Competition time: how many GDPR emails did you receive on May 25th?

Aside from a few amusing anecdotes about Craig David and the like, I can imagine most of you found the inbox deluge a little distracting, or even annoying. And all you had to do is read them… and if you really, really, really wanted to, reply.

You had the easy job.

On the other side of the email exchanges, where the senders sat, you can imagine the scenes. Weeks spent sifting through databases. Mass shaking of heads about resource requirements needed to ‘comply’ (a misnomer I’ll come onto later). Deadline-driven panic. Business models torn up. Frantic queries to legal. And probably, inter-departmental arguments about who should be responsible for the entire GDPR project.

Underneath it all: plenty of FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt that caused businesses to consider GDPR as a cost, rather than an investment, when the truth is …

… GDPR is great for businesses!

Don't believe me? Here are some examples of why GDPR is a growth driver.

Lower risk and reduced cost of data processing

Removing so much un-consented information will have cut the size of data estates everywhere. That means less data to secure against hacking, an easier audit process in the future and lower security costs. It’s an immediate, easy win all GDPR-savvy businesses will feel from now on.

Better customer conversations

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems everywhere now ONLY hold data from engaged and consenting customers. That should lead to a rapid rise in response rates, and because businesses are only talking to customers that trust them, much more satisfying exchanges. The challenge for companies is to keep the conversations going and harness the shared interest that employees, customers and suppliers now have in managing data properly.

Business model innovation

While some sectors such as AdTech were hit hard by GDPR, the new age of data-portability will boost creativity. Fresh analysis on value chains, the increasing importance of data on digital strategy and the potential to identify and use complementary data sets will inevitably lead to new innovation and new markets for many businesses.

Improved customer journeys and experience

Today’s databases are minimised, more relevant and open to more effective insight. This enables easier and more accurate focus on your customers; more insightful information that can be used more intelligently to tailor customer journeys, personalise marketing and even incentivise customers to further share their data. Perhaps they’ll even get paid for the privilege?

Extra privacy and data awareness

Contrary to popular belief, due to emerging legislation and case law we still don't know what ‘compliance’ looks like. Digital Identity expert Dave Birch put this well on Twitter: “If you see anything that says GDPR-compliant you can toss it.” But GDPR has stimulated debate and action much wider than the legal and security teams. Now every part of every business should be more data and privacy aware. This means in the future they will have more privacy and security by design - reducing risk and ensuring they are better equipped to deal with any changes ahead.

These are just five benefits that we expect businesses to feel from now on. At inglis jane, we believe that – depending on their digital maturity – businesses have an 18-month window of opportunity following GDPR. Those that will enjoy the most rewards will be those that embed privacy and security deep into their business model – making them integral parts of everything they do from now on.

How do you feel about GDPR: business destroyer or growth enabler? Please contact our team on [email protected] if you’d like to discuss this post further.


Nicky Hickman, CEO and Founder, inglis jane