Every company has to operate within a set of rules. Those rules can take the form of company standards, Industry guidelines, best practices or government regulations. Any variance from those rules will leave the company vulnerable to some kind of criticism.
The criticism can be as mild as muttering from employees to imprisonment of those responsible. Today a large number of compliance issues are imbedded within IT. Everything from accounting standards to customer privacy is at least partially enforced in IT. Senior managers are responsible for managing risks and compliance in Governance, Security, Business Continuity and Privacy.