U.S. Firms Fearful Of Some GDPR Risks, Study Finds

Two-thirds of firms across the globe will not be ready to obey the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on deadline, and many fear a financial hit, according to a new study by NetApp. U.S. firms are especially worried about the impact.

This presumably includes many U.S. brands that conduct business via email.

Globally, 44.1% fear revenue loss from failure to comply with the GDPR. That number rises to 50.2% in the U.S. and 45.7% in the UK. 

Worse, 35% think that the financial penalties of GDPR could threaten their very existence. That number tops 40% in both the UK and the U.S. 

American firms are least likely to be unconcerned about meeting the deadline — 23.6%, compared with 41.3% in France, 40.1% in Germany  and 32.6% globally. 

“Companies that control their data control their destiny, so it is surprising to see that despite the risk-reduction and operational benefits of GDPR compliance, so many businesses are still struggling to meet the deadline,” states Bill Miller, senior vice president and chief information officer at NetApp.



Despite their seeming lack of preparation, U.S. companies are most confident that they know the locations of the data centers run by their service providers, and where all their data is stored — with 52.% saying they do, versus 39.8% globally.

In addition, “the whole ecosystem is responding to the requirements of GDPR, from resellers to hyperscale cloud providers to manufacturers,” states Alexander Wallner, senior vice president and general manager EMEA, for NetApp.

Companies are also worried about these potential hazards of GDPR non-compliance:

  • Reputational damage — Worldwide, 50.5% fear this, compared with 56% in the UK and 51.5% in the U.S. 
  • Mistrust from existing customers — This worries 41% overall, vs. 48.6% in the UK and 43.8% in the U.S.
  • Mistrust from exiting partners — This risk bothers 35.4% globally, with 39.7% in the U.S. and 37.% in France.
  • Job loss — 35% foresee this, with the U.S. tracking below average — at 34.3%. Germany is most concerned — with 38.2%.
  • Mistrust from existing suppliers — 31.3% in the U.S. vs. 29.3% globally. 
  • Mistrust from employees — 27.9% in the U.S., 23.6% globally
  • More difficult conversations with regulators and policy makers — 23.6% in the U.S., up from 19.1% in general. 

Only 3.3% say non-compliance would have no impact on their business.

NetApp surveyed 1,106 C-suite executives, CIOs and IT managers in the U.S., UK, France, Germany and EAMA. It focused on managers with buying authority in companies with 100 or more employees. This 2018 study extends research NetApp conducted in 2017.  


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