Talking Up GDPR at IT Nation Europe

IT Nation Picture

With just a month to go until GDPR comes into force, it will hardly come as a surprise that this was one of the hottest topics at IT Nation Europe when it came to London this month (April).

With around 400 managed service providers and IT vendors from across the globe gathering in the capital, it’s the largest conference for companies that sell, service and support technology in Europe.

GDPR has implications for all businesses, but of course is particularly relevant for our own sector.

In the company of Nigel Houlden from the Independent Commissioner’s Office (ICO), I presented a keynote speech on how to thrive among the new GDPR regulations.

We’ve seen much in the media about the hefty fines that could be imposed for non-compliance, but rather than scaremongering, my approach is to get businesses to focus on the opportunities that arise from this legislative overhaul in data protection – it’s a great chance to build confidence and trust and demonstrate robust processes and systems are in place for handling personal data.

GDPR is no longer the elephant in the room and there’s a realisation and acceptance that all businesses providing services to EU citizens must comply with the regulation, including internationally-based organisations.

For the tech sector, this isn’t just an opportunity to protect clients, but a chance to look at managed compliance and auditing services.

The Regulation brings changes to how organisations operate and the need to ensure they are managing their GDPR commitment will be necessary.

How they do that will come in different ways – we can all be part of this and help by providing support on an ongoing basis.

IT Nation Europe provided three stimulating days of collaboration, networking, and educational content. It’s great to meet up and talk with like-minded industry professionals, sharing ideas, hearing views and discussing the trends and changes within the IT solutions market.

It’s a great atmosphere for engagement, exchange and discovery and new opportunities arise – I was invited to Norwich to present at a ConnectWise global webinar for MSPs giving tips and tools towards achieving GDPR compliance.

And I’ve been invited back to IT Nation USA which will be the fourth IT Nation in a row I’ve been asked to attend and share my views. I’ll be jetting out to Florida for this in November, when I’ll be contributing to the debates and discussions around the latest industry news, trends and predictions.

It’s good to talk…

Picture: In good company at IT Nation: Austen Clark (second from right) managing director of Clark Integrated Technologies with from left, Nigel Houlden from the ICO, Angus Macleod, lawyer partner with Wright Johnston and Mackenzie and Douglas Woodburn, editor of CRN