Millions of UK SMBs 'still not preparing' for GDPR

With just over six months to go until the GDPR deadline, it seems that millions of businesses are still lagging behind when it comes to being compliant with the new rules.

A new report from Data Compliance Doctors has found that two in five of all UK SMBs have not begun planning for the effects of GDPR - equivalent to around 2.1 million companies.

Despite this shortfall however, the report suggest that many of Britain's small businesses are putting in the hours to make sure they are ready for the new legislation.

The report found that the average UK SME has spent over 80 days (600 hours) preparing for GDPR over the past year. 

The most common business function that SMEs are adjusting for GDPR is sales (57 per cent), followed by IT (55 per cent) and marketing (45 per cent). These groups were also the most likely to have received GDPR training (sales and IT both 39 per cent, and marketing 35 per cent). 

Over a quarter (27 per cent) of SMEs also said they had hired new staff to help prepare for GDPR, spending, on average, £13,300 on salaries so far. As a result, over half (54 per cent) now feel they have the right GDPR expertise in-house. Half of those questioned have also invested in expert guidance or consultancy, spending almost £8,000 each on fees to date.

“Our survey has revealed a mixed bag in terms of GDPR preparation amongst SMEs," said Lisa Chittenden from The Data Compliance Doctors. "Some have spent a lot of time and money to ensure they are in a good position come May 25, 2018. However, our figures show there are many thousands that have not even started, despite all the discussion and media stories in recent months. But, with six months to go, it’s not too late to get yourself up to speed."

“A further third are also unaware of the different permission types, so I’d encourage them to seek expert advice or do some research to ensure they’re fully compliant."