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Dynamics 365 and GDPR
Jan 12 2018

Dynamics CRM as part of GDPR compliance

For the last ten years, I’ve been helping (mostly) mid-sized organisations implement Dynamics CRM (now subsumed into the Dynamics 365 suite). They’ve wanted to do this for a number of reasons – better visibility of their sales pipeline, more joined-up communication with the customer and prospect base, managing customer service – the list is long. These are all positive reasons, in that a successful implementation will lead to business benefit.


But in the last few months, whilst these reasons still exist, there is a new driver lurking. Whilst the benefits to individuals of GDPR are clear, the upheaval that this is causing to modest-sized businesses is substantial. And the outcome of being GPDR-compliant is not being hit by a fine from the ICO – hardly an intoxicating draw in a hard-pressed economy.


From a business’s perspective, although moving away from a plethora of spreadsheets, Access databases and a myriad of iddy-biddy business applications to one central repository of customer data (which moving to Dynamics 365 can achieve) for GDPR compliance may provide the catalyst, it’s important for consultants like me to focus on achieving some of the traditional CRM benefits.


Furthermore, as a consultant, on top of my experience in the likes of sales process, inbound marketing techniques and self-service customer portals, I’m now having to get to grips with data retention policies and cyber security.


So what has my new-found experience in the world of GDPR for mid-sized businesses taught me?


1. The fewer systems holding personal data, the better. This will make the (let’s face it, dry) exercise of developing GDPR-compliant processes and policies much more painless.


2. It’s vital that businesses wanting to become GDPR compliant contract with SaaS providers that have addressed AND BUILT INTO THEIR CONTRACT the relevant GDPR assurances. As an example, Microsoft have committed to this.


3. Once the personal data is all in Dynamics 365, it is relatively straightforward to produce a set of policies that can be templated with system reports and workflows, that will ensure compliance is continued long after the person that wrote the policy has moved onto to his or her next assignment.


What is your view on using CRM to help with GPDR?

P.S. Flex IT can help you to become GDPR compliant, we’ve written more about on our GDPR service page, find out more there!