What does GDPR mean for the IT Channel?

IT channel needs to “think in a proactive way” about GDPR says Chris Gabriel of TechPulse Group.

Since its adoption on 27 April, 2016, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, has loomed large over the heads of IT and business professionals. When it becomes enforceable, on 25 May, 2018, businesses with data relating to European Union residents will have to ensure they comply properly or face potentially expensive fines. For businesses operating in the IT channel, the new regulation will play a significant role. Here are a few things companies need to be aware of.

Who is Affected?

Any company handling data about European Union residents will need to comply in some manner with GDPR. One of the primary goals of GDPR is to give residents some control over their data on servers, and the EU has come down aggressively against some of the internet’s most popular websites, including Google and Facebook, for alleged violations of other similar regulations. There’s plenty of reason to believe the EU will be aggressive in demanding compliance.

Challenges in the IT Channel

The GDPR doesn’t mandate specific equipment or software; it instead mandates certain processes designed to ensure user data security. While the market has yet to fully decide how buyers will implement these changes, companies in the IT channel will likely see changes in product preferences and will have to adjust swiftly. The value of hardware and software solutions that aren’t easy to make compatible is likely to drop considerably.

“The whole channel is going to have to understand their role in GDPR,” says Chris Gabriel, Chief Digital Officer at TechPulse Group.

GDPR isn’t a one off thing, you won’t be GDPR compliant by May ’18 and then you forget about it.

Opportunities for the IT Channel

Compliance with GDPR, especially considering how little time companies have left to comply, will lead to increased demand along the IT channel. However, effectively targeting affected organisations may require some effort. Since there is so much confusion about GDPR, suppliers in various roles might need to provide some extra guidance and education about compliance to ensure buyers are making appropriate decisions. Consulting with lawyers and IT experts can help companies in the IT channel offer the correct advice.

A Role for Specialists

GDPR is being viewed as a landmark regulation, and one of its effects will be an increased demand for specialised work. While companies in the IT channel will tout one-stop solutions for GDPR compliance, the complexity of the regulation means vendors cannot realistically guarantee a complete solution. Those operating with the data storage range will need to develop specialised solutions, as will companies providing security solutions. Partnerships within the IT channel can go a long way toward helping companies thrive.

GDPR is a major step toward providing certain user rights not available anywhere else in the world, but unwinding the documentation and interpreting its language will likely take years. However, experts predict a boom throughout the industry, and the IT channel sits right in the middle of it. Companies that understand these regulations and provide solutions for their clients and customers stand to benefit tremendously.

TechPulse Group are partners within the fast growing Cloud28+ ecosystem of companies. We also spoke to Chris about why Cloud28+ represents a “fundamental shift” in the IT industry. Watch below