Survey finds strong motivation for GDPR compliance as confidence grows among IT and telco businesses

Nick Thurlow of NetApp

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline coming into effect today, May 25th 2018, NetApp-sponsored research highlights an atmosphere of optimism on the subject.

Almost all (94%) IT decision-makers in the IT and telco industry surveyed think that GDPR compliance will give them a competitive advantage. This is mirrored by high levels of confidence in achieving compliance, with more than four-fifths (81%) saying they know where at least some of their data is stored. The level of GDPR preparedness is indicative of the industry being above the overall UK figures when it comes to recognising the data as being business critical (92%).

IT and telco industry embraces GDPR business benefits

The UK’s IT and Telco industries are overwhelmingly united by the level of optimism around the competitive advantage to be gained from GDPR compliance. Nearly every respondent (95%) believes the regulation will boost the competiveness of their company to some extent.

Almost half of IT and Telco businesses (47%) say it will improve their position against competitors specifically outside of the EU, and over a third (34%) say it will improve their position against all competitors. Only 2% of IT and Telco businesses believe there is no competitive advantage to be gained. This is significantly lower than the overall UK figure (13%).

Confidence is high, but balanced with a dose of realism

One of the keys to GDPR compliance is to know where all data is stored and located, to respond effectively to a potential data breach, within the 48 hours set out by the GDPR.

NetApp’s survey found that 44% of respondents in the IT and Telco industry are confident in knowing specifically where all their data is stored, and 37% are confident in knowing where some of their data is stored. However, 19% of respondents are still not confident in knowing where their data is stored, which is above the overall UK figure (16%). No business surveyed has opted out of GDPR preparations.

Data is business critical as reflected by GDPR preparations

Almost all respondents (92%) from the IT and Telco industry believe data is business critical, which is 5% above the overall UK figure (87%). Recognising the priceless value of data is reflected in the level of preparations undertaken by IT and Telco industry businesses in the last 24 months.

Almost half of respondents (47%) have received external consultancy from GDPR experts to help decide upon a cloud strategy, while more than a quarter (26%) are already implementing a strategy based on the recommendations of external consultancy and GDPR experts. Meanwhile, 39% have already implemented a GDPR strategy based on an internal review of the way they handle data.

Nick Thurlow, NetApp UK director, says, “The GDPR deadline is almost upon us. It is no surprise that the IT and Telco industry is ahead of the game when it comes to the business benefits of GDPR, because compliance with the regulation is sure to instill confidence in consumers who entrust businesses with their data privacy. However, there is still a small segment of respondents in this sector that lack confidence in knowing where their data is stored, suggesting a healthy dose of realism is also present.”

NetApp’s survey was conducted in March 2018 by Opinion Matters amongst IT decision-makers (IT managers, CIOs and CTOs) across 227 UK-based business with 100+ employees.

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