Where Are Organizations in Their GDPR Journey and How Much Did They Spend to Get There?
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on August 1st, 2018

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Where Are Organizations in Their GDPR Journey and How Much Did They Spend to Get There?

Privacy  |  Information Security  |  GDPR

The GDPR’s May 25, 2018 deadline set in motion a mad compliance and security scramble not only for European companies, but also for any company doing business in Europe or with European customers.

We just published a new market research report on GDPR. The purpose of this survey of 262 executives was to quantify – as close to the May 25th deadline as possible – the following three key issues related to GDPR:

  1. How do organizations view the emerging challenges tied to information privacy and security, and who have they charged with this task?
  2. At the deadline, where are organizations in their GDPR journey, and how much did they spend to get there? How do they assess their progress in meeting the core requirements of GDPR?
  3. What kinds of special pain points do unstructured information (i.e., content) raise in GDPR compliance efforts, and which core IIM technologies do organizations see as critical to their efforts?

Get Your Free Report: GDPR After the Deadline

Prior to the May 25th deadline, there was a wide variety of reporting about how prepared organizations would be:

  • “Overall, only 15% of organizations surveyed expect to be fully compliant by May 2018, with the majority instead targeting a risk-based, defensible position.” (Deloitte, 2017)
  • Only 43% said they were “very confident” about the core processes their company had in place to comply with GDPR requirements (Forrester, December 2017).
  • “A joint survey issued by law firm McDermott Will & Emery and the Ponemon Institute found that just over half of respondents, 52%, said their organizations would be ready by the deadline.”
  • “While 11% of organizations are completely prepared for GDPR (i.e., would be ready if it went into effect tomorrow), 33% say they are mostly prepared (i.e., most work done but some tasks left to accomplish), and 44% claim they are somewhat prepared (i.e., organization has identified all the steps to meet the GDPR deadline but are early in the process of completing all tasks).” (CSO Online)

Key Findings

Our findings suggest somewhat of a “good news/bad news” story with regards to the progress organizations had actually made by the deadline:

  • Only 30% of organizations said they were 100% ready by the deadline, a bit lower result than was forecast by many prior to the deadline. A further discouraging note is that one in five organizations (21%) had yet to identify a Data Processing Officer.
  • On the positive side, an additional 50% said they were 75% of the way toward their objective. This likely reflects a realization by many that they needed to prioritize areas where exposure was greatest. The most common initial steps taken by organizations were 1) examine and recast  all of their contractual terms, and 2) get outside assistance in doing so.
  • The level of the budget dedicated to GDPR compliance is significant, reinforcing many predictions that this was indeed a watershed event. 33% of organizations said their GDPR compliance budget was in excess of €1 million; 15% said it was more than €10 million.
  • The average GDPR budget was €3.5 million; the median was €500,000.
  • Companies in the US and the UK reported a significantly higher GDPR budget than their European counterparts, perhaps reflecting stronger initial privacy starting place for European companies.


Free Report: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) After the Deadline

About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.