Missouri had their state primary yesterday. Many states have already had their primaries, but for some reason Missouri waits until almost the last minute. There are only 90 days left until the general election, so there isn't much time for candidates to campaign against their opponents if they haven't started yet. It may not seem obvious, but when you think about it, there is a very real connection between elections and the IT business.
During the election season, the two major parties in the U.S., the Democrats and the Republicans, both go at each other tooth and nail. They act like they are in a battle to the death. They act as though they are the next best thing to God, and that their opponents are the Devil's first cousins. It gets very vicious and sometimes extremely personal.
It is the duty and privilege of every U.S. citizen to participate in the elections of their government. The U.S. is a representative republic which means we elect by majority the people we feel best represent our viewpoints and opinions.
However, there is another side to the politics that every IT worker is keenly aware of. When one party has more political power than another, it seems that IT is affected one way or another. One of the most significant changes in the recent past was the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations that went into affect almost eight years ago. Sarbanes-Oxley, or SOX, refers to the "Public Company Accounting Reform and Corporate Responsibility" act signed into law in October 2002. When Pres. Bush signed the law he called it, "the most far reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Sarbanes-Oxley mandated a number of reforms to enhance corporate responsibility, enhance financial disclosures and combat corporate and accounting fraud. With the passage of Sarbanes Oxley, there was a tremendous impact on how IT departments performed their work. Project methodology and documentation was forever changed to comply with these regulations. IT departments had to change the way they were storing business and customer data. Compliance audits became a normal part of the IT business model.
Another impact that elections have on IT is industry specific. For example, the U.S. Congress just passed, and the President of the U.S. just signed, a new "Financial Reform" bill. In this bill are broad sweeping changes that will affect how the finance industry conducts business in the future. No matter what the changes are, IT will be tasked with adapting and implementing measures necessary to allow the business to meet the new requirements. This bill was passed almost entirely on one "side of the aisle" while the other side tried to offer suggestions and compromises on the scope of the regulations.
Whether we like it or not, whenever there are elections, there is inevitably going to be an impact on IT. When one party or the other has almost total control of the power, they can enact legislation which can increase or decrease the amount of regulation that businesses must meet. When these changes are made by the politicians, it is the duty of the IT department to make the changes necessary to processes so the business can be compliant with these new demands.