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IT budget available for regulatory compliance

Lip service or room service? Is IT going to get a real budget to put in and operate the systems needed for compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), HIPAA or whatever else is needed? Or will “economic downturn” be the magic spell that makes regulatory compliance go away? A recent survey of CIOs and other top IT managers by SearchCIO.com and SearchCIO-Midmarket.com suggests regulatory compliance management will not be a victim of recession.

Overall, 44% of respondents said compliance spending would remain the same this year as in 2008, and 41% said it would increase — including 13% who said it would increase by more than 10%. That’s much better than the overall IT budget picture — 37% said expenditures for compliance-related hardware, software and IT services would get a greater share of the budget.

Interestingly, it’s the industry-specific regulations that are most driving people, not SOX or Gramm-Leach-Bliley. As for what people are investing in, backup ranks first, followed by data protection/security tools and archiving. GRC software ranked sixth. I’ll be doing a more detailed article on SearchCompliance.com in the next week or two, but the top line is that regulatory compliance management remains on the docket in most IT shops, adjusted for current realities.

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