North American Firms Not Ready For GDPR, Study Shows

North American companies are not yet ready for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to The State of Data Governance, a study done for erwin by UBM.  

Of 118 professionals surveyed on the continent, only 6% say their firms are fully prepared. But that number may be slightly misleading.

Another 39% feel they are somewhat prepared, and 27% are beginning to get ready. Only 11% say they are not at all geared up. And 17% report that GDPR does not affect them.  

The results are “validating but also a bit shocking,” states Mariann McDonagh, CMO for erwin.

On the positive side, 98% view data governance — defined as understanding data flow across the organization, and for setting policies that govern data — as important, 52% critically so.

However, 46% lack a formal governance strategy, while 21% are just getting started on one. Thirty-nine percent are without a budget for data governance, and 24% don’t know whether they have one.



That’s a big factor, given that cost is the biggest obstacle to data governance initiatives. IT pays for data governance at 40% of the companies, and audit and compliance departments at 20%. The business covers the bill at 8%.

On the downside, data governance “has not quite become integrated with enterprise architecture (EA) strategies,” the study notes. While 46% have an EA function, only 10% have a data architecture team, and that is not usually connected with data governance.

Here are the main challenges facing companies:

  • Cost of data governance projects  —58%
  • Understanding the right approach for your organization — 42%
  • Executive support/sponsorship — 42%
  • Organizational support — 39%
  • Effective tools — 36%
  • Articulating business justifications/business case — 27%

Here is what is driving data governance:

  • Regulatory compliance — 60%
  • Customer trust/satisfaction — 49%
  • Better decision making — 45%
  • Regulation management — 30%
  • Analytics — 27%
  • Big Data — 27%
  • Data standards uniformity — 15%
  • Self-service data — 9%
  • Reduction of colliding policies and processes for data management — 7%
  • Precision of language — 2%

 UBM surveyed 118 North American business technology professionals in 16 sectors, including financial services, government, healthcare, IT and telecommunications.


Next story loading loading..