UK firms have tackled their fears over GDPR, and are finally recognising that data regulation can have a positive affect on their business.
According to a survey of over 500 decision-makers by cloud data services provider NetApp, more than half (53%) of UK firms say that data regulation either had or will have a positive impact, while only 18% have either seen or anticipate a negative impact.
This shows a marked improvement on NetApp's survey conducted in April 2018, in which just 30% of UK decision makers said that GDPR would improve their competitive advantage.
There has also been an increase in companies prioritising data privacy, with the majority (68%) of UK firms saying that their level of concern for data privacy has risen since GDPR implementation; just 2% claim that their level of concern has reduced.
However, companies are less optimistic it comes to GDPR and Brexit, due to heightened concerns over data sovereignty.
Nearly half of UK companies (47%) think that their Brexit-related data sovereignty concerns will eclipse their pre- and post-GDPR worries; only 6% say they worry less about Brexit than they do about GDPR.
With fewer than 45 days to go until the UK is due to leave the European Union, many companies are still unclear on how they should prepare for Brexit from a data management perspective: 19% say that they have either given none or not very much consideration, or do not think that they need to consider data sovereignty.
One in seven companies (14%) say that they do not know how much consideration their organisation gives.
NetApp cloud solutions manager EMEA Martin Warren said: “The uncertainties around Brexit affect companies in numerous ways, including in their data management preparations. It is therefore encouraging to see many UK businesses already focusing on data regulation and privacy. Whilst this is partly driven by legislation and specifically the GDPR, there is now also a better understanding of how data regulation positively contributes to the commercial success of an organisation.
"As more details around Brexit emerge over the coming months, the best course of action for companies is to continue to build solid data protection and data governance processes, to ensure compliance with current legislation and preparedness for any future developments.”