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Tech spend to increase in 2014 as executives explore big data

Caroline Baldwin

Over three-quarters of chief financial officers plan to increase technology investments in 2014.

A survey conducted by American Express and CFO Research found 76% of CFOs plan to increase their technology investments next year, with 41% planning to increase IT spending by 10% or more.

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Nearly half of the 156 senior finance executives surveyed in the US and the UK want to deploy technology to cut costs, while the remaining plan to use technology to improve data analytics.

The study claimed CFOs recognise the value of data, with 92% stating that their organisations need to leverage company data over the next 12 months, and over half believe big data will give their companies a competitive advantage.

A third of CFOs want to provide their business users with up-to-the-minute access to data, and 28% want better data query and retrieval capabilities. Meanwhile, 22% want to share data and make better business decisions in real time from any location thanks to big data.

But only 24% of executives are choosing big data as their primary form of data analysis, with 41% choosing to supplement it with existing systems.

“Data and how it’s managed is of critical importance to the UK’S CFOs, who clearly recognise the power of data to drive value for their organisations,” said Brendan Walsh, senior vice-president and general manager at American Express Global Corporate Payments, Europe.

But senior executives are still trying to understand how to use other technologies, including mobile, in their IT strategies.  

Almost 80% listed mobile as a top priority, but only 24% have a formal business plan detailing how to deploy mobile technology, while a third of senior executives stated they will have an “ad hoc approach” to deploying mobile.

“Whilst there’s a definite appetite for new technologies, and the benefits they can bring to a company’s profitability, the challenge for financial decision-makers now is to develop a clear strategy for implementing new technologies to generate further insights and efficiencies,” said Walsh.

Meanwhile, over half of CFOs believe data security concerns will be unlikely to prevent cloud adoption in the next five years, but only one in five chose the technology as a top priority for 2014.


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