Organisations competing in today’s modern environment have to deal with diverse data and ever increasing regulations which impact the way in which data is managed. GDPR is just the latest in a long stream of governance initiatives and it will not be the last.
A great deal has been discussed about the implications of not addressing GDPR through sizeable fines and reputational damage which has led to a “feeding frenzy” around GDPR. The Great White Sharks have offered to take all the organisational pain away, whilst other organisations offer specific solutions relating to specialist technical disciplines and technology stacks.
As we at itelligence started this journey it got me thinking about the benefits that good data governance relating to personal information could bring an organisation.
The outcome is this brief blog.
Is the solution simple?
GDPR follows a bow wave of regulatory pressure on companies, which we have not seen for a very long time. These pressures are about getting things done right, but let’s face it, a lot of organisations do “just enough” to comply and carry on with business.
In parallel, organisations are conducting business through services requiring the exchange of personal information and this is transacted directly between business and consumer across the internet.
Both parties, supported by legislative bodies, data management groups and technology vendors have woken up to how important data has become in today’s society. This has also been noticed by criminals who actively seek methods to acquire personal data for gain.
The fact there is no single technology solution to the problem explains why vendors are active in this space, but getting GDPR right within a business and integrating the aspects
of Process, Data & Technology correctly can ultimately lead to good profitability boosted by customer and partner trust.
Every cloud has a silver lining
For many organisations with excellent data management practices GDPR will be a little more than a minor annoyance. They understood benefits of managing personal data a long time ago and orchestrated process around the data accordingly.
At the heart of implementing GDPR is Data Governance bound by a scope and a set of processes and procedures. Such requirements bring together data and technology to ensure data is managed appropriately. In this case personal data and the rights an individual has under GDPR.
Ensuring customers are aware of how their data is managed and used helps an organisation be proactive towards the data privacy and security issues presented. This also helps when choosing business partners because of the reach GDPR has.
So what sort of benefits could GDPR bring me?
Improved Data-Driven Decision Making
Ultimately, the data used within operational and analytical systems is used to record transactions and make decisions in the first place. Management of personal information in the correct way enables a business to leverage its data warehouse and analytical platform investment with degrees of confidence in the accuracy of the underlying data. GDPR forces a focus on topics such as Data Quality and Master Data Management and ultimately this has benefit to the decision making processes within a business.
Enhanced Sales Productivity
The opportunities to cleanse and master customer data appropriately for GDPR can ultimately lead to improved business relationships through understanding of the
customer and better interactions. Trust in the customer data can support a wide range of functions such as Cross/Up selling improvements.
There is nothing worse than picking up the management of an account at company X and finding out the person you are calling is no longer at the company.
Improved Marketing ROI
I am regularly mailed by my old broadband supplier with offers which have several variations of my name. Three lots of paper arrive through my door at least once per quarter.
Accurate, well-managed personal data is the Marketing Department’s aim. If this is part of core business services, the team can focus on Marketing and not data wrangling which is often the case. Poorly focussed campaigns cost money and put an organisation at risk through GDPR. Ultimately, maintaining accurate personal information will reduce organisational costs because marketing material will only ever be sent to one person – not several incarnations of a person at the same physical or email address. The accuracy of the data will also improve customer segmentation to drive these campaigns.
Customer Advocacy & Brand Loyalty
Clear and simple understanding as to how a service provider maintains data and keeps it secure will lead to new purchasing behaviours alongside the traditional ones like price. Social Media has a habit of raising awareness when personal data is mis-managed leading to brand and reputational problems.
Do I want to conduct business with organisations such as the following who had breaches in 2017 according to Policybee.co.uk?
An organisation who can actively discuss the ways in which they manage personal information will ultimately be able to compete on this fact because GDPR has far-reaching consequences on the data supply chain between partners and consumers alike.
Lower the cost of Service Management
My former broadband supplier knew why I was leaving them before I eventually did. They were told through the service management function when I complained for the nth time about an installation issue.
Any service management function understands that they need to fully understand who is on the end of a phone/web chat etc. and what their interactions have been with the company. Clear and consistent views of personal data enable efficient services, retains customers, lowers cost of service and avoids bad impressions through these customer interactions. Had my broadband supplier reacted differently to the way they did, they may have retained me.
Ultimately, GDPR will drive benefits in to this area through more accurate understanding of the customer.
Implementation of GDPR is not a one-off exercise and has to be maintained through good data management practices. Various opportunities exist in this area with respects to application and data processing consolidation which streamline the IT operational landscape and remove redundant applications, cottage industries and processes. Ultimately, this then lowers IT cost of data ownership in the long term.
I mentioned also, the focus on mastering and cleansing data earlier which ultimately has an impact on how efficient an organisation is when responding to GDPR related questions such as:
- A Subjects Access Request;
- What are my rules for Blocking / Data Deletion;
- Can you remove all my details from your systems please
Business processes have an on-going operational cost without a good Enterprise Information Management strategy and GDPR provides an opportunity to get this right.
Finally, another point of operational efficiency relates to the removal of large quantities of data, which an organisation no longer needs to keep e.g. failed candidate curriculum vitae arising from a recruitment process. One customer conversation on GDPR recently highlighted they hadn’t archived data from their SAP ERP system since the 1990’s. For some organisations, this will amount to sizeable databases which when archival and deletion is applied will yield improved IT processing and more efficient upgrade processes.
One customer conversation on GDPR recently highlighted they hadn’t archived data from their SAP ERP system since the 1990’s.
Overall I have just scratched the surface on some of this but you can see where I am coming from.
Personal information is the core to many organisations whether they are B2B or B2C and they will put various projects and plans in to place to implement initiatives in a timely fashion. If nothing else, everyone will have HR & Payroll systems to address. However, bear in mind that a GDPR project carrying business benefits & competitive differentiation will ensure that business continues to move forward and innovate in this time of increasing governance.
GDPR is just the latest in a wide range of governance issues associated with managing and handling data. From Financial to Personal data, we can only assume more will come along with more rights for the individual. The UK Government announced that UK data protection laws will be overhauled and therefore Brexit is irrelevant.
Simply thinking that focus should be maintained up until May 2018 with the sole purpose of fine avoidance is fundamentally flawed. There are benefits to be gained by implementing GDPR and ensuring improved Data Management activities are part of the core organisational philosophy.
For further information on our SAP services related to GDPR visit our website
or contact me
Business Development Manager
Big Data & Analytics