DevOps Oxford: GDPR – Why you should care

This month’s DevOps Oxford, which took place on Tuesday, covered the hot business topic of the moment, GDPR – the event focused on the implications of GDPR for DevOps professionals.

November’s DevOps Oxford featured two fantastic speakers – Stefanie Jacobs, Technology Solutions Professional at Microsoft and Frans Lytzen, Co-Founder and CTO at NewOrbit.

The event kicked off with an introductory presentation from Reqiva’s very own Sales Manager & co-organiser of DevOps Oxford, John Chapman. John gave a general overview of GDPR – what it is, what it means for UK businesses and the fact that there is just 25 weeks to go until the grace period is over and businesses must be compliant with the regulation. He also discussed how we’ve been preparing for GDPR at Reqiva – to find out more about our journey, read our recent blog.

What is GDPR – Stefanie Jacobs, Tech Solutions Professional at Microsoft

In her presentation, Stefanie explored what GDPR is and what it means to the attendees and DevOps as a function in general. The main goal of the session was to give current practices some thought and streamline them with compliance in mind.

Stefanie explained that data protection laws (the EU Data Protection Directive) in the UK, prior to GDPR, hadn’t been updated since 1995 and a much needed overhaul was needed to protect consumers and their rights.

During her presentation, Stefanie stressed the importance of being agile and flexible in order to be compliant and that GDPR compliance is a shared responsibility, both cross-functionally, as well as contractually with third parties and suppliers.

GDPR DevOps Oxford meetup data protection


GDPR for DevOps – Frans Lytzen, Co-founder and CTO at NewOrbit

Frans was next to present – in his talk he highlighted the key areas that businesses need to consider when hosting and managing software. He made clear that even if you don’t think that you store personal data, it’s almost a guarantee that you will. Even if the scope of this is only employee data, you still need to be mindful and comply with GDPR regulation.

He continued to explain, that if you think that the regulatory body in the UK, the ICO, aren’t taking GDPR seriously, then you’d be mistaken. He quoted that the ICO has increased it’s staff numbers by 40% in order to prepare for GDPR regulation.

As a CTO, Frans had some fantastic actionable examples that DevOps and development professionals can take in order to prepare for GDPR. He explained that code should be treated like personal data and that GDPR should be considered when coding your systems. He also explained the difficulties of making processes GDPR compliant and how in his own business they’d grappled with the challenges of making processes compliant, for example breach identification. How do you realistically make sure that breaches are always detected and how do you ensure that breaches are always reported within the 72 hour time-frame stipulated in GDPR?

Frans’ insightful presentation was well received by the meetup attendees and the Q&A session well overran late into the evening (a sure sign of a successful meetup!)

Thanks to our fantastic speakers and once again to the Oxford Trust (@OxfordTrust) for enabling us to host the event at The Pod at the Oxford Innovation Centre.

Get involved

If you’d like to speak at a future DevOps event, or have any immediate or future DevOps hiring requirements, then John Chapman (our Sales Manager and co-organiser of DevOps Oxford) would be delighted to talk to you – call us on 01189595552 or email

The next DevOps meetup will take place on 30 January 2018 and will cover the theme of Teamwork in DevOps.

Don’t forget to sign up to attend the next meetup – join the DevOps meetup group online and follow @DevOpsOxford to keep up to date.

If you’d like to watch a round-up of this event, follow the DevOps Youtube page – a video will be uploaded shortly to give you a flavour of what was discussed.