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Just six months left on the GDPR countdown clock

There is still plenty of work for the channel to do to make sure customers are ready for the arrival of GDPR

This weekend marks the moment the countdown to the arrival of GDPR hits just six months to go and the pressure on customers ramps up even further.

There have been plenty of opinions shared about the impact of the data regulations but the general consensus seems to be that many customers are not ready and the channel will play a role in solving those user problems.

Ruaraidh Thomas, GDPR specialist and managing director at DST Systems, said there was still plenty of user education that needed to be done.

“Alarmingly, despite it only being six months until GDPR becomes a legal requirement, a lack of awareness surrounding the ins and outs of the regulation seems to be ever present within c-suite mindsets as latest figures show that only 2% of FTSE 100 companies include a chief data officer, with just 5% sat at c-suite level," he said.

"Understanding the implications of non-compliance is just one important factor; businesses still have the opportunity to use the next six months to use GDPR to embrace the operational and customer insight improvements that will lead on from full compliance," he added.

Ciaran Dynes, SVP of products Talend, said that the next few months should be spent making sure the right products are being put in place.

"GDPR impacts all lines of business, so these people have to rely on metadata to ensure compliancy is achieved and maintained. They will need the right tools and services in place to be able to monitor and track this. Therefore, metadata management will be fundamental to achieving key tenants of the GDPR such as the right to be forgotten and the right to data portability. Getting this right is a complicated and time-consuming process, and for every business that has not started this process yet, this is quite literally the final call," said Dynes.

NetApp was also stressing the importance of getting on top of data as soon as possible.

Sheila FitzPatrick, worldwide legal data governance and privacy counsel and chief privacy officer at NetApp, had some advice for where the focus should be in the next few weeks and months.

"Businesses of all sizes need to use these last 6 months to ensure they know exactly what information they hold on their customers, partners and employees. Only by doing this will they ensure they comply ahead of the 25th May 2018 deadline," she said.

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