Why Change Management is Critical in Light of GDPR

May 16, 2018
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By the end of this month, four letters will change your business forever: GDPR. GDPR stands for “General Data Protection Regulation,” and it’s a piece of legislation in the EU designed to protect consumer information. It will go into effect on May 25, 2018, and it will have an impact far beyond the EU’s borders.

How can you successfully navigate the changes GDPR will bring? Change management is essential. Read on to learn why change management is vital for collecting, managing, and processing data in light of GDPR’s mandate.

What You Need to Know about GDPR

GDPR creates a new standard for consumer data protection. Although this legislation was drafted and will be enacted in the EU, it actually applies to organizations across the world. GDPR regulates how data is handled outside of the EU.

Many companies outside of the EU are nervous about GDPR – its provisions are quite broad. GDPR states that organizations must provide a “reasonable” level of protection for consumer data without stating exactly what “reasonable” means. This legislation’s vagueness gives EU regulators quite a bit of leeway to decide who is in violation of GDPR and assess hefty fines.

Moreover, GDPR applies to organizations located outside of the EU. If your company has a presence in an EU country, processes the data of EU residents, has more than 250 employees, or has fewer than 250 employees but its data processing is more than just occasional and affects the rights and freedoms of its data subjects or includes certain kinds of personal data, you’ll be subject to GDPR.

Where Does Change Management Come In?

This sweeping law doesn’t just impact a firm’s legal department. Everyone who handles data at a company needs to be aware of the necessity of GDPR compliance. Many CIOs are taking a long, hard look at how their organizations collect, manage, and process data, and they’re finding those methods wanting.

Many experts believe that GDPR is less about data management and more about change management processes. A large number of firms need to alter the way they handle consumer data. The best way to implement those modifications is to implement change management.

The purpose of change management is to systematically implement strategies to effect and control change, as well as to help employees adjust to change. GDPR forces companies to implement a number of changes, and the best way to ensure that those changes are put in place in an effective manner is change management.

Change management can be challenging, especially at large organizations and especially if you’re doing it manually. Automating change management gives you greater control over all of change management’s many moving parts, ensuring that the changes you want to make go into effect smoothly and are well-received by employees.

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