With the backing of SolarWinds MSP, CRN has conducted research into what resellers and MSPs in five European countries really think about GDPR and what it will mean for their businesses and their customers
As anyone with an email inbox will know, there's no shortage of research being done on GDPR readiness right now, most of it relating to end-users.
Far less research has been done on what GDPR means for IT resellers, MSPs and consultancies themselves.
We wanted to break the mould by exploring whether those at the coalface of the IT sales industry are ready for the regulation themselves, what sales opportunities they are expecting GDPR to fuel, and whether they believe it will really have teeth.
It is less than seven months before the new regulation, which will see firms fined the greater of €20m or four per cent of global turnover for non-compliance, goes live on 25 May 2018.
With the backing of SolarWinds MSP, CRN and our sister publication Channelnomics Europe quizzed several hundred channel businesses in the UK and across Europe to build a picture of the challenges and opportunities GDPR presents to the channel.
We will release the findings over time on a new GDPR hub that launches today.
What is immediately clear from the responses we received is that the vision of an IT sales industry ready to make hay from GDPR appears to be wide of the mark. The vast majority of IT suppliers neither feel fully ready for next May from an internal perspective, nor fully equipped to help their customers get up to speed.
But there is a potential mismatch.
We also conducted a survey of over 140 end users to discover what support they will require from suppliers around GDPR. Though GDPR is viewed as first and foremost a legal or business assurance issue, a substantial minority of end-user respondents said they will require hand-holding from their IT suppliers to get up to speed. Most will require at least some technology products and services to become compliant, and a significant subset of these firms will also require technology advice and guidance.
And yet most resellers don't yet appear to be in a position to accommodate this need.
Multiple-choice surveys can only tell you so much, and so we also asked IT supplier respondents to give written feedback on how they really feel about GDPR. They didn't hold back, and we received over 100 qualitative responses from the UK alone, the highlights of which we will also publish. It's fair to say that most IT suppliers are at best ambivalent towards the new law and the hype surrounding it.
The new GDPR hub, which we are also running in partnership with SolarWinds MSP, will house both the research findings and other GDPR-related content as the 25 May D-Day looms.