Why You Can’t – and Shouldn’t – Spell “GDPR” without “ITAM”

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In case you missed it, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, went into effect on May 25 2018. You should care about it and address it, accordingly, starting now (if you haven’t already). The good news: Your IT asset management (ITAM) efforts can ease and speed GDPR compliance. Even better, those compliance efforts can result in additional business benefits as well.

GDPR: Why You Should Care

Regulators in the European Union (EU) designed GDPR with one goal: to protect the personally identifiable information (PII) of EU citizens wherever they may be. This means if EU citizens are customers, employees and partners of your business, or you serve or interact with them in any other way, your business must comply with GDPR, regardless of where your business is headquartered.

Your business must credibly demonstrate compliance whenever regulators require it. Each GDPR violation can cost as much as four percent of your business’ annual revenues worldwide, or 20 million Euros, whichever is more. Countries outside the EU are beginning to contemplate similar regulations. All good reasons to improve control of your customers’ and users’ PII ASAP.

GDPR: What You Should Do About It, Starting Now

Your business must achieve and maintain credibly, demonstrable GDPR compliance. Even more urgently, it must avoid the potential costs, financial and otherwise, of non-compliance. (Perhaps, in response to the prospect of those costs, some U.S. news sites blocked access from the EU immediately after GDPR came into effect.)

To achieve its GDPR goals, your IT team needs accurate, complete and timely information about your entire IT environment. That information must include external connections to partners, customers and other stakeholders. It must also include all the relationships and interdependencies that connect your IT environment elements, applications, information and users.

Your IT team needs this information to identify every point in your environment at which your business does or might interact with any EU citizen’s PII. Every such point your IT team misses is a potential GDPR violation.

In short, you need comprehensive IT asset management (ITAM). With effective ITAM that includes automated discovery, asset correlation and relationship mapping, you and your team will have a clear and complete view of your environment and your business’ interactions with EU citizens and their PII.

Every company is different, and determining what your business must do for GDPR compliance can be difficult. ITAM can help by providing you with the tools, data and insights you will need to ensure compliance. The right ITAM solution can also help improve the overall quality and security of all of your customer and user information.

Beyond your IT assets, you and your team must learn how your business partners and IT service providers are addressing GDPR, and make sure they keep you informed. Many modern companies rely on partners and service providers to support their business operations. If yours is such a company, then you and your team may need to collaborate with any partners and service providers to ensure end-to-end compliance for your customers and users. You and your team must also establish processes to obtain continuously the most current information you need to maintain and demonstrate continued GDPR compliance.

The challenges are daunting, but the benefits are great. With more accurate, complete and timely information about your IT environment and the information within it, your business can do more than avoid non-compliance penalties. With more insightful information, your business may be able to reduce IT operational or support costs, or even identify new business opportunities.

Discovery and IT Asset Management (ITAM) tools from Virima can help your business achieve and maintain demonstrable compliance. They can capture and inventory data about your IT environment’s components automatically. They can map dependencies, visualize relationships and provide accurate, complete and timely information about your environment. These benefits extend beyond GDPR compliance. They can help make your environment more stable, secure, responsive and valuable to your business. Learn more about Virima’s solutions for Discovery, ITAM and IT Service Management (ITSM) here.

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