Commentary

The Verdict On GDPR: A Big Yawn

European vendors seem to think of the EU’s General Data Protection (GDPR) as no big deal.

Less than a fifth think it will have real teeth, and a little more than a quarter expect to get a big financial boost from it. Most firms have not completed their preparations.

Those are among the findings of a study of resellers and MSPs by Channel.web.co in association with solarwinds msp.

Of 250 firms studied, 7% have completed their preparations in the UK, compared with 9% in France and 4% in the Netherlands.

Overall, 43% are in the process of implementing detailed plans to ensure compliance by deadline.

Yet many feel they’re not ready to give advice to clients on the subject. Of those polled, 24% say they’re not at all prepared, and 46% say they are prepared, but to a limited extent.

And that heralded financial bonanza?

Only 24% in the UK expect a GDPR windfall versus 26% in France, 23% in the Netherlands, 11% in Germany and 12% in Italy.

They also don’t expect to see big spending by clients on security and storage. In most countries, the answer is “to a limited extent,” with 46% saying so in the UK and Germany, 44% in France and 45% in Italy. The biggest spending will be on encryption and two-factor authentication, among other hotspots.

Not that they’re afraid of GDPR A mere 18% say it will have real teeth. And while 38% say it will have teeth, they expect those who are non-compliant to be safe for a year or two.

In addition, 25% say they will make an example of a few big firms, but most firms will be under its radar.

French firms are most likely to fear GDPR, with 27% saying it will have teeth. In the UK, only 21% agree, vs. 19% in Italy and 8% in the Netherlands.

And there are varying degrees of readiness when it comes to removing clients’ personal data. In Germany, 55% say it would be either somewhat or extremely difficult to do so, compared with 26% n the UK.

How do they define personal information?

Of those surveyed, 97% specify banking details, 87% medical information,  82% names, 83% biometric data.

But they believe GRPD will force them to jump into social media, with 68% saying they will have to do so at least to some extent,

Their final verdict? That the impact of GDPR has been exaggerated.

“Everyone knows it's a potential issue, but most are skeptical about it because of the "hype" factor,” says one marketing director/CMO of a UK consultancy. “Having been to events recently most of the market believe there will be a period of grace.” 

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