Those whose accounts departments are struggling with HMRC's latest PAYE changes might not think that increased regulation could possibly help.
But changes in regulation are one place there is always money to be made, especially in tougher times. Whenever new legislation is passed, there is a reasonable chance it will have a technological impact that requires change.
And change often requires cash.
In some cases, that cost is absorbed as part of an annual maintenance charge, as has been the case with many software packages dealing with HMRC's Real Time Information system.
But recent experience in the UK and a quick look across the pond show how whole industries can be caught on the hop and become willing recipients of sometimes shockingly bad and shockingly expensive technology.
Financial services has taken a battering in the past few years, and not just from the press and public. In the US, a raft of legislation has appeared in light of the events that started to unwind in 2008.
Chief among these is the Dodd-Frank Act or, to give it its formal title, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This is aimed at cleaning up Wall Street and adding greater transparency to certain transactions, particularly over-the-counter (OTC) swap deals.
It affects a diverse range of financial instruments encompassing equities as well as commodities such as grain.
The method chosen to achieve this is through technology, in particular the recording and retrieving of pre-contract communications.
For the first time, US financial institutions and many of their counterparts have not only to keep track of all their email, IM and documentation, but their phone calls (landline and mobile) as well.
This has shades of a change that hit the financial services industry here about a year and a half ago when all mobile phone calls were required to be recorded. There was a brief gold rush of sorts as companies tried – and in most cases failed – to produce a suitable way of recording mobile phone calls, with customers paying a lot of money for product that was not ready.
So bruised was the industry by this experience that much was made of it in formal submissions to the US regulators, to try to stop or at least water down the call-recording requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. Our now-defunct Financial Services Authority did not come across as progressive – rather, a little naïve and reckless.
However, implementation of many areas of the Dodd-Frank Act is in full swing, and its requirements affect a large cross-section of the IT industry, and not just in the US.
Many UK, European and Asian branches of US institutions, as well as their non-US counterparts, are having to upgrade their capabilities, for the first time in some cases, adding massive WORM storage to take account of the non-volatility requirements of all stored data.
Call recording, call analytics, data analytics and upgrades to enterprise communications and storage systems are all required, together with the kit to run it on.
There are no sensible estimates of the true cost of all this yet – the regulator's take and the industry's being from Mars and Venus respectively – but when you see that one vendor quotes in its submission to the regulator that just one small piece, the voice analytics, will cost $4m (£2.6m) per large customer, you can imagine that a mini-bonanza is in the making.
If you are a hardware reseller, particularly of WORM or similar technology, it might be time to get on the phone to some of your financial customers.
Crisis and regulation are always good for someone's business, and because of the shape of today's world, the solutions that are required usually involve technology somewhere.
Anecdotally it has been said that former British darling Autonomy had a simple instruction for its sales force: "Look for the bleeding head wound."
Business is still difficult, with few real signs of economic recovery. So I would check your customers' scalps very carefully indeed.
Nigel Cannings is chief technology officer at Intelligent Voice
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