Thursday, November 29, 2012

Plumbing the Taxonomy: Why? Part C - Security, Integrity and Compliance

During my years working as an employee of provincial and civic government, I discovered the importance of a special kind of incentive: removal and avoidance of pain.

We all know (I hope) that it's inappropriate to bribe government employees to get better or faster results from them - and that getting caught doing so could land everyone involved in jail.

What recent history has shown, however, is that there are many other types of business misbehavior that can land people - CEO's in particular - in jail, or at least get them and their organizations sued and/or sanctioned. And some of those types are also business MIS behavior.

So, if you want to incentivize a government employee - or anyone who works for a large, rule-bound organization (i.e. the kind that's prone to have a mainframe) - rather than giving them something, you want to take something away: negative experiences, consequences and potential for consequences, aka pain.

In the world of MIS (does anyone still use that abbreviation? it makes for some great puns), where some of an organization's most sensitive data and activities take place, having data or processing compromised can trigger significant pain, from regulatory audit findings and related sanctions to legal and criminal trouble for executives. Compromise can include exposure of confidential personal information of customers and citizens, leading to great expense to "make it right" as well.

All of which illustrates the value of ensuring your organization's most sensitive data, processing and business behaviors are provably compliant with relevant regulations, and sufficiently secure that only legitimately authorized parties have appropriate access to it.

Consequently, this is an essential value on the "why?" dimension of solutions used to manage large IT enterprise environments, particularly those that include mainframes.

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting observation, Reg, and a good postulate on "removal" to create a "gain!" I must note, however, that even when you attempt - or offer - to remove much of that pain, the reluctance to change looms large and "in the way" of realizing a true gain through that very removal.

    I see it in nearly every prospect I call - and still have trouble believing it can occur on such a widespread basis. Sadly, there still has to be some truth to the old adage about "the devil you know ...!"