Editor's Note: IT's Role In Keeping Companies Honest - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
Commentary
6/30/2002
08:13 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
50%
50%

Editor's Note: IT's Role In Keeping Companies Honest

Hey, remember the Enron implosion? You know, the accounting scandal at the big energy company. And that Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, was convicted of obstructing justice? Seems like eons ago, doesn't it? I'm being flip, but there are so many other examples of corporate malfeasance competing for our attention now that Enron seems like history. In fact, as the details about the Enron case were building, I remember a lot of people paying less attention to that and more to "who's going to be the next Enron." Well, now there's Adelphia, ImClone, Tyco, WorldCom, and Xerox. All around us we see investors losing faith, employees feeling duped, and customers wondering what's their next move.

I've got to wonder, did the dot-com era do more harm than we originally thought? When investors started pumping money into companies that focused more on marketing and snazzy headquarters than they did on business models and profits, did it help breed a new level of greed? Or has this kind of behavior been festering for years in these or other companies? Hopefully, the recent examples of misconduct will prompt companies of all sizes to apply a new level of scrutiny to bookkeeping and other business practices. Otherwise, people are going to start screaming the "R" word. As in more forceful government regulation.

In most of these recent cases, fingers are being pointed at CFOs, CEOs, accounting officers, external auditors, and others who have direct access to the books that are being cooked. But what role does the business-technology officer play in maintaining corporate integrity? Now is perhaps a time for technology managers-many of whom have become collaborative partners in the business-to do a little soul-searching about how they can help restore confidence, ensure accuracy in financial information systems, and exemplify strong business ethics. That doesn't mean all CIOs need to learn the minute details of accounting rules, but maybe it means putting new technologies or processes into place or reducing the complexity of corporate information systems or finding ways to make data more secure.

On page 20, senior editor Eileen Colkin examines the issues, technologies, and role of the business-technology manager. Opinions run the gamut from those who feel technology managers have no responsibility in eliminating financial misconduct to those who say IT plays a critical role. Where do you stand? Let us know at informationweek.com/forum/stephaniestahl.

Stephanie Stahl

Editor

[email protected]


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

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Commentary
Future IT Teams Will Include More Non-Traditional Members
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/1/2020
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll