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The opportunity of Website Compliance

Earlier this year, I attended Kentico Partner Summit in Toronto, hosted by EcentricArts, where the primary focus of the summit was accessibility. Ecentric were amazing hosts, and their leadership on accessibility was extremely educational. Bryan Soltis from Kentico also provided an update on the progress of Kentico 11, with a focus on GDPR Compliance. These topics got me thinking about the topic of compliance in general, and how it is becoming all the more prominent in the digital world lately.

Accessibility is an ever-growing concern and data protection has been getting plenty of press lately as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect in Europe in May of 2018. There are, however, many elements to compliance. Some of them are industry- or feature- specific, such as PCI-DSS for financial information or HIPPA for Health Record information, but the principles are often very similar. So how do you navigate the complexities of compliance, without breaking the bank in the process?

Reading the Headlines

Most of the press we see these days involving compliance issues revolves around the unfortunate consequences of failure:

  • Lawsuits
  • Fines
  • Data and Privacy Breaches

As a result, this tends to influence the motivation behind most organizations’ compliance efforts: They tend to attempt to just "follow the rules", with the primary goals being to mitigate risk and avoid punishment or repercussion.

The result? Compliance that is often not an integrated part of the digital process. Rather, it becomes shoe-horned into the process as minimally as possible, which is more likely to lead to problems down the road. (For more on that topic specifically, check out my post, "Accessibility Beyond Compliance.")

people working at a table on paper next to laptops

Why Bother with More than the Minimum?

I often hear the questions like: “What’s the least amount that I can spend to get the highest chance that I’ll avoid any kind of loss or consequence?”

Make no mistake – this is an investment. One that many clients still opt to avoid wherever necessary. If it isn’t a strict requirement of the initiative, ADA or 508 compliance is often omitted from initial project scope, with the thought that better compliance can be achieved over future phases.

However, the idea of compliance can and should become a fully integrated priority of most initiatives. For one thing, many facets of compliance with these principles are fundamental to the base architecture of many platforms, and implementing such changes after the fact will often cost more than taking care of it initially as part of the build.

Additionally, a properly executed proactive approach to these principles can add both value and ROI. There are absolutely the common safety net benefits to come with compliance, whether it’s accessibility, privacy, or security. You not only avoid violations and fines, bad publicity, or major breaches that cast your organization in a bad light, there are also very proactive business benefits to be gained as well, including:

  • Better Search Engine Rankings
  • Better User Experience and Engagement
  • The possibility of being an industry thought leader in compliance, privacy and security

This last point, in particular, can be particularly valuable in these early days when many competitors in your industry aren’t fully up to speed with compliance.

Not a Burden, But an Opportunity

Once you choose to treat compliance requirements as an opportunity, rather than a burden on time and money that you are dragged into kicking and screaming, you can use it to become a frontrunner in your field.

You'll not only be providing a differentiating level of trust, reliability and responsiveness to your customers, you will have also saved yourself the headache through prioritizing compliance issues during integration. All combined, this should provide you the kind of insight necessary to find ways to make these standards pay for themselves, and possibly even propel your business to another level.

Are you ready for GDPR? Interested in creating a prioritized strategy around compliance and looking to integrate that strategy into your process more closely, tying it all back to ROI? Our technology experts at BlueModus can help. Contact them today for the answers you need!