IDC Profiles Ten Government and Industry Regulations and Discusses Their Impact on IT

FRAMINGHAM, MA – January 24, 2005 – With the onslaught of new and far-reaching regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, business executives and practice leaders alike are left with the overwhelming task of "becoming compliant." According to a new study published by IDC, this implies that they have a solid understanding of both the regulations' requirements and the current state and operations of their businesses.

"The fact is, the to-do list of these executives is already overwhelming, and they may have neither the resources nor the time to devote to fully exploring the ramifications of the regulations and the various approaches to pursue," said Jessica Goepfert, director, U.S. Vertical Market Research. "Yet, taking action without being fully armed with knowledge should be a frightening prospect."

"While many regulations impose monetary penalties for violations, this cost is only half of the picture," said Jason Spaulding, research analyst, Vertical Markets Watch. "What's more devastating – with longer lasting implications – is the blow to the company's reputation, the lost faith of customers and business partners, and the pain and pressure from the governing bodies to quickly clean up the situation by rapidly implementing new polices and procedures."

Because the regulatory environment creates such daunting challenges with much at stake, IDC's research found that many companies are turning to IT for assistance. Now, the burden of identifying the regulations and their impact, and intimately understanding the end-users' businesses, is falling on the IT vendors. With a myriad of regulations to exploit, vendors need to know where to focus their market strategies.

To help vendors answer this and other regulatory questions, IDC has profiled ten government and industry regulations and mandates of which IT vendors should take note. Because compliance is often thought of as a inconvenience and an expense, IDC has also provided advice on how to position the benefits of leveraging IT to comply.

Key findings presented in this study include the following:

— Compliance and implementation is an ongoing process. Just because a deadline passes does not necessarily mean that the IT opportunity completely dries up.

— Sarbanes-Oxley undoubtedly has the dubious honor of causing the greatest amount of hype and industry impact. It is forcing sweeping reforms of business processes, and thus also presents a healthy IT opportunity.

— The specific IT opportunity created by a regulation may shift over time. Not only are regulations amended and repealed, but sometimes they cause such a fundamental shift in an industry that it will take years for an innovative opportunity to emerge.

In this study, The Ones to Watch: IDC's Guide to the Top Industry and Government Regulations (IDC #32619) IDC discusses the top industry and government regulations and their impact on IT. The ten regulations profiled were chosen based on their industry impact, related IT opportunity, propensity for causing hype, or a combination thereof and include the following:

— Container Security Initiative

— Do-Not-Call Registry

— HIPAA

— No Child Left Behind

— Sarbanes-Oxley

— SEC rule 17a-3 & 4

— Title 21 CFR Part 11

— Tread Act

— USA Patriot Act

— Wal-Mart's RFID Mandate

To purchase this document, call IDC's Sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email sales@idc.com.

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