31% of business leaders do not trust their own organisation to effectively comply with GDPR, according to research published today by Dell Technologies.

The research, which is published in the company’s Digital Transformation Index, is based on findings from 4,600 business leaders spanning over 40 countries.

It also found that 26% of leaders do not trust their company to protect customer data, a concerning finding given the number of high-profile data breaches that occurred in 2018.

Comply with GDPR: The risks of failure

Since coming into force on 25 May 2018, GDPR has forced significant operational efforts as businesses work to ensure they are handling data in compliance with the new regulations.

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Although the law applies only in the European Union, it has had a considerable impact on many non-EU businesses as it applies to any business handling the data of EU citizens. This has resulted in some US businesses opting to close their websites to EU traffic, such as cult online fashion brand Modcloth.

However, given that fines for a breach of GDPR can total up to 4% of global annual turnover, and that the US is now considering its own version of the law, caution is clearly sensible.

And while the number of leaders that don’t trust their own companies to comply with GDPR is concerning, it is perhaps not surprising that even Google has not escaped the law.

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Business leaders lack readiness for digital transformation

The research also highlighted a widespread lack of confidence in their companies’ preparedness for digital transformation.

78% said that they felt digital transformation needed to be more widespread in their organisation, while one in three feared that they would be left behind within the next five years.

51% also said that their company was struggling to keep up with the changing demands of their customers.

“In the near future, every organisation will need to be a digital organisation, but our research indicates that the majority still have a long way to go,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies.

“Organisations need to modernise their technology to participate in the unprecedented opportunity of digital transformation. The time to act is now.”