Information technology (“IT”) and IT management is built into every modern business transaction. Beyond managing regulations and potential liability, numerous companies outsource their IT functions to third parties, creating significant information security (“InfoSec”), privacy and legal difficulties, including loss of control and challenges with enforcement. Risk and compliance obligations do not merely disappear when using a third-party service provider – the company that outsources needs to consider what any IT management and InfoSec contract will contain. This white paper will cover breaches and remedies that companies and service providers have to consider in any IT service agreement.
Failure to meet InfoSec obligations contained in a contract typically triggers material breach clauses. These material breach provisions typically give the non-breaching party the right to terminate the agreement (often immediately), compel specific performance, and/or collect damages. Breaches do not automatically excuse future performance unless they are material. The material breach section of a contract may address fundamental data safeguards such as password protecting files, encrypting databases or securing transmissions.
I read an interesting article about the role of the IT organization in enterprise innovation, written by a former colleague of mine, Charles Babcock. The story, "IT Must Play a Central Role in Enterprise Innovation," spoke to many of the key challenges that both CIOs and their IT teams face in their efforts to help drive (not just support) innovation within their companies.
The story, which was based on reactions to the issue from a panel of CIOs and other industry experts at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas this week, included a quote from Nationwide Financial Services CIO Emeritus Bruce Barnes which to me captured the essence of the biggest challenge facing the potential innovative-ness of CIOs themselves: time and bandwidth.
CIOs are more business-savvy than ever. They don't have a choice. After all these years of struggling to align IT with the business and striving to meet the needs of business leaders and business unit employees, successful IT leaders find themselves working alongside their business peers, including fellow C-level executives.
Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that a growing number of CIOs have transitioned over from business roles in the last several years. Still, whether you're business leader-turned-CIO or a CIO who grew from within the IT organization, it's critical for IT leaders to find a way to stay on top of the latest technology trends, particularly as consumer electronics continue to invade the workplace and spread their influence.
Customer experience is high on the priority list for many IT leaders. As I noted in a blog I posted last month, 82 percent of 100 CIOs and CTOs from companies with 500 to 10,000 employees that were recently surveyed by Yankee Group place customer experience as their top strategic priority this year.
As the economy continues to improve and companies look grow their businesses by adding new customers and retaining existing customers, it's important for CIOs, CTOs, and other executives to develop a stronger understanding and appreciation for delivering on multichannel customer experiences.
We all keep hearing about how stressed out the average worker is. And even though the economy continues to show signs of improvement, hiring within many organizations has remained tepid. Revenues are picking up but staff growth hasn't kept pace with new project demands.
How big a problem is this? Consider a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association as reported by CNN in which more than a third of U.S. employees (36 percent) say they're experiencing chronic work stress. Meanwhile, another 32 percent of the 1,546 respondents say they plan to seek employment elsewhere over the next year.
Just to be clear, this is a story about a CIO who spotted the warning signs about the housing bubble ahead of the market and helped lower his company's exposure to risky subprime mortgage-backed securities. He's a CIO who has delivered tremendous business value to his company.
But he's not the type of CIO you would normally read about in CIOZone.