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While executives cannot anticipate every risk, current standards of accountability are clearly too low. The incidence of failed IT projects, leading to dramatic examples of waste, remains high and there is little cause to assume this situation will change soon.

Author and Suffolk University ethics professor, Lydia Segal, sees the result as “economic abuse” on the part of company executives. “Disregard for successful outcomes is the unintended, if frequent, consequence.” she says. “We expect senior management to be financial stewards on all matters of material importance, including large IT projects.”

And those who assess corporate risk agree. One of the UK’s top authorities on managing risk, David Hancock, also refuses to excuse failures, saying, “Executives who do not protect this value are negligent in their duties. Failing IT projects can rapidly erode shareholder value and company reputation.”
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