SME Technology Guide

SME Technology Guide

How technology can help businesses manage their data protection obligations

By Byron Shirley, co-founder, The Compliance Space


When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018, it was adopted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018. Businesses large and small have to comply with GDPR, which is designed to give greater control back to individuals over how their personal data is processed by third party organisations, such as retailers, hospitality venues or social networks. As well we considerable reputational damage, fines for non-compliance can be up to 4% of a company’s annual turnover.

For SMEs that do not have a data protection expert in house, it can be a complex area to navigate. Add in the potential uncertainties caused by Brexit, particularly when it comes to sharing data across-borders, and it makes it even trickier to keep up-to-date with your obligations.

We have many years’ experience working in the data protection and technology sectors, advising businesses – large and small – on their data protection strategies. This led to us producing a new guide – ‘Data Protection Made Easy’ - which outlines the six steps we take our clients through to ensure effective data protection management.
For those who have responsibility for data protection but aren’t necessarily an ‘expert’, this is a useful tool to make sure you are doing everything you need to keep personal data secure, including how to share responsibility with employees and create a positive data protection culture.

That said, we also know that many SME owners are extremely time-poor. The responsibility for data protection management can often fall to the owner, office, HR or IT manager – in other words, busy people who are already performing multiple roles.

This is where the use of technology can really come into its own. Here we outline three ways that an information governance platform such as The Compliance Space can help businesses manage their data protection obligations and ensure they are aligned to the current regulations.

  1. Everything is securely managed in one place – if you currently use a variety of different data sources including spreadsheets or hard copies, then it makes it more difficult to manage and more likely for a breach to occur. Having a central resource reduces that risk and allows you to keep track of the data you hold. Similarly, using an online platform also allows you to log things like subject access requests, and provides a secure way to store other important files such as policies, processes, contracts and forms.
  2. Breaches can be managed and logged – in the event that a data breach occurs, the software allows users to assess, evaluate and record the breach and respond to any areas of risk to lower the chance of a similar incident in the future.
  3. Expert support is a click away – to help SMEs without in-house expertise, the platform provides both real-time legislative updates and also allows access to qualified data protection officers at the click of a button, as well as 24-hour breach support.

We know that meeting your data protection obligations can feel like an administrative burden, particularly when it detracts from the day-to-day operational running of the business. However, it is vital to get it right – not only are the general public more aware of their rights in terms of how their data is processed, but the reputational and financial consequences of breaching data protection regulations can be significant.

The use of an intuitive online platform like The Compliance Space not only reduces the administrative burden for time-constrained SMEs, it provides the reassurance that data protection obligations are being met, freeing up time to focus on business growth.

To find out more about The Compliance Space, visit -

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