Compliance-driven business change

by Artur Assor, Head of Data Protection at Nortal, March 21, 2018

Our changing environment is putting business leaders under more pressure than ever. 50 years that have been the golden age of strategy are over.

Smart experienced people have pooled their knowledge, experience, external analysis and gut feeling to create long-term complex strategies, cut them into smaller execution chunks and then build measurement and incentive schemes around these to lead and manage their organizations.

The world has become more and more unpredictable during the last 10 years, and technology is accelerating this process. Trying to predict what will happen five years into the future is a fun but futile exercise. The strategy process as we know it is dead, being replaced by a combination of shared direction and capacity for driving and embracing change.

‚The customer is king‘ is a holy mantra that has been overused and abused. But in some ways the customer has really been like the kings of ancient times. There has always been a layer of advisors between royalty and the real world, filtering and layering the information to benefit their own agenda. In the real world, the royal court included salespeople who have, to a large extent, determined the information that is available to the customer in his or her purchase decisions.

Data can quickly turn from a valuable asset into a liability that can destroy reputations.

Now the tables have turned. The market is more transparent than ever and the smart customer knows more about what is available than the sellers know about their customers. In order to position your product, a better understanding of your customers is more crucial than ever.

But this is not the only trend that is keeping executives up at night.

The data that companies have amassed in order to better serve their customers is increasingly being targeted both by criminal intent and privacy regulations. In the age of data leaks and tightening regulations, data can quickly turn from a valuable asset into a liability that can destroy balance sheets and reputations.

We are all prisoners of the past. The way that enterprises and public sector organizations have been shaped is a result of tens and sometimes hundreds of years of gradual growth, expansion, mergers and acquisitions, internal structural reforms, and organizational and technological legacy. Every existing silo has a strong self-preservation instinct that often contradicts the dynamics required by the increasing competition and changing customer behavior.

Enter GDPR!

This acronym is the stuff of nightmares for most organizations and a gold-mine for consultants. What many executives do not realize is that this is not your average compliance regulation. It will not be enforced by government employees in the course of a random audit, but by activists operating through social media. It is designed to protect consumers and citizens but it is open to malicious abuse by any disgruntled customer or dirty-fighting competitor.

I believe in the concept of hidden hammers. These are changes so big that the people will not see what hit them before the reform is already under way.

The GDPR regulation could be a hidden hammer for smart enterprises. Instead of looking at it as the next costly compliance item that goes straight into the OPEX basket, we should look at it as an opportunity to develop a better, more data-driven and customer-focused business, eliminating information silos on the way and bridging organizational resistance with a mandatory compliance argument. This is like a bout-winning judo move for the forward-looking executive.

Nortal’s data governance tool makes the journey to GDPR compliance easier and quicker. You can read more about it here.

Artur Assor, Head of Data Protection at Nortal

Artur Assor

Artur Assor

Head of Products and Services in MEA

Artur Assor has been praised for his ability to see the bigger picture and communicate a vision, while at the same time having the capacity to take big projects through change. With more than ten years of experience in the tech industry, he is passionate...

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