Seemingly not a day goes by without another damning report outlining how woefully unprepared organisations are for the onslaught of GDPR, which is now less than a year away.

It appears that scaremongering is the order of the day, but this aside, for many compliance will be no small undertaking but ultimately it is not optional. By 25th May all organisations will need to toe the new data protection line – or face the considerable wrath of the ICO.

We need to change perception of GDPR – instead of viewing compliance as a negative – something that will be complex and expensive to implement, the benefits and small wins should be extolled.

In terms of the benefits the new directive calls for increased data governance which will lead to better marketing, better relationships with consumers and more streamlined business processes. This will not only bolster the bottom line but post-initial investment will cut costs in the long term. Moreover, there are some simple solutions that can be quickly and cost effectively be introduced to the business and add an easy tick to the compliance list. For example Article 5 (d) requires that data is accurate and kept up to date, and every reasonable step must be taken to meet that requirement. By implementing monthly data hygiene regime, which includes removing the names and personal data of people that have passed away from the customer database; Article 5 (d) is satisfied.  

The old adage of ‘the sum being greater than its parts’ is true. Therefore by breaking GDPR down into its requisite Articles and dealing with them on a case by case basis can make GDPR compliance a much more manageable process; which is exactly how a project manager would deal with such a project.