Stricter Regulatory Environment Welcomed By Data Experts

By James Canham-Ash

The Data Protection World Forum in London – as the name suggests – brings together data protection experts and IT Pros from across Europe. They come from a wide variety of industry sectors to look at discuss some of the latest industry developments and trends in the “data space.”

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) approaching its first birthday in May, we took the opportunity – while attending the inaugural event last month – to talk to more than 100 data protection experts. We listened to their opinions and took a temperature check on the regulatory environment as a whole; there were some interesting opinions.

Four out of five (80 percent) of the data experts and IT professionals we talked to said that the requirement to comply with stronger, more stringent data management regulations such as GDPR in Europe, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), or Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), in Canada, will actually prove a long-term benefit to their organisations.

Additionally, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of experts felt that while technology areas such as cloud migration, integrating with legacy systems and managing unstructured data were challenges, the changing business processes and cultural requirements necessary to genuinely produce compliant data-centric practices across organisations were greater obstacles than the technology issues themselves.

Almost four out of 10 (37 percent) said that they would welcome more regulation in the data space. They claimed that more regulation and effective enforcement would actually result in a greater number of organisations adopting better data management and hygiene practices, faster. And about one out of five (17 percent) said that the penalties for falling foul of current regulatory policy were still not strict enough to drive the real organisational changes required around data usage.

While some of our discussions produced surprising conclusions (who would have thought that many data experts and IT Pros would have actually welcomed more regulation and harsher punishments?), the overriding takeaways from our visit to the Excel in London were twofold. First, many businesses are still struggling to navigate the challenges of data protection regulations like GDPR. Secondly, while focusing on the core technology principles of effective data management is one thing, the key to generating true business value from regulation lies in transforming an organisation’s internal data culture and processes.

Every benefit you can gain from data tracks back to four simple premises: first, your ability to see what data you have; second, where it’s stored; third, how it’s protected; and finally, what it is being used for. Compliance with current regulations, no matter whether they’re European, Californian or Canadian, requires changes in business and working cultural behaviours, as much as it does from a technological perspective,

Is the culture of your business and its IT infrastructure ready to maximise the true value of your data? Get in touch with one of our data experts to see how you can benefit from the latest domestic and international data protection regulations at Commvault.