Discussion based on Business Insider’s The EU just launched a big antitrust probe into Amazon, and it could lead to a fine of up to $23 billion. Featuring insight from one of Paradigm’s Strategic Solutions Executives, Dan Fischer.

What do you think is the biggest implication of a data governance breach?
“Each client I work with is different. While fines are a decisive way to impact the cash flow of all companies, I have noticed a trend with my larger clients – that fines are frustrating, but the bigger issue is brand awareness and reputation. No matter what business, service, or product a company provides, most customers will shift to another company once they have lost trust in the organization.”

For data governance, compliance, and regulatory standards, what have you seen to be the most effective practice for your clients?
“One that they actually use! All jokes aside, I have been noticing a dichotomy happening with my clients. Some embody the belief in a purpose-built data governance practice with hundreds of workflows and strict roles and responsibilities for data governance that are separate from IT and the Business. Others believe it is built within the organization and added to resources that currently hold roles within various departments within the company – that their roles expand to own certain aspects of governance.

Both models have their pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to business adoption. As a strategic systems integrator, we [Paradigm Technology] believe in understanding the culture before implementing, because the past experiences are crucial in establishing what will and won’t work.”

Do different types of regulations require different basic data setup/organization?
“Yes, however there are some best practices a company can leverage during initial setup to maximize the overlap in certain regulations. As the world evolves, so will regulations – we’re currently in a digital revolution with every person and organization running as fast as they can to capitalize on the data they have. With all of this data, we are seeing newer regulations from federal and state levels to combat misuse of data and keep consumers safe. If a company sets a goal to be compliant with CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), I am confident they are going to accomplish that goal. The issue I’m seeing is clients hiring a consulting company or systems integrator to accomplish this task without understanding what was implemented for their organization and why. What happens with this approach is that as soon as the next regulation is passed, the company needs to create a whole new approach because their initial approach was not an enterprise one – one that delivers flexibility to mold to tomorrow’s regulations and needs.”

How can fully established data governance programs give clients a leg-up on the competition?
“An established data governance program that is adopted by the business can allow a company to move faster with better internal controls. By having an effective data governance program, an organization can lessen the risk of potential fines, reputation hits, or even potential data breaches.”

Putting these thoughts to practical use, regarding the latest news of the major online retailer being investigated for its use of seller information, how do you think the investigation and possible fine will affect the company?
“The investigation will determine whether or not the company is using its sellers’ data to change or dynamically price their own products for advantage – it could have a massive impact.

For example, if a company sells t-shirts that are priced at $19.99 + shipping, the online retailer could use that information to competitively offer a similar product for $16.99 + free shipping. If it is in fact happening, this creates an unfair advantage to small companies trying to grow on the major platform. As I mentioned before, possible negative results could have a major impact on the company – fines to pay and reputation hits as well.”

For more information on Paradigm Technology’s Data Governance solution approach, click here.