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Canalys: SMEs turning to channel for GDPR help

With the introduction of the GDPR data regulations just under a year away Canalys is expecting more SMEs to turn to resellers for help getting ready

If the question is whether or not the GDPR data regulations are going to lead to revenue for the channel then the answer appears to be not only yes and from the SME customer base.

There is a year to go before GDPR kicks in and most of the attention so far has been on the significant number of customers that have yet to take steps to get ready.

But forecasts from Canalys have highlighted the security spending that is going to come across Europe as firms get themselves compliant with the data protection regulations.

The analyst house is predicting a 16% increase in the Western and Central Eastern European security market, reaching $11.5bn of value in 2018.

Some customers are better prepared than others with the channel heartlands of the SME community needing a bit of help from resellers.

“Our research shows that large businesses are well informed on information security regulations, with resources in place to ensure compliance. With ransomware threats such as WannaCry causing havoc, shareholders will be more willing to accept increased data security and compliance budgets to protect their long-term investment,” said Canalys senior analyst Nushin Vaiani.

“SMBs naturally have fewer resources, putting constraints on implementation. But there are potentially massive fines for non-compliance with GDPR, putting SMBs under threat of bankruptcy. Businesses must take action now to safeguard from this danger”, added Vaiani.

Plenty of SMEs have already turned to the channel for help and the analyst house expects that trend to continue as the deadline for the launch of GDPR on 25 May next year gets closer.

Recent research from DMA indicated that half of businesses will not be ready in time and a quarter of those have not yet embarked on a GDPR plan.

“Despite high levels of awareness, with a year to prepare for the new laws, the number of businesses that believe they will be ready in time has dropped to just over half," said Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA Group.

One of the problems that DMA has identified is confusing messages from the regulators over exactly what steps customers need to take and it called for more transparency and clarity in the run up to the arrival of the regulations next year.

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