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40 days away: Most U.S. companies aren’t ready for GDPR

by | Apr 18, 2018 | Public Relations

With less than 40 days until the May 25 enforcement date of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), new research from data cloud firm NetApp reveals that more than three quarters (76 percent) of U.S. businesses are concerned about the approaching GDPR deadline.

The firm surveyed IT decision makers across the U.S., UK, France, and Germany, finding that most decision makers are still missing an opportunity to transform their business through a holistic data management approach that reduces risk and improves business efficiency.

For nearly two years, most organizations have lagged in addressing their GDPR compliance—and in some cases are ignoring the issue completely.

In doing so, they are ignoring the benefits to be gained from the compliance effort, including developing a data-centric approach to control, manage, and move data regardless of where it’s stored—on premises or in the cloud. A data-centric approach drives improved efficiencies and competitive advantage and unifies data governance practices across organizations to drive down cost.

Key findings form the report:

  • 40 percent of U.S. businesses and 35 percent of global businesses think that GDPR could threaten their existence due to financial penalties, while 52 percent of U.S. businesses and 50 percent of global businesses think that it could lead to reputational damage.
  • Only 52 percent of U.S. businesses and 39 percent of global businesses are confident that they know where their data is stored.
  • 63 percent of U.S. businesses continue to invest in private cloud services and ensure compliance with data protection.

“The survey responses are surprising, given that the key capabilities required for ensuring data privacy and complying with the GDPR are also essential for increasing business efficiency and competitiveness,” said Elizabeth O’Callahan, NetApp vice president of legal, in a news release. “GDPR compliance requires organizations to know where their data is and to be able to classify data and control the lineage of data—all capabilities that are essential for data analytics initiatives designed to deliver accurate business insight. These capabilities are also fundamental to the success of other digital transformation and omnichannel marketing initiatives, including mobile networks, AI and machine learning, IoT, robotics, and more.”

In light of frequent high-profile data breaches, a GDPR-compliant data privacy program will also establish trust among customers and partners

Companies that embrace GDPR compliance can create a clear competitive differentiation in the marketplace.

“Companies that control their data control their destiny, so it is surprising to see that despite the risk-reduction and operational benefits of GDPR compliance, so many businesses are still struggling to meet the deadline,” said Bill Miller, NetApp CIO, in the release. “The good news is that there is still time to engage a GDPR expert to help prioritize and complete the most critical GDPR compliance tasks and ensure that you, your partners, and your cloud providers know where your company’s data is stored. Most important, organizations need to shift their thinking. Every step they take to comply with the GDPR makes them a stronger business.”

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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