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As soon as the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became compulsory, any business handling the data of individuals located in EU needed to find ways to guarantee they are meeting the stricter data protection measures.

As manufacturers look to become more innovative and effective with product development and distribution, data is going to be one of the most valuable assets in propelling them forward. After all, the Industry 4.0 phenomenon is intrinsically linked with data; integrating information from across the value chain (suppliers, distributors, customers) together, so it can be analysed and actionable insights derived from it.

All smart technology deployed by the organisation will be continuously collecting its own information across a number of touchpoints all the time – and all fed back into the company’s database. Amongst all that data? Yes, even for manufacturers outside of the union, a fair amount is likely to qualify as personal data pertaining to individuals located in the EU. So, manufacturers worldwide, just as much as businesses from any other sector, must ensure they both understand and are meeting GDPR requirements.

But how well are manufacturers doing when it comes to getting their processes up to scratch, ensuring they are handling the regulation? Here’s the worrying part. Recent research we conducted shows less than half (46%) of manufacturers from across the globe think they’re currently meeting the requirements of the regulations – that’s a terribly low amount given they are not only mandatory, but if they’re found to be in breach of them, they could incur either a fine of up to €20 million or find themselves surrendering 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher.

With that in mind, you might think they are going out of their way to rectify the situation fairly quickly. Unfortunately, not many of the manufacturers we surveyed are in a rush to become compliant. In fact, a mere 42% of those whose processes weren’t in accordance with GDPR said they were developing plans to improve their data protection strategy. Furthermore, 12% knew they definitely weren’t compliant and still said they had no plans to make any changes to their processes as a result. 

Interestingly, while you might think it likelier for manufacturers within the EU to have their approach to GDPR sorted, more respondents from China and the UAE said they were in accordance with the regulation than respondents from the UK, France, Germany or the Netherlands. Overall, manufacturers from France were the most laissez-faire about the regulations, with only 38% saying they were meeting the requirements.   

Clearly change needs to happen – and soon. The GDPR was just the first in what’s sure to be a long line of stricter measures to keep data protected – especially as it’s become such a valuable personal asset. Rather than talk of data protection fading away now we’ve past the GDPR inauguration date, all eyes will be on what organisations are doing to ensure they’re obeying the new laws. So, with manufacturers– and maybe, especially for manufacturers.   

Need support to update your processes to make sure you’re GDPR compliant? Find out how on our dedicated page – https://www.oracle.com/uk/applications/gdpr/index.html

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