2019 IT trend: Increasingly strong data privacy rules will lead to new customer experiences

In 2019, protecting customers’ personal data will force companies to rethink their digital strategies as the full effects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set in. Failure to comply with GDPR will thwart an enterprise’s ability to conduct business globally. Innovative companies will see this as an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty.

GDPR, which went into effect in May 2018 as an EU law, impacts how global enterprises securely manage customer data. To add to the complication, the EU’s ePrivacy regulation is set to come into force in 2019; it targets, among other areas, the right to confidentiality and data privacy on all electronic communications including emails, texts, online messaging, VoIP, data from edge devices, apps, online advertising networks and telecommunications. In many sectors, compliance for both GDPR and ePrivacy has not been fully achieved despite strict deadlines.

Enterprises should also monitor emerging regulations like the European copyright law, which would give more power to artists (i.e., individuals) and less freedom to big tech platform companies (i.e., enterprises) where the content is shared. Although the law is not final, it does signal a direction.

Enterprises have been compelled to make significant changes to global operations, as most of them are still struggling to achieve data privacy and protection, the breach of which commands hefty fines as well as long-lasting reputational damage in the marketplace. In addition, the explosion of personal data that now resides within the organization hampers enterprises’ attempts to optimize business process and systems around newer data privacy guidelines. Multiple industries including technology, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and public sector are in the direct line of fire of these regulations.

Reimagine information ecosystems

Naturally, shifting an enterprise towards data privacy compliance is a complex task given the myriad business operations that deal with or manage customers’ personal information, such as customer service operations, sales management, marketing and customer outreach, advertising and promotion campaigns, payment and transaction processing, and research and development of customer products and services. This forces an enterprise to reimagine information ecosystems among partners, suppliers, customers and employees. Data privacy rules have a ripple effect on information ecosystems and potentially limit the value of other data in the ecosystem. The enterprise must examine its ecosystems’ data integration capabilities, quality, governance and security.

So 2019 will be a watershed moment for enterprises, as failure to comply with GDPR and regional data privacy regulations will have a detrimental impact on an enterprise’s ability to conduct business globally. Innovative enterprises will see this as an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty.

To this end, enterprises must have a clear strategy and plan for marketing, sales and data governance. They must consider new ways to attract customers and generate revenue. This includes assessing and accelerating changes needed across their data landscape, especially marketing databases, demand generation systems and customer relationship management systems. Enterprises must create a privacy-centric information ecosystem, with analytics and security at the core, as the enterprise aims to deliver secure interactions and superior customer experiences.

This post is a deeper dive into the fifth trend of our 2019 Digital Trends. Check out all six trends at 2019 Digital Trends.

Also see the 2019 Digital Trends blog post.


Sunil Musti is a senior advisor in the Strategic Competitive Intelligence team in DXC Technology’s Commercial Functions group. Previously he led the Technology research practice in CSC’s ResearchNetwork, which supports strategy, business development, product development and other key corporate functions. He also set up and managed the Global Research Practice at Xchanging (a DXC company). @sunilmusti

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