Risk, Paralysis and the GDPR

by Tim Williams

In 1927, Ringling Brothers moved their winter headquarters to Sarasota Florida. Ninety years later, there is still an overlay of circus culture everywhere you go.

To get to the beaches on Lido and Longboat Keys, you take John Ringling Boulevard over the bay, and pass through a roundabout decorated with the Circus Ring of Fame, a tribute to great performers of the past. Up by the airport, the Ringling Circus Museum and Ca’ d’Zan, the Ringling mansion, still draw crowds. Circus celebrities make their home in and around town, and can be seen on occasion in full costume waiting on line to get into the movie theaters during the annual Sarasota Film Festival. And every winter, the Circus Arts Conservatory presents Circus Sarasota – an assembly of local legends and itinerant wannabes – to packed houses of natives, tourists and snowbirds under a tent in an open field behind the University Town Center Mall.

Last February the headliner was Nik Wallenda, the seventh generation member of the world famous Flying Wallendas. He and his troupe promised to be the first to perform the seemingly impossible – an 8 person pyramid walk across a tight rope suspended atop the tent – without a net – until, during a dress rehearsal two days before opening night, tragedy struck. The pyramid collapsed, and five of the eight were rushed to the hospital.

Why did they take such risks?

Memories of this event flooded back to me after reading Gartner’s How to Implement File Analysis for GDPR Challenges, a wakeup call for IT infrastructure and operations leaders everywhere. I live in the circus of data governance, where the balancing act is the competing agendas of your compliance and IT organizations, the risks are legal and regulatory, and the stakes are the life of your company.

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