As we learned from the Enron scandal, mandated accounting regulations often create IT jobs. Will that be the case with the latest financial crisis?
No one really knows in what ways the recent financial crisis will affect the world of IT. Some experts are already predicting how some technology initiatives will be affected — you'll likely see a stall in the implementation of new enterprise mobile apps, and there could be a pricing war in the SaaS (Software as a Service) arena — but in a silver lining kind of way, IT jobs may increase in some areas.
We're all familiar with the regulations that came about due to the Enron financial scandal (Sarbanes-Oxley and that ilk). Some experts are predicting that there will be a slew of new regulations meant to curtail fancy lending practices of financial institutions. And is often the case with regulations, it will fall to IT to enforce them through technology systems.
In other words, the country is clamoring for a new wave of compliance, and IT pros are the only folks who can make it happen. Now, of course, this is both good news and bad news. Good news is the job opportunities that will arise, but bad for the people who loathed implementing Sarbanes-Oxley safeguards with every inch of their being.
And, according to InfoWorld, the new rounds of regulations resulting from the convoluted lending practices will be much more complex than Sarbanes-Oxley.
As these financial instruments were repackaged and resold, investors lost the ability to track what exactly was in each offering and what the actual risk was; even those trading in such instruments weren't exactly sure what they were selling or buying. To prevent a recurrence of such murky instruments will require transparency in how companies and what they trade are linked together. That in turn requires increased use of auditing and tracking applications and the business processes behind them.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.