Gartner has predicted that the IT channel will find itself under widespread regulation by 2018, as governments look to protect themselves and their citizens from continuing software and hardware failures.
The analyst has said that the frequency and intensity of leading indicators for regulation have been increasing, and that they will eventually prompt the US and EU into bringing in legislation governing the running of the IT channel.
"Three years ago Gartner published research predicting that either catastrophe from IT failure, or a continuing history of lower-level failures would provoke either a governmental regulation or industry self-regulation of IT products and services in the U.S. by 2015 and in the European Union by 2015 to 2018," said vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, Richard Hunter.
"Although the exact date of arrival for regulation is difficult to predict, we believe that, in recent months, the tempo and intensity of the indications of such an event have increased."
Gartner pointed to recent talk within the EU concerning software laws, adding that it is likely that Europe will take formal steps to establish regulation of consumer IT products and services by 2011.
The report comes just weeks after Sky News uncovered the actions of a rogue trader – who was later expelled from IT trade body the TCA – prompting calls from some within the industry for regulation of computer repairs.