Options for business strategy & marketing tactics

1. Ignore

  • The law is applicable, but vendor takes no action: sells non-compliant products or services to EU organisations.
  • New & repeat sales from EU customers will drift away from mid-2017.
  • Negative product reputation will become serious from May 2018.
  • EU Data Protection Authorities will be actively looking for test cases from May 2018.
  • Verdict: commercial suicide / shows irresponsibility towards staff and shareholders.

 

2. Avoid

  • Do not change products / change marketing strategy.
  • Exit EU market, also avoid international customers with EU presence.
  • May not be easy for vendors with a large installed base of EU customers.
  • May be an easier option for solutions vendors without EU offices.
  • May be a valid option for solutions targeted to the SOHO / SMB space .
  • Valid option for vendors oriented to Asia Pacific / Latin America / North America / Australasia
  • Potential risk: the solution space may become dominated by international players.

 

3. Comply

  • Deliberately target the EU market / adapt products or services accordingly.
  • Choice may be forced on businesses with existing customer base in EU.
  • Choice may be forced on vendors with sunk investment in offices, staff commitments in EU.
  • Choice may be forced on vendors with international customers active in EU.
  • Product strategy decision: differentiated product for EU? vs single product globally?
  • Own marketing: identify affected data, systems, processes, procedures.
  • Action: Identify minimum set of actions for compliance, allocate resources and implement.
  • Timeframe: given available resources, how much is achievable by May 2018?

 

4. Embrace

  • Strategy decision: use GDPR as an opportunity to establish competitive advantage.
  • Actions will probably exceed scope of GDPR, require significant investment.
  • Choices may be restricted by shareholders / investors.
  • Choice indicates a significant corporate change management project: experience?
  • Product strategy decision: differentiated product for EU? vs single product globally?
  • Re-define Best Practice for the solution space that incorporates “Privacy by Design”.
  • Upgraded product functions matched by communication and training to customers & staff.
  • Own marketing: review and upgrade data, systems, processes, procedures.
  • Identify requirements for “compliance + advantage”, allocate resources and implement.
  • Timeframe: given the deadline of May 2018, where can critical skilled resources be found?