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The Cost Of Compliance Can Only Go Up

The global market for compliance information management will grow at 22% a year through 2009 and pass the $20 billion mark that year, market research firm IDC said in a report last week.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is among the federal regulations driving this spending. Compliance with its section 404 financial-reporting requirements has come at a steep cost for many businesses, with greater-than-anticipated personnel, consulting, auditing, and software expenses, according to a survey by Financial Executives International, a professional association of CFOs, treasurers, and financial controllers.

chartThe survey of 217 companies, with average revenue of $5 billion, found that spending for section 404 compliance averaged $4.4 million last year. That's higher than the average $3.1 million companies estimated they would spend for the year in a July survey.

Drivers of spending on compliance information management will be more attention to litigation support, electronic discovery of documents, and the need for real-time analysis of IT systems, Julie Rahal Marobella, a senior research analyst IDC and the author of that report, said in a statement.

There's an increased onus on IT units to audit, monitor, and report on all systems, Marobella said. "This increased need will drive organizations to invest in technologies and services that help to ensure sustainability of compliance-related processes and mitigate risk."

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