Whether it's the latest health and safety rule, security standard or accounting regulation, an increasing reliance on automation to track company assets and trading activities has made IT a major part of the compliance agenda.
The example of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) provides an excellent example of IT's role, not only because it calls for unprecedented levels of management control, but also because it is a key focus of yet another looming piece of European Union (EU) corporate legislation.
In a nutshell, European Sarbanes-Oxley or EuroSOX, as it has become known, requires that any new business created through either merger or acquisition should be able to produce consolidated accounts within a month of joining forces.
One company that is more aware of the implications of EuroSOX than many others is fixed, mobile and broadband telecoms operator, The Carphone Warehouse. The company has rapidly expanded by acquisition from humble beginnings as a UK high street mobile phone retailer in 1989 to having nearly 2,500 stores in 10 countries across Europe today, and having added almost three million broadband customers in the last five years.
Last year, Carphone bought AOL's broadband business and its 2.1 million customers to complement its existing broadband subsidiary, TalkTalk. "We've expanded quite a lot in the M&A space," says Jason McCreight, Carphone's head of business change management.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.