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GDPR attracting the cowboy element

The lack of clarity around GDPR and customers desperate for help are opening the door to those that are trying to exploit that situation

The dark side of the rush to help customers deal with GDPR is that it will attract the cowboy element promising the earth but failing to deliver.

Research has already indicated many firms have failed to get ready for GDPR and with the deadline next Spring there are plenty of customers panicing about getting ready.

The advice from ST2 Technology has urged customers to take greater care when choosing a partner to help them with GDPR.

“Organisations are running headlong into GDPR to get prepared for when it comes into effect on 25 May 2018. However, there is an equal and opposite rush from consultancies to fill the market void, leading to untested and potentially incorrect approaches to ensuring compliance. We can expect a lot of teething problems and some significant compliance failures coming to light over 2018/19," said Richard Hannah, head of consulting at ST2 Technology.

One of the problems are the vagueness surrounding the regulations, giving those partners without the relevent experience the chance to masquerade as experts.

“For many consultancies, customers looking for partners to help them become compliant with GDPR is the equivalent of a new gold rush – however, less speed and more haste should be the mantra as we all work with the new data landscape now coming into view," added Hannah.

“Organisations must recognise that GDPR is not just about company records, data and processes, it is also about the law as it affects an organisation’s commercial arrangements, technology, risk management and a company’s ability to transform operations to maintain compliance," he added.

For those that are in a position to provide GDPR advice the situation is a good one and there is money to be made.

"There is a wealth of research out there demonstrating many customers are not ready for the impending GDPR – there are misconceptions about who needs to comply and confusion around how you can meet the regulation," said Alex Raistrick, WEUR director at Rubrik.

"This makes 2018 the golden goose for the channel and vendors: they should be prepared for the opportunity this regulatory upheaval gives them. If you can become your customers’ GDPR guide and consult them on their road to GDPR compliance, then you will reap the benefits," he added.

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