Data privacy is now a priority for enterprises to manage and address proactively. Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is collected, processed, managed, and shared. Although this paradigm shift began a few years ago, its importance and influence on purchase decisions have increased. Hence, data privacy requires an enhanced focus and effort to get it right.
Often, it’s more probable that enterprise leaders will think of revenue growth, profitability, and long-term sustainability in a way that's obvious and straightforward—simply put, first-order thinking that connects the dots between their goals and the strategy and broader business activities they should perform. But with this approach, they might struggle to realign business priorities with growing changes. And they could fail to deeply consider the effects of second-order and third-order changes in the business landscape that alter how they approach their strategy in achieving their goals.
This is a surprising insight because enterprise leaders carry decades of operational and strategic experience and often deal with technical complexities. Enterprise leaders should recognize the limitations of this view and tackle business problems with an enhanced perspective. This shift is essential, as enterprises are often perceived as rigid and unwilling to disrupt themselves, risking relying only on experiential strengths, which can prove to be weaknesses.
Change, however, should be embraced, as each change can provide opportunities and strategic levers that help an enterprise innovate, improve and grow. Notably, the data landscape is changing rapidly with technological innovations, a rising variety of data regulations and consumer concerns. This presents new challenges that need to be addressed with a combination of experiential know-how and bold moves. When enterprises overcome these challenges, they can create growth opportunities and a sustainable long-term business outlook.
Today, the data privacy landscape is so complicated that even digital-native, tech-first innovators like Google and Amazon have had problems with compliance violations and massive monetary penalties. Of course, Google and Amazon benefit from monopolistic profits to overcome regulatory shortcomings and penalties, which is not a comfort available for many enterprises.
Yet, the current data privacy landscape also presents an opportunity for enterprises. Those who understand and embrace data privacy and implement structured processes, train people, develop optimal strategies and leverage cutting-edge technologies for better data privacy governance can gain a competitive advantage that positions them to grow and possibly disrupt the markets they operate in.
As such, enterprises need to embrace a paradigm shift from thinking of data privacy as not only a regulatory and compliance risk concern but also a competitive advantage. In brief, enterprises should consider the following imperatives in prioritizing data privacy initiatives:
- The Data Economy Paradigm: Business environments are increasingly relying on data to optimize operations, develop new offerings and ensure efficient value delivery. To survive and then thrive, enterprises need to become good at data management and leverage data initiatives to achieve growth and sustainability.
- The Importance Of Data Privacy: Consumers and regulatory authorities are concerned about data privacy and how enterprises manage and secure data. Enterprises should first understand consumer expectations and set clear guidelines to effectively communicate how the data privacy cycle is controlled.
- Data Compliance: The increasing focus on regulating data management worldwide has meant a growing number of overlapping and sometimes contradictory compliance requirements across geographies. Enterprises can overcome compliance challenges with technology and compliance-oriented data management platforms that are capital-efficient and time-efficient.
- The Data Future: The future of business will mean dealing with more and more data, implying that enterprises need to progressively work on the effectiveness of their data management and future readiness to ensure a meaningful growth outlook.
Data management is increasingly overlapping with all the capabilities and functions of an enterprise. With this shift, enterprises should prioritize data privacy initiatives and proactively address consumer concerns to better position data management and privacy as a competitive enterprise advantage.
Originally published at Forbes