As the economy continues to right itself, regulators and industry analysts alike have said that compliance is going to be an even bigger priority. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Schapiro has told anyone who will listen lately that enforcement cases and new rule-making arising out of the financial crisis are at the top of the agency's agenda in this new year. Studies show that compliance officers and risk officers are highly in demand, and that general counsel are commanding higher salaries as a result of the changes to their responsibilities as well.
Moreover, the data boom has also meant increased compliance requirements regarding how that data is managed. Interestingly, though, instead of resenting the changes or complaining about them, a majority of mid-market firms that responded to a recent CTO Edge survey on data governance were "positive or neutral" regarding the increase in compliance requirements. Forty-one percent of 138 mid-market IT executives who responded to the survey said increased compliance has had a positive impact on the business, and another 41 percent said increased compliance "is a mixed bag of good and ill."
Twelve percent of respondents said the increase in compliance requirements is a detriment to the cost of IT, but only 6 percent said compliance is a complete waste of time that adds no value. I don't have the details on survey participants, so I can't begin to speculate what might cause the differences in opinion, but it is nice to see that the general attitude toward compliance is not a negative one -- at least for this small sample of companies.
And I have a feeling that anyone in that last 6 percent may change tunes about those compliance requirements the first time he or she is audited or otherwise must respond to regulator inquiries or a discovery order and can't do it in a timely manner.