85% of businesses will struggle to comply with GDPR by 25 May deadline

85% of businesses will struggle to comply with GDPR by 25 May deadline
Capgemini research finds firms are overlooking the business opportunities of the regulation 

Elly Yates-Roberts |

According to new research by Capgemini, 85% of firms will struggle to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the deadline of 25 May and one in four will not be fully compliant by the end of this year.

Seizing the GDPR Advantage: From mandate to high-value opportunity surveyed 1,000 executives and 6,000 consumers across eight markets to explore attitudes to, readiness for, and the opportunities of GDPR.

The survey revealed that British businesses are the most advanced in their preparations, despite only 55% reporting they will be largely or completely compliant. This is followed by Spain at 54%, Germany at 51% and the Netherlands at 51%.

The research suggests that some companies are overlooking the business opportunities of GDPR. Nearly one-third of firms are focusing on compliance only, 31% report that the focus of their programme is to comply with the mandate rather than gain competitive advantage. Furthermore, although non-compliant organisations face fines of up to 4% of annual revenue, nearly 19% say ensuring they are prepared is not a priority for them.

When discussing the benefits of GDPR, Rupert Bedell, CMO of Unum, said: “It will encourage marketers to talk to people when they need something and not simply contact them about something they might want. Rather than pushing products using flaky data, we can handle data in a smart way to create magic moments when people really require help.”

GDPR is also empowering consumers to take action over their own data. Across Europe, 57% of individuals say they will take action against an organisation if they know a firm is failing to adequately protect their personal data.

To help counter this, the report highlights that firms need to make sure they recognise the level of trust their customers have in them. Currently this is not the case: almost three quarters of executives believe that consumers will not take any significant action, such as to have their data removed. In addition, eight in ten say customers trust their organisation with the privacy and security of data, but just 52% of consumers agree. This misperception means businesses are missing out on the potential bottom-line benefits previously highlighted and only 11% are focusing their GDPR compliance efforts on customers’ needs.

“Executives now have a great chance to use GDPR to create a customer-first privacy strategy, that business opportunity is significant,” said Willem de Paepe, global GDPR leader at Capgemini. “Beyond gaining consumer confidence and increased spending, knowing exactly what data is held allows firms to use analytics more effectively and improve operations. Firms will also know which files they must delete, freeing up valuable storage space and reducing some of the US$3.3 trillion it will cost to manage data globally by 2020.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded here

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