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GDPR

What Will The GDPR Mean For SMEs In Ireland?

GDPR

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect from May 2018, it’s time to ask is your company is truly GDPR ready?

 

By simply looking at online job boards, we can clearly see a number of large multi-national organisations increasing their recruitment efforts within Data Protection, Data Management/Governance and Compliance as well as IT Security, Database Development, IT Risk and Audit. However many SMEs are yet to take the plunge.

 

THE GDPR & SMEs 

Many companies across Ireland and the UK are yet to realize that the new data protection laws – specifically the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are applicable to all organisations regardless of their size.

As the GDPR is designed to increase and protect the rights of the consumers, companies need to be asking themselves if they are compliant or risk facing penalties up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the gross annual turnover.

Even though SMEs will be subject to the main elements of the legislation as larger organizations, there are some exemptions as well as some benefits for smaller businesses.

 

Benefits for SMEs

It would be fair to say that some people see The GDPR as more “Red Tape” coming in from the EU, however the new regulations will offer a significant boost to SME exporters within Ireland.

In short, the GDPR will mean that instead of having to ensure you are compliant with 28 different laws in relation to data protection, there will be now one universal rule that applies to all states within the EU. Some states may opt to have stricter restrictions but in essence all legislation will be the same.

This therefore means that smaller companies who are planning on exporting to multiple states within the EU may see a reduction in their costs as well as less red tape as the process will now be standardised.

It also means that companies as well as consumers have the added reassurance that the data they have supplied to companies operating within the EU will be handled in the same manner as it would be if the company was operating solely within Ireland.

 

Exemptions for SMEs

As aforementioned, under the new GDPR outlined by the European Commission, there will also be a few exemptions given to SMEs.

  1. Unless the core activities of the company involve processing special categories of personal data (racial, ethnic, religious beliefs etc.) or they are processing large quantities of data; the company will not be required to appoint a full-time data protection officer.
  2. Unless the SME is processing data regularly or at risk of breaching the rights and freedoms of the data subject, they will not be required to keep records of how they process data.
  3. If the data breach is considered “minor” and does not represent a high risk for the rights and freedoms of the data subject, SMEs will not be obligated to report the breach. If, however the breach is considered to have a major impact on the data subject, they will be required to report the breach to all affected individuals.

 

To conclude, the GDPR brings some welcomed changes in how private information is handled however to ensure that companies avoid what could potentially be costly mistakes, the European Commission is urging all businesses, regardless of size, to ensure that they are ready and fully compliant for the implementation of the regulation that will take place May 25th 2018.

 

Claire Kelly is a Recruitment Consultant with the IT team in Dublin. Email: ckelly@sigmar.ie | Tel: +353 1 4744637  

Posted by Claire Kelly, Recruitment Consultant, IT on 7 December 2017

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IT Jobs Market 2021

IT Jobs Market 2021

2020 was an interesting year for Ireland’s IT jobs market with the initial impact of Covid causing some companies to reassess their recruitment practices - either pausing or freezing completely. However, most sectors have bounced back since March and we even saw some companies take advantage of a less competitive market and increased their hiring plans. In 2021, we expect to see a release of this “pent-up demand” for candidates as businesses begin to move back towards BAU models. Digital Transformation Digital transformation projects that typically would have taken years to plan happened practically overnight or over a few weeks as COVID-19 restrictions forced companies to speed up their digital adaptions in what became an “adapt or die” environment. 2021 will see a further increase in demand for individuals with digital transformation experience as companies accelerate further the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and of their internal operations.   Companies who failed to innovate or tweak their processes to suit the demand of the market felt a larger impact than companies who remained agile and changed quickly depending on the market demands. Consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels during the pandemic, so companies are having to create digital or digitally enhanced offerings in response. Cybersecurity Unsurprisingly with the adoption of remote work and the planning for transition to the next “normal”, we have seen huge demand for infrastructure and security professionals which we foresee continuing in 2021. As organisations pivoted to work from home models, security engineers rushed to establish secure connections and prevent network threats that targeted remote workers. At the same time, with the surge in online shopping and e-commerce transactions, they had to bolster their organisation’s e-commerce platforms. 2021 will see organisations continue to increase their spend on cybersecurity as companies look to how they will operate in a post-pandemic world. With many organisations such as Google planning for a “Hybrid” work-from-home model, i.e. employees working a few days in the office and a few at home, network security will be a priority. MedTech, Life Sciences and Healthcare Given how health has never been more in focus than it has been in the past year, it is perhaps no surprise that there has been a huge demand for IT professionals in the wider health industry. MedTech and Life Sciences companies are continually developing new and innovative treatments and consequentially developing technologies to enable this. We have seen an increase in demand of more “hybrid roles” such as IT professionals with experience working specifically within class 1 medical devices fields. Biotech and digital transformation within gene cell therapy in particular is set to be a large growth area for 2021. Connected health is set to be a large growth area for 2021 also, as medical practices are forced to digitize and with telehealth being forecast to grow exponentially. Candidate-led Market Despite the initial dip in March 2020, the market very much remains candidate driven. Particularly now as candidates are no longer bound to jobs within commuting distance of the office. Regional talent pools have flourished as candidates who would have worked in major cities, now have the opportunity to work remotely meaning they can move to their preferred location and still do the same job on the same salary as before. Regional companies also benefited as they are now able to tap into larger talent pools due to remote working practices. Perhaps what has been most surprising about 2020, is that salaries have stayed relatively stable, but candidates have been seeking increases in their packages over base. With the increase in remote working opportunities, candidates are no longer distracted by “bells and whistles” (free food, ping pong tables etc.) and instead are more interested in actual projects, technologies being used and career growth and progression. Therefore, our advice to employers is consider how you are marketing your positions. Contractors We saw in our 2020 Q3 survey findings that many businesses looked to Contractors to fill gaps in their teams while coping with the uncertainty in the market due to COVID-19. From recent discussions with our clients this trend is likely to continue in 2021. We particularly foresee an increase in demand of contract roles for Frontend/Fullstack Developers, DevOps Engineers and Data Analysts. As a result of the increase in demand, contract rates have been on the rise. With many large and SME organisations reverting to remote work this has opened the market up to all areas of Ireland. A big trend is seeing Contractors based in the regions now being able to work for the large organisations in the cities and receive the same rates of those based in the cities. Therefore, rates in the regional areas of Ireland have increased due to the remote access of new roles in the industry. 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Salary Guide 2021

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