SOX-related sales disappointing, say vendors

SOX-related sales disappointing, say vendors

The majority of business service providers and IT vendors have found that Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) related sales have failed to measure up to expectations.

That is according to a recent META Group poll, which found that 57 percent of business service providers and IT vendors surveyed have been disappointed by, or have failed to see any substantial sales movement resulting from companies' need to become Sarbanes-Oxley compliant.

Although 97 percent of providers polled still view ongoing SOX compliance as a future business driver, sales to date have been lower than anticipated. It is thought that the reason for this is because companies are directing SOX compliance investments toward internal resources, such as analysing regulations and documenting processes, or toward external auditors and risk management consultancies. META Group estimates that the internal analysis and documentation efforts account for an average of 75 percent of the total SOX compliance investment to date.

"Organisations are making significant investments to gain and evidence SOX compliance, but so far they have not been with the largest constituency of pro-Sarbanes-Oxley businesses - product vendors," said Stan Lepeak, Vice President with META Group's Technology Research Services. "It's important that the IT product vendors who are chasing the SOX rainbow take the time to develop solutions that are truly tied to compliance stipulations and requirements, not just warmed over IT solutions in a looseSOX wrapper."

Although IT product investments will increase in 2004, META Group believes that, for most companies, SOX compliance is a business process issue and that it is not predominantly tied to investing in more IT applications and systems.

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