Digital transformation was definitely the buzz phrase of 2017. And while many businesses like Airbnb, Amazon, Uber, and others have created game-changing industries leveraging data, the majority of businesses use less than one percent of their available data.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a real catalyst for investing in data governance. However, organizations are recognizing that if they are to make the investment, it needs to impact both the top and bottom line.

With that said, here are five GDPR and data governance predictions for 2018:

GDPR will be the new Y2K.

Remember when we partied like it was 1999? CIOs around the world scrambled to ensure that their systems were Y2K-compliant for the stroke of midnight Jan 1, 2000. We feared that planes would fall from the sky, the financial system would halt, and all-around Armageddon would ensue, so we spent an estimated $300 billion (half of that in the United States).

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect. To process personal [customer] data under GDPR, businesses will need to document their reasoning and show a legal basis as to why they require personal data. Penalties for failing to meet GDPR requirements could lead to fines of up to €20 million or 4 percent of the company’s global annual turnover for the previous year, whichever is greater. This level of financial penalty could have a serious impact on a company’s future, so you will see businesses scrambling to prepare.

Data Governance 2.0 will take hold because Data Governance 1.0 was a failure.

The age of data governance 1.0 was characterized by IT serving as data custodians, mainly cataloging data elements without a grasp of their meaning or relationships. Consequently, the costs of controlling data risk often became needlessly excessive and opportunities to drive business agility were missed. It was a total failure.

In 2018, data governance 2.0 will shine as it moves out of IT’s shadow to encompass the entire enterprise. CFOs, CMOs and all data stakeholders will be involved in data governance, not just traditional data stewards.

Data governance will be vital to all aspects of data, including master data management, business intelligence, IoT and AI.

Social media, cars, TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, etc., – everything is connected and producing vast new quantities of data. Big data is only getting bigger.

First, organizations will need to be able to process this data at high speed. Second, organizations will need a strategy to manage and integrate this never-ending data stream. Even small chunks of data will accumulate into large volumes if they arrive fast enough, which is why it’s critical for organizations to invest in data architecture, management and governance. All of this new data is disparate, it’s noisy, and in its raw form it’s often useless.

So to unlock data’s aforementioned potential, organizations must take the necessary steps to “clean it up.” And with all this data comes tremendous risk. To do this, organizations will need to have an effective strategy to discover, understand, govern and socialize their data.

Increased focus on data governance will accelerate digital transformation.

In 2017, digital transformation was all the buzz. However, with enterprises only tapping into less than one percent of their overall data, we’ve yet to see the full impact of the transformation.

While organizations have historically viewed data governance as a compliance exercise, the fact is that data governance is the foundation for digital transformation. As organizations expand DG out of IT and into the business, and as organizations dedicate resources to prepare for GDPR, you’ll see data being used in more meaningful and game-changing ways.

Data governance will change the way the business views and consumes data.

Organizations will begin to treat their data assets in the same way they treat physical assets to reduce the regulatory and reputational risks to the organization, as well as see it as a valuable resource that helps employees excel in their day-to-day jobs.

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