At Briefed we are very excited to let you know that our founder and #1 data protection specialist, Orlagh Kelly, will be discussing the GDPR issues that matter most to you and your business in her informative new column, the GDPR Guru, live now on syncni.com.
In order to help you to reach GDPR compliance we need to know the data protection issues that are concerning your business. To pose a question to Orlagh or suggest a topic for discussion, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact us form.
In the mean time, here's some information about how one of Northern Ireland's top barristers made the transition to GDPR Guru, helping hundreds of businesses to meet their data protection obligations along the way...
1. How did a barrister become a tech entrepreneur?
I always dreamed about a becoming a lawyer. I saw an episode of Perry Mason when I was a child and fell in love with the idea of court work. I really wanted to fight for people who couldn’t fight for themselves.
At 25, I was called to the Bar and found myself self-employed and tasked with building my own practice. But it went well - I established a successful family law practice, handling over 200 cases a year as one of the top-earning family barristers in my jurisdiction.
Since childhood I have dreamt of a career as a barrister. I saw an episode of Perry Mason and fell in love with the idea of court work and of fighting for people who couldn’t fight for themselves. From that day my commitment to my goal was unwavering - I wanted into the courtroom and I wanted to get there fast.
I was called to the Bar aged 25 and having never considered running my own business I found myself
self- employed and tasked with building my own practice. 8 years on I had established a successful family law practice, handling over 200 cases a year as one of the top earning family barristers in my jurisdiction. But the practicalities of running my own business were holding me back - I was overrun by paper work and had no way in which to market myself effectively and grow the business. I knew the answer lay in technology and with no practice management tools available for barristers I took the daunting step into the world of tech and set about developing one myself. And so Briefed was born.
It became clear that one of the key advantages for barristers using the platform was the ability to easily increase their data security. I realised that businesses needed access to a range of products and training in order to meet their data protection and GDPR requirements, a need that no one was satisfying. Hence, Briefed has evolved into a business, not only offering the original case management system but which services companies on every step of their compliance journey, through our e-products and training and our consultancy services.
The two sides of the business go hand in hand. The knowledge and understanding we gain from working with organisations and learning about the practical challenges presenting from GDPR, shapes and informs our online offerings, ensuring a relevant product designed to truly up skill the user.
2. What was the biggest lesson you learned in different acceleration and incubation programmes?
It’s very easy to assume everyone else knows what is best for you and your business. Early on, I was encouraged to aim for a Silicon Valley-type business with hundreds of employees and investors, but in reality that wasn’t my personal goal. I’m very happy now with what is a high-quality business with a prominent brand in the UK and Ireland. Over time, I learned to trust in myself and back my own judgment.
3. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself in the run up to the launch of Briefed?
I’ve gained a lot from the Lean Startup Methodology. It’s a scientific approach to testing target markets and understanding the appetite for a product prior to development. As the revenue required for development is generated through sales, this way of working can reduce timescales and the need for outside investment. Had I worked with this methodology from the get-go, I could have brought the original Briefed product to the market faster and at less expense.
Read more at bit.ly/2wWR1FT