Ward Solutions today announced that it has invested €300,000 to launch a new GDPR consultancy service for Irish businesses. The new service will help organisations around Ireland to achieve and demonstrate compliance with incoming General Data Protection Regulation, due to come into force on 25th May next year. Ward has established a dedicated team of fifteen consultants to deliver the service and is forecasting that it will generate €500,000 in new revenue from this new service in the first 12 months.

Any company that processes personal data will be required to comply with GDPR, and failure to demonstrate compliance could lead to companies facing fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover, depending on which is greater.

The launch of the service represents a €300,000 investment for Ward, in employee training, certification and new hires.  The company’s team of consultants have attained GDPR-specific certifications such as the Certified Data Protection Practitioner from ICS Skills, the EU General Data Protection Regulation Certificate from the International Board for IT Governance, and the Certificate in Data Protection Practice from the Law Society of Ireland.

To help its clients ensure compliance with GDPR, Ward Solutions will offer a wide range of services as part of its new offering. Consultants will help companies to assess compliance readiness and identify the different types of data in their possession. In-depth gap analysis and remediation planning will identify the steps that organisations need to take to become compliant, and Ward will develop comprehensive programmes of work to help businesses achieve and maintain compliance with the regulation.

In addition, Ward’s Data Protection Officer as-a-service will provide organisations with access to an information security privacy specialist who will provide expert knowledge of GDPR and data privacy best practice, and oversee the implementation of GDPR throughout the organisation.

Paul Hogan, chief technology officer, Ward Solutions, said: “With GDPR looming on the horizon, there are huge fines in play for any organisation that fails to demonstrate compliance. This new GDPR consultancy service from Ward Solutions will enable Irish companies to identify what personal data they are processing, where it is located and what their legal justifications for processing are. This will allow organisations to establish whether or not the manner in which they process personal data is compliant with GDPR. Ward can also deliver a data protection programme to address any shortcomings, and put the necessary governance and accountability structures in place to enable organisations to achieve and demonstrate compliance.

“Demand for this service is so high that fifteen of our experienced data privacy consultants are now working solely on GDPR, and will be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. We are forecasting new revenues of €500,000 from this service alone, which will have an enormously positive effect on the company on the whole.

“We’re looking forward to helping organisations throughout the country to achieve GDPR compliance. Our holistic and consolidated approach will make it possible to identify, design and implement a privacy protection programme that is in-line with an organisation’s unique needs, budget and in-house capabilities.”