The rise of GDPR consultancy

Clare Hopping

Monday 11 September 2017

GDPR will arrive in less than a year, so is it time to consider bringing in the professionals to ensure your business complies?

On 25 May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force across the UK. While much is being done to meet the new challenges head-on, many businesses still have unanswered questions. Do you have what it takes to adapt, or should you seek outside help?

A recent survey found that the UK IT sector is actually more prepared for the GDPR than its European counterparts. 40 per cent of UK businesses have started to prepare, according to Spiceworks, compared to 28 per cent in the rest of the EU – and just 5 per cent in the US.

The role of GDPR consultants

One of the reasons EU-based companies may be taking a more relaxed approach is that the survey found them to be far more likely to work with third-party consultants to ensure they comply with new regulations. It seems that while UK companies are performing data audits, European firms are reaching out to the experts.

While it’s entirely possible that you have the required know-how to deal with the upcoming changes in-house, you must be very well acquainted with your IT department and its inner workings, which is not always easy.

Enlisting the help of an outside consultant could take the pressure off and ensure you are ready to move forward. Failure to comply could not only mean huge fines, but also brand damage, which is much harder to bounce back from.

Closing the GDPR skills gap

It’s been suggested that there’s an industry-wide lack of top-tier knowledge pertaining to the GDPR, which makes consultancy a potentially costly outlay. If you’re in a position to protect your brand, however, the cost shouldn’t frighten you.

Having a professional on hand could change your position relatively quickly. An audit of your current set-up in the form of a GDPR gap analysis will tell you exactly which leaks must be plugged. And if you have an experienced IT department, they may even be able to take that baton and run with it, mitigating the need for further outside help.

For those requiring a little more assistance, consultancy firms can provide a range of services – not just for multinationals – to help you move forward.

Consultancy could help you make a full transition to GDPR compliance, holding your hand the whole way. Or if you are already sitting on some extensive regulations of your own, it could reveal just a couple of tweaks to get you back on track.

If you feel that seeking outside help is what you need to ensure the future health of your business, plan carefully and make certain that your management team is flexible and ready to react to new challenges.

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