28 per cent are unfamiliar with the new regulation they will need to adhere to in less than a year
Businesses across Europe are unprepared for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into law in May 2018, according to new research conducted for RSM, the 6th largest audit, tax and consulting network, by the European Business Awards. The survey, completed by 400 of Europe’s successful business leaders, asked about their preparedness for GDPR and how the new regulation will impact their operations.
Less than 12 months before the new regulation comes into effect, only 8 per cent of business are ready for GDPR, and have made the necessary changes to be compliant with the regulation. Meanwhile, one in four business leaders (28 per cent) are completely unaware of the regulation they will have to adhere to. Worryingly, 26 per cent of business leaders familiar with their GDPR strategy, admit their organisation will not be compliant by the May 2018 deadline.
Businesses that fail to comply before the deadline could face fines of up to 4 per cent of global turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher.
The process of preparing for GDPR is already impacting business operations. The survey highlights that a concerning number of businesses are cutting back in other areas including plans to create innovative new products (23 per cent) or to fuel growth through international expansion (22 per cent).
Jean Stephens, CEO, RSM, commented: “In less than 7 months, businesses across the continent will have to adhere to GDPR. We have seen an increase in clients asking us about GDPR consulting services, however, it is clear from this research that many businesses do not fully comprehend the hurdles they will have to overcome ahead of the fast-approaching deadline.
Business leaders need to understand that this is not a simple tick-box exercise. They will likely need to implement significant changes that could impact their organisation as a whole and so the sooner they begin to prepare, the better.”