GDPR eLearning as a case study for the build or buy decision


How to do you make the bespoke course versus off-the-shelf decision when it comes to eLearning content? It’s always a challenge. The marketplace for off-the-shelf content is growing year on year and if you search wide enough you can often find ready-made content for even very niche learning needs. So, what are the critical factors in your decision-making process?

Budget and time to value will be two key factors. But are they the most critical factors? It has been interesting to witness the proliferation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) eLearning content this last year with the introduction of the new EU regulations in May 2018. There is now a plethora of off-the-shelf eLearning content designed to introduce the new regulations and equip people and organisations with the knowledge and understanding of how this will impact their organisations and ways of working.

And yet, even with so many off-the-shelf offerings that are all covering the same well-defined regulations, many organisations have taken the decision to build their own, bespoke GDPR courses. I am sometimes left wondering why have so many organisations decided to re-invent the wheel when surely a generic course could provide all the information and knowledge required?

Perhaps the additional factor at play here is that of organisational or brand risk. GDPR has certainly had a very high profile in the business and general media this year and the financial penalties for getting it wrong for any organisation can be extremely high (up to 20 million Euros).

On reflection, it seems only right that risk plays a key part in this build or buy decision as the assessment of risk is something that underpins any important human decisions and endeavours. However, I would challenge whether weighting this decision too heavily on the risk scale will offer an optimal outcome in terms of cost versus benefit. I can’t help but feel that a lot of organisations have invested a lot of their scarce resources in re-inventing a wheel that was no ‘faster’ than those already available to them!