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How managing and optimizing data is key to the GDPR advantage

As the clock ticks down to the introduction of GDPR on May 25th, the inboxes of just about every EU citizen are being filled with emails from the organizations they’ve interacted with over the years – many of which they’d forgotten they ever had anything to do with! They’re urgent pleas to ‘opt-in’ to continue receiving ‘Great communications and offers’ so you ‘don’t miss out on the good stuff.’

What this email tsunami reveals, is the fact that your personal data – specifically your email address at the very least – is stored in one of their databases. There’s probably much more information about you in there too. And it might not just be in the marketing database, it could be in all kinds of databases on all kinds of computers, mobile devices, and out in the cloud too.

That’s the point of GDPR; to give you not just the right to know about it, but to empower you to know what’s being held about you, correct, restrict, or delete it.

Are organizations really ready for GDPR?

After all the publicity around GDPR, you’d think that most organizations are working hard to understand the data they have, to both manage and optimize it. As we’ve been saying at Fujitsu for a long time, GDPR is a big opportunity to get on top of your data, understand it, manage and protect it, and make better use of it to get closer to customers and drive innovation.

But there remains a sluggish reluctance in many organizations to get it done. It’s hard. It will take time. It will cost money. But the rewards will be significant.

If you’re to get closer to your customers and build trust around their personal data, you need to know what you don’t know about the data you hold! That sounds counterintuitive, but it’s important. Do you know what you have, where it is, and what’s it’s being used for? Do you know how old it is, whether you need to retain it at all, and who has access to it?

It’s a big job. The vast amounts of data that have accrued over the years make it seem immense. Minimizing it all will be challenging. But when it’s done you will not just be compliant with GDPR, you’ll save money on storage, you’ll cut duplication and redundancy, and you’ll have a leaner, cleaner dataset that can be used more efficiently and creatively to do business.

GDPR shouldn’t just be about compliance – it can become a competitive advantage

That’s the GDPR advantage: minimized data that’s optimized and ready for action. It’s not just about deleting stuff, it’s about understand it and then deleting what you don’t need. It’s also about understanding what your people need: data that’s useful not data that obscures their vision or slows their ability to act. And it also helps them be more productive because they won’t be cutting corners to get around the policies that slow them down.

We all know that people – when they’re taking a journey through bad Wi-Fi – will download data from, for instance, Salesforce, and create an Excel spreadsheet so they can work on a train or a plane. That can cause compliance problems. And new regulations will soon appear to make that situation even more precarious. So, take the GDPR opportunity to streamline your processes, update your polices, and empower your people to work faster without the shortcuts.

At Fujitsu, we’re working with customers to do just that. We want to do a lot of the hard work for you, and with you. Enable you to actively manage your data with the right tools and software to reduce datasets, manage them, optimize them, and ensure they help you work faster and smarter.

You never know, it might actually turn out to be fun!

Want to know how we can help you manage and optimize your data so you can make the most of GDPR? Find out more at www.fujitsu.com/gdpr

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