The Wonders of Regulatory Change

Change is inevitable. Though some change is totally unexpected most can be anticipated. Change on the most part is challenging.

The global nature of business and technology has created change that was unexpected 10 years ago.

When US corporation, Enron, followed by other major corporations failed in 2001 and 2002, the U.S. government took swift and decisive action enact the most extensive corporate reforms of all in an effort to restore public confidence in U.S. business operations.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and its subsequent revisions have had far-reaching impact on all corporations, both foreign and US domestic, doing business with the United States. This impact has had major challenges on the technology groups supporting those businesses.

The global business community continues to usher in new regulations and laws. These continue to affect and increase corporate responsibility for internal controls.

I have recently completed nearly 2 years with the UK operation of a US bank. During this time I had the pleasure  working on multiple regulatory compliance related initiatives, including Basel 2 and SOX.

The extent of the impact of change across the organisation was rapid and widespread. Business functions that previously were difficult to work with became amenable.

Driven by the threat of penalties and detrimental impact on the business for non-compliance. The changes to the organisation were propelled by the upper echelon of the organisation.

This impetus thrust changes into areas that were usually difficult, even obstructive.

I saw first-hand the difference of implementing change that had total buy-in from every key stakeholder. Implementing the extensive changes was nearly too easy. An experience that I had never come across previously (and I have been implementing change for nearly 20 years) and may never see again. Dare I say it, it was a wonderful experience.

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