Gartner: More Government Oversight Coming to Your IT Shop
August 24, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It has been a comforting fact for many IT professionals in the recent decade, with its two recessions, that information technology has become entrenched in not just our corporations, but in our lives as citizens and consumers. To borrow a recent phrase, IT has become too big to fail. And you know what that means: government regulations and oversight.
If you thought Sarbanes-Oxley was bad, brace yourself, IT people. The government is going to try to use regulations and oversight of IT networks to try to take on criminal hacking networks and other hackers who are menacing the tens of millions of systems scattered around the Internet.
“Three years ago, Gartner published research predicting that either catastrophe from IT failure, or a continuing history of lower-level failures would provoke either a governmental regulation or industry self-regulation of IT products and services in the U.S. by 2015 and in the European Union by 2015 to 2018,” explains Richard Hunter, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Although the exact date of arrival for regulation is difficult to predict, we believe that, in recent months, the tempo and intensity of the indications of such an event have increased.”
Hunter says that regulation will come from many different IT angles. Healthcare companies are asking Uncle Sam to approve provisions in a law that mandates the installation of certain administrative software by 2014 that would make software vendors (and perhaps their system integration partners) to be liable if they fail to get the software installed on time, or if it doesn’t work properly. Social networks–Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter–gather lots of personal data and are something of a Wild West in terms of the difficulty of protection minors from all kinds of abuse.
Gartner expects that the European Union will lead when it comes to IT regulation, and speculates that perhaps as early as 2011, it will begin regulating consumer-oriented IT products and services.
To learn more, check out this report from Gartner.