A guest post from researcher Enza Iannopollo.

Upcoming changes to privacy regulation in the EU as well as rising business awareness that effective data privacy means competitive differentiation in the market makes privacy a business priority today. And this is not only relevant for tech giants: protecting both customer and employee privacy is a business priority for companies of all sizes and across industries.

But where do you start? Many companies start by hiring a chief privacy officer. Some have built brand-new privacy teams that manage privacy for the whole firm, while others prefer a decentralized model where responsibilities are shared across teams. What are the pros and cons of each approach? Which organizational structure would better meet the needs of your firm?

And when your privacy organization is in place, how do you establish smooth collaboration with other teams like marketing and digital, for example? Too often we hear that privacy teams do not have the visibility that they need into the data-driven initiatives happening within the company. When this happens, privacy organizations are less effective and the business risks failing its customers, undermining their expectation for privacy.

At Forrester, Heidi Shey, Fatemeh Khatibloo and I are starting new research to help S&R professionals and their business counterparts answer these questions and learn how to build an effective privacy organization. We’d love to talk to you about how the privacy organization is structured within your company, the key roles and responsibilities, and your current challenges (and success stories!). Wherever your business is located and whether your role is in privacy or marketing or digital, we would like to learn from your experience. If you have questions about this research or would like to participate, please let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you.