5 Things to Consider When Buying GDPR Compliance Software

Considering a GDPR software, here are 5 things to consider
If your small or mid-sized company could use a GDPR software solution, where do you start looking? GDPR compliance is essential for any company which handles EU citizens’ data. This is true, whether the company comes from Europe, the USA or elsewhere. In this blog post, we’ll look at five things to consider when buying GDPR compliance software.

1. Your Needs

Before choosing GDPR compliance software, you should identify your list of wants. Unless you do that, how do you know the software is up to the job? Although GDPR compliance is complex, don’t let the project daunt you. Break it down into its main parts. Build up a complete picture of what needs doing, or what you need your software to do. There are several critical steps towards GDPR compliance which your software should address:
  • Data Mapping helps you manage the data flow of your business. It builds up a precise view of what data you store and where you store it. It also helps prevent data sprawl, thus reducing the likelihood of data breaches.
  • Privacy policies and notifications are a vital part of GDPR compliance. The information you must provide in these documents is set out under GDPR Articles 13 and 14. A privacy policy will include the legal basis for processing, data retention periods, and individuals’ rights.
  • A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is now mandatory for GDPR compliance when the processing of data poses a high risk to subjects.
  • Subject access management is an important element of GDPR. Companies must allow customers access to their data. Individuals (customers/data subjects) also have rights to rectification, erasure and data portability.
  • Data Breach Management makes sure companies report breaches as soon as possible to authorities.
  • Appointing a DPO (data protection officer) is compulsory for companies with over 250 employees. It’s also necessary where data is of a sensitive nature, or if a company collects lots of it. Good GDPR software empowers DPOs with useful compliance tools.
  • Processor data-handling responsibilities must be contractually defined under GDPR Article 28 when you, the controller, outsource processing tasks to third parties. This third party may be a payroll company or cloud provider, for instance.
Efficient GDPR software will also perform compliance assessments, and help customise your data protection programme. It will guide you in all the above crucial steps. GDPR regulators look for positive moves towards compliance, even among smaller companies which might not be there yet. Apathy and delay are your enemies!

2. Implementation Costs and Considerations

The cost of implementing GDPR compliance software varies depending on the size of the company and the type of software chosen. Let’s look at the two main software types and what they offer.

Software Types

GDPR compliance software might be “on-premises”. This is where it’s installed directly onto the business’s computers and servers. It can also be a web-based SaaS (Software as a Service) product stored in the cloud, which tends to be cheaper. The former might work better for big companies with limitless resources for in-house integration, but it has many downsides for smaller entities. One benefit of SaaS GDPR software is the provider has constant access to the product and can update it a little at a time. This affects long-term cost because gradual alterations to software are more comfortable to absorb by staff and cause less downtime. SaaS products need less upfront capital because there’s no hefty license fee or infrastructure costs. The pricing structure is flexible. Plus, SaaS means always using the current software version without update expenses down the line. Cloud-based software typically comes with high levels of security which would be too costly for small companies to put in place themselves. Issues such as IT compatibility and maintenance are the responsibility of the SaaS provider. All this lets small to mid-sized companies enjoy the same software performance and safety as big companies with deeper pockets.

3. The Price of GDPR Compliance Software

Compliance software varies hugely in price. This depends ultimately on the size of the business it caters for, the number of registered users, whether it’s installed or web-based (SaaS) and the format it comes in. Is it all-in-one or modular? More about that in a moment. Even for small or medium-sized businesses (often called “SMEs” in the EU), GDPR compliance software can cost thousands of pounds per year. Cheaper, off-the-shelf packages are available from a few hundred pounds yearly. Users usually commit to a year at a time, even where monthly prices are given. This is common in SaaS or subscription-based software. Larger businesses processing lots of data can’t afford to be non-compliant with GDPR and are less likely to get any leeway from regulators. At the top of the scale, compliance and ePrivacy software can cost upwards of £100000 per year for big enterprises. Operations of this size often need tailor-made GDPR solutions with prices given by quotation. The higher cost of GDPR compliance software for larger companies is offset to a degree by its extra labour-saving features. Automated decision making is an example of this.

Modular vs All-in-One Software

Modular software seems an attractive solution for GDPR compliance since it allows you to choose only the tools you need. The flipside of that might be the cost. Though it seems like a money-saving idea, a modular system is often more expensive on a pro rata basis. Unless you’re 100% sure about what you’re doing, it can swiftly turn into a false economy.

4. Quality and Availability of Support

Another important aspect of your software choice should be the quality of support you will receive. If you can trial the product, you can also test the support behind it to some extent. It’s also worth looking at online reviews. Unresponsive companies soon gain a bad reputation. Many companies provide a knowledge base to give you immediate guidance with any common problems or queries. The depth of this and the work that has gone into it is a fair indicator of a company’s diligence and desire to help.

5. Training

No matter how intuitive software might be to use, there’s always that early learning curve to overcome. You and your staff need to acquaint yourself with the product and its capabilities. With GDPR software, just as with any other, this costs the company in work hours. That’s why it’s wise to consider the training or onboarding a company offers with its software. While it’s tempting to cut corners with training, this is an element of GDPR compliance which can pay for itself. A single day of software training might save several days of low productivity.

Can You Prove Compliance at Short Notice?

A benefit of GDPR software is that it enables you to quickly prove your compliance or your ongoing efforts towards it. If you wait for a data breach before testing compliance, your company will be in turmoil as it scrambles to gather this info together. Can you prove GDPR compliance within a few clicks? Don’t risk having to do this unaided and under pressure!

GDPR Compliance Software: What to Consider Before Buying

Find out what you should be looking for when shopping for GDPR compliance software. Learn about the features you’ll need and other vital considerations.

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