So G Day has come at last – 2018 has been rushing past extraordinarily fast. Maybe it was the way we seemed to skip spring, and go straight from the endless winter into summer at last (though looking at today’s weather I am not so sure)…
We’ve had a pin in the diary for this month for a while now, ever since April 2016 when the General Data Protection Regulation was adopted into EU law, and the clock started ticking on the two year enforcement period. Last Friday the regulation became binding, not only across all member states, but in respect of anyone processing personal data about any EU data subject – which means that it truly has global impact.
So it’s unsurprising that we’ve been rushed off our feet at Assuredata, between our training courses and consultancy services. As more and more information and guidance has rolled out from the Information Commissioner’s Office in London and greater public awareness grows of the impending changes, we’ve been inundated with enquiries. Whilst many of our customers have been steadily working their way towards compliance in a planned and systematic way, others have found themselves panicking against the clock as the deadline looms.
Depending upon your starting point, the amount of work involved to get GDPR-compliant varies greatly – because every organisation is different, and has unique procedures and processes, as well as cultural norms and informal practices around how personal data and information generally is managed internally. Compliance is about what you actually do, rather than what the policy document says, and it’s all about aligning the way you work with this effectively.
When we do an onsite consultation we’re aware we are really only looking at a snapshot, a brief glimpse of the big picture – and sometimes it’s a carefully-managed one at that. We know that for some organisations it isn’t necessarily easy to make the most of a consultant’s work anyway, because you can’t build and implement a compliance plan in a single session, and when you’re starting a long way back you don’t always know what you need to know. Whilst we’re always glad to answer follow-up questions from clients when they emerge, we know that working through the roadmap alone can be a daunting prospect, once the consultant has left the building.
For this reason it can be very helpful to attend a training course, and we can cover a great deal in an intense workshop setting. However blocking out the time to get to a face-to-face course is a challenge for every busy person, particularly those people senior enough to drive change and make new practices stick once they get back to the office. Our training participants tell us they leave the course full of ideas and inspiration, about how they are going to implement all they have learned – but we don’t always get to see how it’s worked out, and how they have addressed any challenges which have arisen in actually doing the work.
And for anybody who has been living under a rock and missed the GDPR memo completely – or perhaps enjoyed the blissful illusion that it doesn’t apply to them (which is unlikely) – then the bad news is, getting hold of a good consultant or training course right now is more or less impossible.
Whilst we thrive on a busy diary, we’re aware that some of our clients’ needs may be going unmet, and we’ve been working hard on a way to support every business owner or data protection officer who still has unanswered questions. People who need:
- Information they can dip in and out of, and find out what they need to know in the moment
- A 12-step roadmap, to help map out a personal compliance journey
- Quick and informative videos and factsheets they can use within their organisations, to get buy-in and understanding at every level
- A safe place to ask questions confidentially, where there are no silly questions just straight answers
- A comprehensive set of templates for necessary policies and procedures
- Ongoing updates, as the GDPR rolls out – because today is just the start, and we anticipate a slew of information and guidance from regulators, even before the test cases kick in and start to create legal precedents.
This is why we created our GDPR Members Community – because we can neither roll back time to give you months to prepare for this, nor can we clone our consultants and give everybody one each.
In fact for less than the cost of a single full day of consultancy, you can have access to our Members Area for a full year – so that you can access the information and support you need exactly when you want it, on a just-in-time basis, whilst always knowing that what you’re seeing is the most up-to-date and informed response to the things you need to know.
We’ll be adding to and improving the Members Area on an ongoing basis, because it truly is a community. We’re on a journey together, into uncharted waters, from a legislative point of view. Our experienced skippers can help you steer a steady course and get ship-shape.
If you’re ready to step aboard, we’ll see you on the inside.