ar130405 - Fotolia
Confidence appears to be a problem for smaller firms trying to get to grips with GDPR leaving many completely unprepared for the introduction of the compliance regulations next year.
The findings of a NetApp survey should act as a nudge to remind channel data specialists to get out with the GDPR message in front of the SME community.
The storage firm found that a quarter of UK firms with 100-250 staff had not made any preparations, which compared to just 11% of enterprises with above 500 employees.
Larger customers are much further down the road to being ready, with 34% telling NetApp that they were completely prepared. Only 19% of smaller firms were in that position, leaving the vast majority of the market looking for some more guidance.
“The clock is ticking and businesses only have a year to make the necessary changes in order to ensure they are compliant for the May, 2018, GDPR deadline. This will require a solid understanding of the issue of data privacy that sits at the heart of the legislation and the ability to confidently identify where their data is stored – or risk debilitating fines. No business that processes EU citizens’ data is exempt from GDPR, regardless of size or location," said Martin Warren, cloud solutions marketing manager at NetApp.
"Yet worryingly, NetApp’s survey demonstrates a disparity across the enterprise, with smaller businesses falling behind in preparation for and awareness of the legislation. The risks of non-compliance for a smaller business could be catastrophic – by virtue of size, they are even more vulnerable to the hefty fines for non-compliance. There is a clear need for increased education, particularly among smaller businesses, which should instill greater confidence and propel preparations forwards," he added.
That education is required because only 7% of respondents in smaller firms said they had got to grips with GDPR and many are still trying to get on top of their data to find out where it is being stored.
With the clock ticking on the arrival of GDPR the vendor community has already started to sound the alarm that many customers are not yet ready and a proportion will not be when the regulations come into force.