Corporate shenanigans over the past year have resulted in what Gartner calls the "Enron effect", with directors and C-suite executives focusing on accountability and governance.
CIOs: Get ready for the "NEW E-BUSINESS".
With millions of investors and former workers still reeling from the disastrous corporate collapses of last year and confidence in capitalism badly shaken, the soul-searching over corporate deceit and ineptitude continues to rage. As one scandal after another tore at the credibility of the markets during what will remain indelibly branded in some people's minds as"The Year of Corporate Collapses", stakeholders and governments alike began demanding full disclosure and accounting transparency.
Yet as companies fell like dominoes it became ever clearer just how easy it is for stakeholders to miss early warning signs of a company's fragile financial health and how vital are management information systems capable of alerting everyone possible to the first signs of trouble.
For CIOs, it is not an abstract debate. CIOs are clearly not to blame for the accounting scandals that derailed Enron, HIH, One.Tel and WorldCom or the collapse of a deregulated Ansett, but they do face new questions over their role as custodians of operational and financial information, and their responsibilities under new corporate accountability decisions. Moreover it is perfectly conceivable some will play an important role in future years in keeping their CEOs - and perhaps themselves - out of jail.
And the knock-on effects of"The Year of Corporate Collapses" bring a host of other issues to the fore.
For one, the CIO's role in providing good technology capable of making the financial health of the company fully transparent, along with the IT governance to keep IS efforts fully aligned, is more essential than ever before. And as hardware and software vendors continue to do the"hard yards", with IT budgets shrinking and spending continuing to dip, are enterprise systems investments themselves at risk? What does a CIO do if a key IT supplier"does an Enron"?
In this special report - The New E-Business - we explore these issues and others, while hopefully providing some tactics for surviving in what are certainly volatile and changing times.
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