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3/19/2004
05:48 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Business Technology: Compliance Shouldn't Be A Nightmare

The sweat pours down your face ... You toss and turn, thrashing the covers into a knotted mess ... You keep seeing these government guys shoving papers in your face with the word VIOLATION!! stamped all over in big scarlet letters ... As the feds are about to slap on the handcuffs, you call out for help to your blood brother the CFO, and he says, "Who are you? I never saw this guy before--get him outta here!" As this nightmare gets darker and you're hauled through the lobby to the front door, you see the CEO and you beg him to wake you from this gut-wrenching dream and to tell everyone that you didn't do anything wrong--that you just did what you were told and that you know NOTHING about intentionally misleading documents ... As you're about to be thrown in solitary for 10 years, Gene Krupa is hammering out the solo from "Big Noise From Winnetka" inside the lining of your left ventricle and your soaked self finally wakes up with a primal AAAHHHHHHHHH!!! as you wonder, for the eighth straight night in a row, if your compliance efforts will be judged compliant or if you'll be judged complicit. And as your heart rate drops below 125, you ask yourself, "Is this what I signed on for?"

OTHER VOICES
Now a growing number of large Bay Area companies use such open-source software to run their most important business applications, according to corporate I.T. buyers attending a first-of-its-kind conference in San Francisco. As chief information officers switch to open-source applications like those that run on the Linux operating system, they are saving time and money on everything from hosting video games to selling health-care services.

--San Francisco Chronicle, March 17


Compliance, it turns out, doesn't have to be so painful. In fact, since a rush of federal regulation over the past few years has led far too many business-technology executives to suffer the mega-anxiety attacks described above, a raft of new solutions, processes, and strategies has emerged to make it fully possible for organizations not just to comply but also to use that exercise to find new and better ways of conducting all facets of their businesses. And because we at InformationWeek would much rather see all of you bask in the glow of optimized business processes even as prying government regulators find your operations to be as totally compliant as a Stepford wife, we've developed and will launch in two months a new event called "Compliance Challenges & Governance Strategies." And while we'll make it as applicable and relevant as possible, the challenge can't be overstated because even companies that have been at this for a while and that have every intention of being fully compliant are challenged by the flood of new and evolving deadlines and requirements and penalties.

How do you deal with the complex maze of confounding regulations, shifting timetables, rapidly evolving IT issues, business and personal ethics, corporate policies, employee communication and training and enforcement, personal and corporate responsibility, digital archiving, ruthless hackers, immediacy of access, and more? This event, to be held May 19 in New York, will answer those and other questions as leaders from the private and public sectors come together to hammer out answers to these pressing problems.

Tell me about your most inscrutable compliance nightmare, and you might win a free pass to this event--I'll review all entries and pick a winner, who'll be our guest at the event. To find out all the details, please check out informationweek.com/events/compliance.

Bob Evans
Editor in Chief
bevans@cmp.com


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Bob Evans's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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