With the recent changes between the UK and EU, as well as the introduction of GDPR, many businesses are still struggling to adapt to the changes. Not only does GDPR require certain tweaks to a business’ operational habits, but it can completely change the way your company needs to manage data.
Thanks to this, many companies will assign a GDPR representative to their business, either by hiring a new employee, training up some existing staff members, or going for third-party GDPR services. But which option is best, and how important is this kind of work for your business?
Why use a GDPR representative?
GDPR is not a single simple rule that can be followed without thinking about it. Anything that brushes up against GDPR, from data storage to customer detail processing, needs to be handled with a lot of care and tact – sometimes in ways that you might not be expecting.
A GDPR representative is effectively a point of contact for any GDPR-related issues and needs to be familiar enough with GDPR to answer important questions or review processes that might violate any important laws. If you operate primarily in the EU, then you are required to have a representative to help process EU data subjects.
While there can be some exceptions and situations where this will not apply, most companies are going to end up dealing with GDPR regulations. This means that having a proper representative can be an important – and often required – step for dealing with sensitive data.
Should you use an internal representative?
If you want to pull out your own GDPR representative from your existing employee base or hire somebody new to take the role, then that is a valid option in certain cases. Setting up your own GDPR specialist means that they are an integrated part of your company, operating alongside your other employees to keep an eye out for GDPR violations.
However, this also comes with a cost. Not only would you need to hire a new employee (or pull an existing employee away from other, potentially profit-generating work), but you would also need to ensure that they have the equipment and training to deal with GDPR-related issues.
Is outsourcing better?
GDPR representation is tough, and most small businesses are going to violate a law eventually. Being prepared is important, and a smaller company can rarely afford to take on a specialist purely to deal with GDPR violations. Even a split role can be too much of a drain on productivity to manage.
By outsourcing your GDPR representative, you can get the same benefits as an in-house representative without all of the added costs and delays of having to arrange one yourself. Not only that, but it is often a much cheaper option and provides you with far more flexibility overall.
While outsourcing will not be ideal for every company, it is often the most practical choice for small businesses. If you want to set up an in-house representative later once your business grows, then you can easily establish your own specialist when you have the money for it.