A third of senior IT executives fear that they will fail to meet IT compliance deadlines, according to research released today by software and services company CPWR.
The poll of 400 European chief information officers, chief technology officers and IT directors revealed that 94 per cent recognise that they are increasingly accountable for ensuring that IT applications meet regulatory compliance demands.
But 72 per cent describe their attitude as 'not at all concerned', or 'not very concerned' about being held personally responsible for non-compliance.
The survey, commissioned by Compuware Corporation, indicated that the drive for compliance has placed a huge burden on IT departments, which are not only having to ensure that their own houses are in order, but help other departments with compliance needs.
Ayman Gabarin, EMEA vice president of Compuware IT governance, said: "For chief executives and chief financial officers the results of this research should be nothing short of worrying, as compliance is widely accepted as critical. Organisations that are unable to ensure compliance are simply acting recklessly.
"Stakeholders expect senior management to keep their house in order. The US has already seen senior executives being held personably responsible, so it is in their best interests to ensure that they are getting compliance right."
Gabarin added that one in three survey respondents have not even started to put an IT governance framework in place.
Almost 70 per cent of those surveyed stated that other business functions are also approaching the IT department for help with meeting compliance regulations.
The increasing complexity of regulations is becoming a major headache, with three quarters of respondents citing this as their biggest external barrier to achieving compliance.
According to the poll, one of the key challenges IT departments face in assisting organisations to achieve compliance is a lack of sophistication in their own management processes.
For example, 34 per cent rely on paper-based reports and a further 43 per cent rely on face-to-face or conference meetings with managers, meaning that 77 per cent are not effectively tracking efforts towards important projects such as compliance.
When asked about the biggest internal barrier to achieving compliance, one in two organisations cited poor co-ordination between the various functions involved.
"Companies face many obstacles in their bid to be compliant. Internal co-ordination and increasing regulatory complexity are just the tip of the iceberg," said Gabarin.
"It comes as no surprise that companies are having such difficulties in navigating these challenges when so many are reliant on manual methods to keep up-to-date with the status of their IT work.
"It is worrying that so few companies do not have real-time information about the status of projects, given that compliance is meant to be a top business priority.
"Organisations need tools that can centralise and effectively monitor IT in order to maximise the chances of IT and compliance success."
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