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Slow growth for finance sector IT chiefs' budgets

IT directors in the financial sector are under pressure to keep costs down this year, according to a report published this month...

IT directors in the financial sector are under pressure to keep costs down this year, according to a report published this month based on a survey of senior IT users at last November's CityIT conference.

Of the 140 IT directors and senior managers who responded, 23% thought IT spend would decrease this year, 40% said it would stay the same, and 37% expected it to increase. Some 54% expect e-commerce spend to decrease or stay the same.

Finance sector IT chiefs ranked their principal management challenges over the next 12 months as:

1. Budget management

2. Doing more with less

3. Change management

4. IT/business alignment

5. Outsourcing.

On the technical front, their top five issues were:

1.Infrastructure upgrades

2. Security

3. Database issues

5. Trading systems.

The same questions put to 353 non-finance sector IT chiefs at the annual IT Directors' Forum last May revealed differently ordered priorities:

1. IT/business alignment

2. Change management

3. Getting more for less

4. Leadership

5. Influencing the board.

Outsourcing was ranked lower outside the finance sector, in 11th position. There were greater differences with their primary technical challenges, which were:

1. Mobile computing

2. Security

3. Integration

4. Web services

5. Wireless integration.

Mobile and wireless were less important technical priorities for finance sector IT directors. Databases were a lower priority for the non-finance sector IT chiefs.

IT bosses at both CityIT and the IT Directors' Forum reported slow uptake of Linux and open source software. Take up was slower in the finance sector, where it was being used or evaluated by 44% of the CityIT respondents. Outside the finance sector, 36% of IT chiefs were already using it.
This was first published in January 2004

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