The latest Global Forensic Data Analytics Survey from EY revealed that just a third of businesses (33%) had a plan in place to comply with GDPR – which comes into effect on 25 May 2018.
Though the average response from businesses in Europe was more positive, with 60% having a compliance plan in place, the Big Four firm said more work needed to be done to improve readiness in other markets.
Only 12% of businesses in the Asia-Pacific said they were prepared for GDPR, while in the Americas (13%) and Africa and the Middle East (27%) also displayed low levels of readiness.
“The pace of regulatory change continues to accelerate and the introduction of data protection and data privacy laws, such as GDPR, are major compliance challenges for global organisations,” said Andrew Gordon, EY global fraud investigation and dispute services leader.
“But businesses that adopt forensic data analytics (FDA) technologies can achieve significant advantages, benefitting from more effective risk management and increased business transparency across all of their operations.”
Respondents displayed a strong belief in FDA’s value, as average annual spend per respondent increased by 51% compared to 2016.
Furthermore, companies had gone beyond relying on basic FDA tools as 17% said they had already begun to use robotic process automation (RPA) to manage legal, compliance and fraud risks.
An additional two in five (39%) said they were likely to adopt RPA within the next year, while 38% said they would adopt artificial intelligence within the next 12 months.
The report also highlighted the need for greater investment to match the increased adoption and spending on advanced FDA technologies.
Just under a seventh of business leaders (13%) felt their organisation had the right technical skills in FDA, while only 12% thought they had the right data analytics and data science skills.
Gordon said that FDA was not just about technology, but the people who manage the technology and how it’s used to manage risks.
“While its encouraging to see that investment in advanced FDA is increasing, companies need to hire the right talent and invest in core skills such as domain knowledge and data analytics in order to be successful in managing their risk profile,” said Gordon.
In October, research from the Institute of Directors found that a third of directors had not heard of GDPR, while four in 10 were unaware of how it would affect their business