly negative impact on businesses like it was previously expected. There are things businesses can do if they feel they are struggling to become fully compliant and investing in better computer systems is just one of them.