Finding the right privacy tech starts with asking the right questions.
To keep your organization’s data privacy solutions up to date in a rapidly changing world, it’s important to set aside time for regular reevaluations of your existing tech stack. No matter what industry you serve, regulations and technologies are always changing, so best practice is to schedule an annual checkup to ensure your current set-up is still delivering the optimal solution for your needs.
As part of that process, you’ll need to evaluate your existing data-privacy tools, and look at other offerings to make sure you’re using the solution that’s best for your business. First, though, you’ll need to take a look in the mirror — because you can’t figure out what’s right for your organization unless you know exactly how your organization currently handles data.
Effectively, this boils down to making sure you understand exactly what kinds of problems your data-privacy solution needs to be able to solve. That means looking at three key areas: your current data usage, the current and forthcoming regulations that affect your business, and the different stakeholders within your organization who will need to use your data privacy solutions.
Understanding your data use
To get to grips with the way your organization currently uses data, you’ll need to understand the purposes for which your organization collects and processes data. Is your end-goal to create better analytics, to provide personalization, or something else entirely — and how is that intent reflected in the data-privacy infrastructure you’ve built?
Once you understand the end-goal of your organization’s data usage, you can start to explore the way that data flows through your organization, and the way that consent signals and data subject requests ripple through your ecosystem. Start by asking the simplest questions: how many people visit your website, what devices are they using, and where are they located? From there, you can move on to examine the way that your organization collects and processes consent signals and data subject requests, and inventory the systems you’re using to honor users’ preferences, permissions, and requests.
You’ll need to look carefully at the internal systems your organization uses to manage data — but since data often flows beyond outward, beyond the borders of your organization, you’ll also need to look at your partners’ data processes. How are the consent and data requests you receive being propagated out to the partners who handle your data, and how are you verifying their compliance?
As you examine these factors, think about whether your existing infrastructure is aligned to your current needs. If your answers to the questions you’re asking have changed since you first built out your data-privacy infrastructure, you’ll need to carefully consider whether your existing tools are still meeting your needs as well as they should.
Understanding the rulebook
Once you’ve taken the pulse of your privacy operations, it’s time to look at the regulations to which you’re subject. The specific toolkit you need will vary depending on whether you’re trying to ensure compliance with the GDPR, the CCPA, or something else entirely.
Make sure you pay attention to pending regulatory action, too, and also to your own strategic plans — if you’re preparing to move into a new market, you might find yourself subject to new rules. Your legal team should be able to tell you whether the rules have changed since your data privacy tools were first implemented, and whether any further changes are in the pipeline. Since many regulations are still evolving, your team’s interpretations of the rules may also have changed over time as new rulings are issued or new best practices are established.
Given the rapid pace of regulatory change, most organizations find they’re better served by a dynamic and adaptable data-privacy solution, rather than a series of static point solutions for a specific body of regulations. Make sure you ask how flexible and futureproof your current system is, and whether it will be able to evolve and grow along with your business needs.
Understanding your internal teams
While the process of buying data-privacy systems is often driven by a single business unit, it’s important to bring all your organization’s different stakeholders into the review process. After all, if you ask an IT manager or your head of engineering what they want from a data privacy system, you’ll likely get a very different answer than if you ask your CISO, your legal team, or your sales and marketing division.
Privacy is a team sport, and your goal should be to find a data-privacy solution that can address all the different interests and needs of teams across your organization. That’s especially important when it comes to balancing the priorities of teams that might seem to have conflicting needs or goals. Your solution shouldn’t empower your IT team at the expense of your legal team, for instance — it should give both teams the tools they need to work, both collaboratively and independently, toward their goals.
The key is to understand each team’s needs and challenges, and to seek out a data privacy solution that gives every member of every team exactly what they need to do their job. Your solution should help to elegantly defuse tensions between business units, not exacerbate them or create new points of conflict.
Putting it all together
After going through this three-part diagnostic process, you’ll be left with a clear understanding of how your organization handles data, what rules it’s subject to, and which business units have a stake in the way data privacy is handled. Collectively, these represent your data privacy needs — and armed with these insights, you’re ready to go out into the data security marketplace and see which solutions can deliver the performance you require.
We’ll cover that in our next blog post, but if you want to get the ball rolling right away, feel free to reach out. At Ketch, we believe that our job is to satisfy as many all three of these needs simultaneously — and we’re confident we can outperform any other data privacy tool currently on the market. Get in touch today to find out why, and to learn how our solution can deliver the performance your organization needs.