Ready for the GDPR, Ready for the Digital Economy

BrandPost By Vanessa Camarro
May 26, 2017
IT Leadership

Enforcement of the GDPR is only a few months away. Explore how SAP solutions and services can help you accelerate your digital transformation journey and address GDPR requirements at the same time.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced from 25 May 2018, and the severe financial penalties for noncompliance have been well publicized. It has been described as one of the most far-reaching pieces of regulation ever, and although specifically designed to protect the data and fundamental privacy of all EU citizens, its scope is global. It affects every company around the world that stores or processes personal data about EU citizens – irrespective of where the data processing is done.

The detailed requirements are well documented elsewhere, but in essence the regulation has increased focus on two key areas: individual rights and accountability. At SAP, we believe that the new regulation also represents a wider opportunity to transform the way you handle data and manage risk and compliance so that your organization is in better shape to compete in the digital economy.

Here are some of the things you need to know about the GDPR, and some of the ways that SAP and our partners can help you accelerate your digital transformation journey and address GDPR requirements along the way. 

What does the GDPR mean for your business?

The GDPR will potentially affect every commercial and public sector organization that processes EU citizen data. At one end of the scale, this could be simply how you handle your internal employee data; at the other end, it could have dramatic and far-reaching effects on how you process and store large volumes of customer data across multiple markets. 

Either way, your organization needs to be ready to show compliance in two key areas by the enforcement date and beyond. The first is the ability to deal effectively with individuals’ rights such as data rectification and erasure. The second is the new principle of accountability: demonstrating how compliance is achieved on an ongoing basis through documentary evidence.   

The GDPR challenges and opportunities

This means that the GDPR will have implications across the business and is not only an IT issue. In larger or more complex organizations, it could affect everything from finance, HR, risk and compliance management, and security, to sales, marketing, and customer service. At SAP, we believe this is an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and view regulatory compliance within the wider context of digital transformation and the future direction of your business.

Today’s organizations need to be fit for digital business, today and tomorrow. The requirements of GDPR can therefore serve as a useful accelerator to harnessing the full value of your data by channelling resources into the right areas. Instead of thinking of the GDPR as an unavoidable cost, consider it as a valuable investment in your digital future.

How can SAP help?

No matter where you are on your GDPR journey, SAP and our partners can help. We offer a wide range of integrated data management and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solutions that cover SAP and non-SAP applications and work with your existing infrastructure investments to streamline and automate processes.

The successful digital business relies on information excellence. It follows that the more effectively you manage data across the organization, the more straightforward it will be to address your GDPR requirements. SAP offers a range of integrated enterprise information management (EIM) and data management solutions to help you understand, integrate, cleanse, manage, associate, and archive your data. These solutions help you accelerate and scale your efforts to address GDPR requirements, and provide a strong foundation to address digital business needs such as workforce engagement, supplier collaboration, and improving customer experiences.

The GDPR isn’t just about data management. Nearly half of the articles in the regulation are related to business procedures associated with policies, controls, record keeping, and the accountabilities of different roles and entities. To avoid costly penalties, governance of policies, processes and people must be clearly defined and documented.

Just as the successful digital business relies on information excellence, it also relies on governance excellence. This requires a robust, consistent and holistic approach across the enterprise. Based on the “three lines of defence” model, SAP offers a range of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solutions that allow different parts of the organisation to work together cohesively within an integrated framework. The solutions enable the organization to automate its risk, compliance and audit management processes, and to monitor the enforcement of policies and effectiveness of controls. This can greatly assist in addressing GDPR requirements as part of day-to-day business operations moving forward.

SAP cannot guarantee your GDPR compliance, of course, as it is not just about software and you are responsible for adopting the measures you deem appropriate to achieve compliance. However, we can give you the tools and capabilities you need to accelerate your journey, automate compliance processes, and become a more agile digital business in better shape for long-term success. To find out more about how we can help you get your business fit for the digital economy and fit for the GDPR, download the e-book today.