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Why is data protection so important and how can it bring business value? 

Every business in every industry relies heavily on the data collected from customers to run and improve their operations. Data governance has become such a critical aspect ofthe business strategy that many experts agree data can be considered the single most valuable asset for companies big and small. 

Over the past decade or so the role of data within the business environment has significantly shifted. While back in the day, only a select number of businesses were considered data companies, at present most companies use data as a guiding light to drive change and reach their full potential.

In this context and in the light of growing cybersecurity risks, data protection becomes a major concern for businesses and organizations in all sectors. These days, data protection is more than a legal necessity, but a prerequisite for business growth and success. So, if you want to learn more about the relevance of data protection in the current business landscape and how it can add value to businesses, the next sections of this article will make for a very interesting read. 

Data as a business asset 

Before we get into the whys and the hows of data protection and business value, let’s first get acquainted with the four pillars that make data such a strong asset. 

First of all, there’s the matter of uniqueness. Since every company’s interactions and the relationships they build with their customers are unique, the data they harvest from these connections is just as unique. This makes a company’s data set completely irreplaceable, and therefore extremely valuable. 

Secondly, data has a cumulative effect. This means that the more data a business collects, the more it grows in value. A higher volume of data allows companies to gain better insights into the products and services they offer and how customers respond to them, so they can adjust their business processes accordingly. 

Thirdly, unlike other assets, data doesn’t have an expiration date and is nonperishable. Its value is not affected by the passage of time, and it can be used over and over again, as many times as necessary for different business purposes. 

Finally, data has an exponential quality, in the sense that its value increases with usage. The same cannot be said about other business assets that are subject to wear and tear over time. 

Data protection as an opportunity to create business value 

Now that we’ve shed light on the potential of data as an asset, it’s become a lot clearer why so many businesses invest in different tools for data protection and anonymization. But how exactly does data protection help create business value? We’ll provide the answer in what follows. 

It ensures regulatory compliance 

The first and most obvious benefit that a business gets from implementing data protection measures is achieving compliance with the relevant laws and regulations in their industry and region. A business cannot operate lawfully if it fails to comply with these laws, regulations, and standards. If a company chooses to ignore these aspects, the consequences can be extremely severe, including hefty fines and penalties. 

Apart from that, non-compliance with data protection requirements can also impact business relationships negatively, causing them to lose valuable partners and important business opportunities.   

It keeps breaches at bay

Considering we live in a day and age when cyber attacks have become a common occurrence, it comes as no surprise that businesses are growing increasingly concerned about the proper storage and handling of the data they collect.  

Since we’ve already explained what a valuable asset data can be, it’s obvious that good data protection practices are a must for keeping this value safe and avoiding potential data breaches. Reducing the risks of data breaches through solid data protection measures keeps both the business and its clients safe and helps maintain the company’s good reputation. 

It builds trust and loyalty 

It takes one unfortunate event for the public to lose their trust in a brand and take their business elsewhere. A company that hasn’t experienced any issues related to data collecting, storing, or processing, thanks to the strong data security controls they’ve implemented, is seen as a strong and reliable brand and therefore has greater chances of winning customers’ loyalty and trust. 

And it’s not just customers’ trust you can win if you put data protection at the top of your priority list. This also puts you in a good light with business partners and potential investors, which means you have better chances at securing favorable deals and partnerships.  

It supports brand ethics 

It’s not just legal requirements that should prompt companies to use their customers’ data in a fair and transparent way that does not pose any risks to the data subject, but also brand ethics. Although data protection legislation may leave certain loopholes that can be exploited by businesses to their advantage, a serious company should also have an ethics policy in place to reassure clients that their data is always going to be used responsibly and only for stated business purposes. 

This reinforces the company’s commitment to the proper handling of data, providing peace of mind for customers. Brand ethics can add an extra layer of safety, thus providing value for the company. 

It provides a competitive advantage 

Customers these days not only share the same concerns businesses have over data safety, but they’re also much more aware of their privacy rights in the online environment. the vast majority of consumers fear for the safety of their data and would like to have more control over how companies collect, store and use their personal information. 

A business that shows commitment towards keeping its clients’ data safe through a strong data protection policy is going to gain a significant advantage over its competitors, which is not an easy thing to achieve in the current business environment. 

We can conclude that data protection impacts companies at every level, which is why it has the power to bring about positive change and add business value, in every industry and sector. 

 

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