Market research company Forrester gave the downloadable guide containing its predictions for 2018 the subtitle “A Year of Reckoning”.  The company says it believes those words encapsulate how momentous the year will be for the many businesses struggling to keep pace with market dynamics.

One section of the forecasts is called The GDPR Challenge, referring to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May 2018.

Opal Wave can help its customers meet the demands of this and another forthcoming landmark regulation, International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16, with which affected organisations should be fully compliant by January next year, among other measures.

We can aid compliance because, in 2017, we became the world’s first organisation to launch a cloud-based version of the market-leading SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) system powered by SAP HANA, the world’s most advanced in-memory database management application. This breakthrough followed us concluding the first agreement globally for SAP BPC in the Partner Managed Cloud software-as-a-service model with the manufacturer and investing £500,000 in its development.

The cloud-based solution, which abolishes the need for expensive hardware, contains a suite of ultra-rapid financial consolidation, budgeting and forecasting Go Live in a Day™ templates. It includes GDPR-compliant detailed headcount planning functionality and generates all essential reports “out of the box”. The application ensures compliance with the latest International Financial Reporting Standards, the Cloud Consol model covering IFRS 16.

The GDPR lays down the rights of EU citizens – and obligations of businesses processing their data – regarding matters such as consent, notification of breaches, rights to access and to be forgotten, portability and privacy by design.

Relevant businesses are classed as data controllers or processors and either type has to appoint a Data Protection Officer, where their core activities fulfil the criteria. There are also separate, detailed record keeping requirements for both types of organisation.

The GDPR applies tiered punishments, with processors and controllers committing the most serious breaches, such as processing data without sufficient customer consent, being fined up to four per cent of their global annual turnover or 20 million euros, whichever is greater.

IFRS 16 aims to make accounting for lease assets and liabilities up-to-date and transparent. It states that all lessee leases should be reported on balance sheets, except those of little financial value or with terms of 12 months or less. The measure defines leases as “operating” or “financial” and prescribes different treatment of the revenue or income they produce, according to which of these categories applies.

Opal Wave sales and marketing director Simon Bell said: “Our managed cloud product provides secure and reliable processes supporting compliance with both the GDPR and IFRS 16. In the case of the GDPR, we allow department managers to control detailed headcount planning without the risks of emailing spreadsheets containing salary details, for instance.”