Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
12/9/2004
03:55 PM
50%
50%

Say "Uncle"

The government is increasingly enlisting businesses to help fight terrorism, drug counterfeiting, and fraud. This means getting airlines, drug companies, financial service providers, defense department contractors, and telecommunication companies to invest in technology, the right technology. My December 13 feature entitled "Uncle Sam's Guiding Hand" addresses this issue in depth, but here's a preview of some key issues.

The government is increasingly enlisting businesses to help fight terrorism, drug counterfeiting, and fraud. This means getting airlines, drug companies, financial service providers, defense department contractors, and telecommunication companies to invest in technology, the right technology. My December 13 feature entitled "Uncle Sam's Guiding Hand" addresses this issue in depth, but here's a preview of some key issues.One way to gauge the impact of government regulation on IT is to see just how much more aware CIOs are of regulation today than they were a decade ago, when they relied mostly on their company's legal departments to keep abreast of government mandates, says Ken Horner, Deloitte Consulting's U.S. IT Strategy Practice Leader. "Some CIOs are in a sense asking for legal departments to dedicate staff specifically to monitoring regulation that affects IT function," he says.

The government's attempts to exert unusually high influence over businesses are understandable in a security-conscious post-9/11 world. "The increase in regulatory mandates directed at businesses is directly related to the idea that government feels that by getting more personal information about people, they can stop terrorist attacks," says Ari Schwartz, associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

But what's ostensibly good for national security isn't necessarily good for business. "In fact, this is clearly bad for business," Schwartz says. "They're asking for businesses to turn over data about their customers, and risk having their brand associated with that behavior."

Successful navigation of industry-specific mandates will depend upon how well companies balance their customer confidentiality commitments with their national security obligations. Although the government ultimately has the final word, businesses are not without recourse. It's beneficial for businesses to let government know the costs of compliance and voice their thoughts on what constitutes reasonable deadlines.

Please share your thoughts.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.