How to use the GDPR to enable business & increase revenue 

 March 23, 2020

By  Jane Frankland

In the spirit of full disclosure, please be aware that I’ve received compensation for promoting this #ad for Microsoft’s Modern Workplace Episode. Because your success is important to me, I only align myself with brands I believe in, and Microsoft is one of them.

If you're feeling overwhelmed about the GDPR, I wouldn't blame you. The clock is ticking. In six months the GDPR will become law and its impact will be felt. With so much negativity and scaremongering surrounding this new legislation, I want to turn the GDPR on its head and look at some of the benefits it’s going to bring.

It’s certainly what the guests on Microsoft’s latest episode of Modern Workplace have been talking about. Featuring Elena Elkina, Partner and Co-Founder of Aleada Consulting and David Kemp of Micro Focus, both discuss this new data privacy legislation in terms of the drivers, ethics, and business impact.

So, let’s get stuck in.

For the vast majority of organisations, the main driver for the GDPR is avoidance. Understandably, no one wants to be issued with a huge fine, suffer brand damage from negative headlines and bear the costs associated with restoring trust in the brand. Compliance to the GDPR, therefore, enables an organisation to circumvent a fine, which, at its very worse, amounts to 4% of its global annual turnover for the proceeding financial year, or €20 million, whichever is the greater sum.

For forward-thinking organisations, however, the main driver for the GDPR is the total opposite of avoidance. It’s engagement. These organisations see the bigger picture. They know that the legislation presents an opportunity not only to save money through operational efficiencies but also to increase their revenues through improved brand positioning and innovations.

Large organisations also understand that the GDPR can unite teams for the greater good of business, and that it’s not just a legal function. Calling for collaboration between multiple departments, from security, technology and legal counsel to marketing, communication and PR, many stakeholders in these types of organisations appreciate how the GDPR can help them to gain further resources so they can implement data hygiene improvements, cybersecurity best practices, and business development opportunities whilst delivering a measurable return on their investment.

Data discovery and analysis serve as a perfect example. According to a report compiled by Veritas, (the Global Databerg Report) 52% of all data that’s currently stored and processed by organisations around the world is deemed to be ‘dark data.‘ In other words, its value is unknown. Then, another 33% is considered useless i.e. it’s redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT). In fact, when it comes to big data, the situation is so out of control that only 15% of all stored data is considered to be information critical to the business. Having grown a culture of data hoarding – just for the sake of it – and an indifferent attitude to data retention via policy and process, organisations are wasting huge sums of money on data storage, backups, recovery and security. And, if nothing changes, by 2020 it’s going to cost organisations around the world a cumulative $3.3 trillion to manage.

The GDPR, therefore, presents a huge opportunity for organisations to cleanse dysfunctional practices, cut uneconomical expenditures, and deliver profits. Furthermore, it enables them to build or rebuild trust, transparency and data protection whilst advancing their revenues.

That’s why many are using the GDPR as a business enabler, and are seeing it as a means to take their organisations to the next level. Instead of focusing on negative aspects, like how much work they’ve got to do in order to comply with the GDPR, they’re embracing it and sharing success stories with their clients, customers and strategic partners. They’re communicating what they’re doing to improve their data protection and how they’re complying with the GDPR. Essentially they’re using the legislation as a unique selling point and way to position their organisation above another in the market.

To give you a specific example, some organisations are creating brochures or mailshots that detail their security maturity model and roadmap. They’re explaining how they’re building trust and ensuring their clients, customers and partners are confident in their ability to comply with the GDPR and secure their data. By operating in this way, the GDPR is enabling them to not only differentiate themselves in the market but to innovate by creating premium service offerings.

Now I want to hear from you…

  • Tell me what business impact you expect the GDPR to bring to your organisation.
    Then, if you’d like to get more expert insights and actionable tips to help your organisation become compliant with the GDPR, sign up for Microsoft’s latest episode of Modern Workplace, GDPR Impact.

You’ll be able to:

  • Get advice on privacy, data protection, and information security issues.
  • Learn the benefits and ethical impacts of compliance.
  • Overcome information management and governance obstacles.

Finally, in the spirit of full disclosure once more, please be aware that I’ve received compensation for promoting this #ad for Microsoft Modern Workplace Episode.

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Jane frankland


Jane Frankland is a cybersecurity market influencer, award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and speaker. She is the Founder of KnewStart and the IN Security Movement. Having held executive positions within her own companies and several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business solutions. Jane works with leaders of all levels and supports women in male dominated industries like cybersecurity and tech. Her book, IN Security: Why a failure to attract and retain women in cybersecurity is making us all less safe' is a best-seller.


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