Opinion

How Great an Impact will GDPR have on Shared Services Organizations?

Nine months can sometimes feel like a lifetime but as we all know time has a habit of flying – particularly when there’s a countdown in place. 25th May 2018 is the chosen date for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to come into play across Europe. So with less than a year to go, are we aware of the impact that this regulation will have on shared services organizations (SSOs)? This article will explore 3 ways that GDPR will impact SSOs in the long term.

  1. Responsibility

The responsibility that SSOs have to the business is great and this will only increase as GDPR comes into place. We all know that the SSO gives the wider business freedom to focus on its objectives and needs by taking care of finance, HR, procurement, IT and in some cases more. Yet, with this freedom comes great responsibility burdened by the SSO to keep things in check. With the introduction of GDPR, it’s expected that the SSO is going to assume responsibility for the correct management of data collected and used by the business. The strict nature of the GDPR will require greater compliance across the business, led by the SSO, as the front office will still need to focus on its outputs rather than the detail.

  1. Compliance

Arguably the most crucial impact for any business is the need to stay compliant with the GDPR. Compliance in SSOs is a challenge, particularly those that operate globally and with very different cultures. So, compliance when it comes to data is both foreboding and complex, given the large fines that may be dealt to those that break any GDPR rules. With businesses bringing in new data daily, the role of the SSO to manage compliance is going to be crucial. Audits are likely to increase in frequency and these may be managed and executed by the SSO. The management of old and new data will fall under scrutiny and with the SSO acting as the back-bone of the business GDPR compliance is most likely to form part of its remit from May 2018 onwards (if not sooner).

  1. Customer service

The SSO’s main customer is of course the business and providing good customer service is a must. Therefore the use of customer data ties hand-in-hand with providing a good and trustworthy customer experience. Businesses need to be seen as honest and abiding to GDPR codes by their customers and through correct data management and compliance measures SSOs will ensure that business reputations are upheld.

Although GDPR is set to take over from the 1995 Directive, there is still a need for greater education around the codes and compliance of this new regulation. Whilst the GDPR is not aimed solely at SSOs, SSOs are part of organizations where the GDPR will be very relevant. SSOs are likely to increase their valuable offering to the business from May onwards and sharedserviceslink will be monitoring how the GDPR continues to impact SSOs post-introduction – so keep an eye out!

For more information about GDPR and its impact on shared services click here.

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