5 Ways Business Process Management Solutions Support Data Privacy Compliance
27/07/2020 |

5 Ways Business Process Management Solutions Support Data Privacy Compliance

By focusing on processes and automation, businesses can better
manage compliance with today's data privacy and protection regulations.

Modern white building
Increased focus on data privacy and protection means that businesses need to make compliance a priority or they risk significant consequences.

The more we know about our customers, the better we can adapt to their needs. The better and faster we adapt, the more successful we are as businesses. So, in order to learn about our customers, we capture, process and control their data. Good for businesses, but then what happens to the data?

Global Data Protection Efforts

This is the question that people started to ask a few years back. They wanted access to and ownership over their data. They wanted to make sure that it was being kept safe and secure. And, they wanted more control over when and how companies used it.

So, legal entities responded with the European Union (EU) leading the way. Two years ago, the EU implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This addressed the importance of responsible usage and management of EU-citizen data by companies worldwide — with financial consequences when regulations were not met. Most recently, the EU courts ruled that the transatlantic data transfer deal, which allowed United States companies access to data of European citizens, did not adequately protect this data: This could leave companies in the United States scrambling as they lose access to necessary data.

Certainly some similar data protection efforts have already been taken in the United States: For example, California implemented the CCPA and Nevada instituted SB200. And worldwide, data protection continues to be a key topic that is here to stay: Just look at the soon-to-be-implemented Brazilian LGPD, the Personal Data Protection Act in Singapore or the General Law on Protection of Personal Data Held by Mandated Parties in Mexico.

Increased focus on data privacy and protection means that businesses need to make compliance a priority or they risk significant consequences.

Increased focus on data privacy and protection means that businesses need to make compliance a priority or they risk significant consequences. To date, fines of more than a hundred million euro have been handed out to individual companies under GDPR. With the grace periods in other parts of the world starting to run out, companies that have not yet taken action can be putting themselves at risk.

This is worrisome as it leaves companies dealing with a number of questions. What requests are we receiving? Who is going to take care of them? How can the customer know that the request has been completed so that we don’t get reported and fined? Did we respond quickly enough and well enough when something went wrong?

Business Process Management Solutions Close Compliance Gaps

While the stakes are high, compliance can be more easily managed when businesses take advantage of a business process management solution. With such a platform, they can:

1. Define and quickly adapt data handling processes.

The task of defining and documenting processes helps teams identify areas where mistakes might be made or actions might be missed. Definition and documentation ensure that there are no loose ends that might leave the company open to risk. With a business process management tool like OTRS, these processes can then be automated to further reduce risks that come from human error. And, should a change be necessary, the processes can be easily updated without customers or agents being inconvenienced.

2. Consistently capture all requests.

Business process management solutions that aid compliance efforts should also be able to capture customer requests. This lets customers who may want to update, delete or otherwise know about their data quickly reach the team that’s responsible. Customers can email, chat, call or even post to social media about their data. A request is instantly created and moved through the previously-defined processes on the customer’s behalf. No customer request is mistakenly over-looked.

Fortunately, monitoring solutions that identify possible threats can be integrated with a business process management solution. Once this is set up, the processes can take over.

3. Instantly respond to events and breaches.

A significant aspect of these regulations requires companies to let people know if their data has been put in jeopardy. If this is not done quickly enough, compliance is again at risk. Fortunately, monitoring solutions that identify possible threats can be integrated with a business process management solution. Once this is set up, the processes can take over: When a threat is identified, everyone is quickly notified, mitigation can begin and customers can be contacted in time.

4. Reduce compliance-related workload.

Needless to say, ensuring compliance adds tasks that your team must manage. Automated business processes can be used to help prioritize these tasks and route them to the appropriate team or individual. Templates and forms can be used to speed up customer communication.

5. Create an uneditable audit trail.

Because every activity is clearly documented with an uneditable date and time stamp, there’s never a question that the correct actions were taken by your team. In the event that your business is required to provide proof that processes are being appropriately followed and requests are being well handled, reports can be quickly provided without any additional work.

Increasing our focus on how data is handled is a good thing. It builds trust with consumers, and quite honestly, it’s simply the ethical thing to do. Nonetheless, compliance with the latest data privacy and protection regulations can be a challenge for businesses. So, avoid risk by focusing on your processes. Define them, document them, and automate them. This will make compliance much simpler — as a bonus, doing so will make adapting to future regulation changes even easier too.

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Photos: Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

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