IBM i shops suggest mixed success with GDPR compliance, with challenges still afoot for some, new survey reveals

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IBM i shops suggest mixed success with GDPR compliance, with challenges still afoot for some, new survey reveals

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:17
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New poll by SoftLanding Systems outlines top GDPR challenges among IBM i users

Peterborough, NH, August 9, 2018 – Half of IBM i users questioned in a recent poll are confident[1] that their organizations are totally compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into effect on May 25th. However, over a quarter (26 per cent) admit they are not confident with the level of GDPR compliance, while 7 per cent remain unsure and 17 per cent stated they were not affected by the GDPR.

The survey of 46 IBM i users by SoftLanding® Systems, a division of UNICOM® Global, included questionnaires completed by attendees at two recent IBM i conferences, PowerUP18 and International i-Power 2018. It highlights the top six challenges that IBM i shops face in trying to comply with the GDPR data privacy regulations.

The biggest challenges that IBM i shops have faced in trying to comply with the GDPR:

  1. Understanding where all personal data resides within the business: 50%
  2. Having systems in place to flag up potential data breaches: 41%
  3. Ensuring personal data is deleted as required: 35%
  4. Ensuring personal data is protected against breaches: 33%
  5. Ensuring they have consent to hold personal information: 28%
  6. Responding promptly to individuals who ask to view their personal data: 24%

“While the GDPR officially came into effect at the end of May, it’s no surprise that some enterprises are still unsure about compliance. Achieving GDPR compliance can be onerous and will initially require continuous reviewing and testing of processes around the transparency and privacy of personal data,” said Jim Fisher, SoftLanding Operations Manager.

Fisher explains why the sheer volume and breadth of personal data distributed around the enterprise has been such a challenge for those working on GDPR compliance:

“Usually only a small proportion of personal data is located within databases, where it is relatively easy to control. The majority is spread around the organization in a wide range of unstructured formats – such as documents, voice recordings, chat logs, social media, texts and emails. These are stored in diverse locations, controlled by separate business departments and therefore are very difficult to pull together.”

To address the problem, organizations should create a centralized, enterprise-wide system that lets them capture, identify, categorize and store all information related to individuals. This allows personal data to be accessed and managed easily, by applying criteria such as data owner, sensitivity level, and so on.

“While I certainly don’t expect GDPR compliance issues to be unique to the IBM i community, I do see enterprise content management (ECM) on IBM i as a sound strategy for helping organizations to achieve compliance. The IBM i platform is well regarded for its unprecedented levels of reliability, security, and flexibility. That’s why we have developed the Columbus solution to run on the platform – so IBM i customers can benefit from compliance features such as enhanced data classification, minimization and security; and in addition, end-to-end management of personal data across the full information lifecycle,” explained Fisher.

Fisher goes on to conclude: “The key advantage I see is that ECM becomes a strategic enabler, not only in satisfying compliance needs, but also in providing a non-intrusive digital transformation framework for the IBM i platform.”

An infographic that highlights the main findings of SoftLanding Systems’ survey can be viewed here: https://www.softlanding.com/GDPR-survey.pdf

[1] 2 per cent of the sample said they are ‘completely confident’, 26 per cent ‘very confident’ and 22 per cent ‘confident’.

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