Looking beyond compliance: What next for Hybrid Data and GDPR?

Looking beyond compliance: What next for Hybrid Data and GDPR?

GDPR is now officially in effect – and like many organizations, for many months you have probably been grappling with the need for your Hybrid IT estate – and the data within it – to be compliant.  At this point, you’re likely to represent one of the following groups:

1. “GDPR compliance has been a nightmare and my organization is still struggling to demonstrate sufficient compliance.”

2. “My organization has ticked the ‘compliance box’ (by whatever margin) and can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Either way – up to this point, you may have viewed GDPR as a huge hurdle to overcome; a big red date in your diary, by which your ‘hybrid data house’ should be in order to avoid some quite severe consequences.

But now that date is here, I’d like to share some thoughts on what organizations should now be looking ahead to – and how we’re continuing to help them.  As I’ve pointed out before, a good data management policy can be a differentiator – so what are the new opportunities and how has GDPR provided a platform to start leveraging these?

Grow your business – and manage its data growth

GDPR as a trigger has provided us the opportunity to understand your data better and in turn how to manage and protect it – by doing this not only can you enable your business but also understand your customers better.

The organizations we’ve helped now have a realization that they can significantly improve their interactions internally and externally, as only relevant and up to date data is kept, further customers are actively engaging with their organization.  In many cases, the updated data – and new data they have collected via GDPR communications – represents the truest picture of their customers that they have had for some time.  This means they are able to drive greater customer intimacy and trust – and respond to their needs in the knowledge that they have a 360 view of them.  Organizations now have a golden opportunity to grow the services they provide and reducing customer churn by streamlining the information they present.

Growth and more customers inevitably mean more data, but at the same time there is the opportunity to categorize data, stop just holding data forever, and remove the old ROT (redundant, obsolete and transient data).   So we’ve already started co-creating plans with our clients for how they manage that in the long-term rather than a one-time exercise.  The start of this has involved some quite extensive Hybrid Data Discovery work, involving:

  • Discovering and remediating data no longer required
  • Analyzing and planning for data growth
  • Promoting accountability for data across various sources
  • Putting in processes to help people understand where and how they should store data

Drive operational excellence – starting with your hybrid data

Hybrid IT estates bring about complexity – from a data perspective, this obviously hinders compliance and can make managing data risk much more difficult.  If like most, your data is split and spread across data centres, legacy, cloud and SaaS-based systems, this will have made your GDPR compliance efforts trickier.

But GDPR has actually brought about an opportunity for more intelligent data management operations across all of these sources – and we’re in the process of helping many of our customers streamline their operations for projects such as data migration, taking their storage into the cloud, cleaning up permissions and residual data that has no value to the business (ROT) and forward planning, based on data usage patterns we’ve been able to identify.

There’s also an opportunity now to take your data governance to the next level of maturity – protecting all of the sensitive information you hold, rather than just personal data (more on that below).  Just some of the things we’ve been helping our customers within this area include:

  • Driving new data policies within the business – including identifying and engaging business data owners.
  • Ensuring data’s stored in the right place for maximum ROI and operational effectiveness. This often involves a hybrid data storage model; an integrated blend of public and private.
  • Integration of archive data across multiple sources – for cost savings, retention and discovery.

Reap greater value from hybrid data -Move towards an exemplary state:

Compliance should never stop – it should be constantly utilized to drive greater value out of the data you have as an asset.  As a guide, we’ve created a data governance maturity scale, not only to help organizations consider the aspects of GDPR, but help them improve even further.   We’re using this as a roadmap with customers, to help them deal with future demand, changing customer requirements, new regulations that could emerge, as well as leveraging the power of their data so it no longer viewed as a burden but as a strategic asset.

With the rapid growth of hybrid data sources (such as IoT and more connected devices), data volume will only rise – so it’s time to take a pro-active step towards becoming exemplary in your data management.  This means combining people, processes and technology (such as AI, automation and analytics) to enable effective decisions on how best to collect, utilize and store your data – turning it into a real source of competitive advantage.

You can discover much more on the ‘GDPR advantage’ at Fujitsu’s dedicated site – here:

Want to discuss your hybrid data opportunities? 

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