Power to the People!
The digital revolution means so much disparate data, have the regulations cleared this up...
In the 20 years since the Data Protection Act of 1998 the business landscape has changed immeasurably. The Digital Revolution now means that people have their data stored on hundreds of different systems around the world, not knowing what data these systems hold, what it is being used for, even its location.
Regulations introduced over the past twelve months are designed to give individuals back the control over this data which businesses, large and small, borrow from them on a daily basis.
Many organisations struggle with an understanding of how these laws should be mapped with the correct context and application to their individual business processes and needs. Others have managed to embrace them and can now demonstrate to their customers, employees and mailing list recipients that they understand the responsibility which comes with the control of the data of a data subject.
If the past couple of months have demonstrated anything, it’s that too little an understanding of fundamental regulatory changes can have a detrimental impact on a business’ ability to continue its marketing activities. The scale of the email influx pre the enforcement date of GDPR was ridiculous, panic stricken and, in some cases, unnecessary. It would now be impossible and impractical to try and estimate how many mailing list recipients have been culled from a company’s marketing departments resources predicated on the knowledge that ‘consent is required to contact anybody…..’
The only way you can demonstrate your compliance to regulations like GDPR and the new UK Data Protection Act 2018 is to take the time to prise apart the floorboards of your business and ask the dirty questions around where the data you hold came from, what you do with it and your legal basis for processing it. It isn’t a process that can be short-circuited but it is a process which is easily navigated with the correct tools and understanding.
The ideal approach to this is Data Landscaping. An effective and powerful method to visually map out the various data flows of the company truly adds value for businesses. We believe that GDPR should be embraced by companies and viewed as an opportunity for continuous business improvement and responsibility to the customer and this is one technique that ticks both boxes. This activity also lays the solid foundations for Sustainable Data Protection, the true acknowledgement that a company has accepted the requirement to look after one of its most valuable assets, data.
Compliance with the law isn’t the only product of this activity. A data-led blueprint of how you do business is an incredibly powerful tool to allow you to engage with customers in a responsible and ethical way. It can show you where bottlenecks and inefficiencies exist within the organisation. It can drive continuous improvement and highlight areas where risks exist. And all of these things give companies back control. The Digital Revolution may be here, but it shouldn’t prevent you growing your business…
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