The passing of the California Data Privacy Act and first wave of GDPR fines are clear signs that data leaders can’t afford to take their eyes of the ball when it comes to compliance and security.
But our latest benchmarking survey of more than 600 global data and analytics leaders reveals that these investments are seen as more than simply defensive initiatives at many enterprise businesses.
Improving customer loyalty is the most frequently cited benefit of using data privacy and security tools, with 64% of data leaders reporting that their organizations use them for this purpose. What’s more, 52% of respondents report using these features to acquire new customers by promoting privacy and security as key selling points.
“Customer loyalty should be at the heart of investment on data privacy and security at all times,” comments Lara Gureje, VP and Head of Data Governance and Stewardship at Bank of the West. “Every organization has to be intentional about its data protection strategy in their quest to harness innovation and insightful analytics from their data asset.”
Himanshu Arora, CDAO at health insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, adds: “It is refreshing and validating to see focus on investments in data protection, privacy and security increasingly move from expense (‘mandates’) column of an enterprise’s balance sheet to revenue, through enhanced customer loyalty.”
Security Investments Remain a Priority for Data Leaders
Of course, the traditional benefits of good data security and privacy practices are still on the corporate radar. Mitigating insider threats (62%) was the second most frequently cited benefit of strong data security, with mitigating external threats (55%), adhering to regulations (32%) and stopping data breaches (32%) not far behind.
Our research shows that 87% of data leaders dedicate more than a fifth of their budget to data security and compliance matters. What’s more, 69% have invested in new technologies in the past three years.
Network security, data back-up and cloud data protection tools are the most widely used security measures, cited by 72%, 53% and 50% of respondents, respectively. Data classification, anti-ransomware, two-factor authentication and big data encryption tools all tied for fourth place.
Those that haven’t invested in security or privacy tools recently say they invested significantly in these measures more than three years ago (47%), believe they have everything they need in place already (45%) or will be investing in new technologies soon (38%).
“The biggest challenge we all face is how to continue building trust with our customers by ensuring optimal protection of their data. How do we make sure we’re not innovating at the expense of privacy breach?” – Lara Gureje, Vice President of Data Governance and Stewardship at Bank of the West
Only a small minority believe not enough has changed to warrant further investment (33%), lack the budget to make the upgrades they want (25%) or say data security isn’t a priority for their organization (12%).
We found no consensus on which data protection and security investments are most important for enterprise businesses.
Clearly, investments must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to account for the different needs of each organization.
At the same time, the data security landscape is constantly shifting. Business leaders must reassess their security needs on a regular basis to keep step with new regulations, thwart criminal innovations and ensure they’re meeting their customers’ security expectations.
“We’re raising awareness in our data communities and empowering our people with the right tools and technology to join the crusade,” concludes Gureje. “The ROI is priceless, as our ultimate goal is to continue strengthening our customer relationships.”
This article is an extract from our Four Data & Analytics Trends to Watch in 2020 report, published in association with Lynchpin. Click the image below now to access the full research and discover the other three trends.