IT governance smoothes the cruise

In the wake of Sarbanes-Oxley-related corporate governance initiatives will come better IT governance. One company that has already employed software to improve its efforts is Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. We spoke recently with Richard Shapiro, who heads the program administration office for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' IT department. The company has used Niku software to manage software projects and portfolios. Royal Caribbean, said Shapiro, had been a customer since it originally bought software from ABT, which later became part of the Niku stable.

"At some point we decided the information coming out of the tool was valuable in two ways: First, as a reporting-forecasting tool that gives you a full understanding of what you are doing, and where you are headed; and, second, after you decide where you want to go, you can use the tool to monitor how those things are accomplished," he said. "You want the IT department to be working on the things the business is going to need. Once you reach a certain size, you can't do this on spreadsheets," Shapiro explained.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks tested the system. "What happened was that 9-11 hit the world very hard. It hit the travel industry hard. And it hit the cruise industry hard. It was not a given that we would survive that trauma as a robust [company]," said Shapiro. Software projects had to be postponed or cancelled. But "the toolset was there to help," he noted.

Please see the following related story: "Plugging into SarbOx" by Jack Vaughan

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.


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