Financial IT directors don't know the cost of messaging

Over three quarters of IT directors at financial services firms do not know the total cost of ownership of their including email...

Over three-quarters of IT directors at financial services firms do not know the total cost of ownership of their messaging systems.

A survey by pollster MORI, on behalf of BT, questioned 112 IT directors at banks, building societies and insurance companies across the UK, the US and continental Europe about their messaging systems.

It found that 77% of respondents did not know or could not calculate the total cost of their messaging systems, despite their organisation having to rely increasingly on those systems to operate.

The poll also found that over the next three years most financial services firms expect to spend even more money protecting email and other communications channels against potential attacks.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents, 65%, also expect to see increases in compliance costs over the next three years. Companies that currently outsource their messaging infrastructure, or would consider outsourcing in the future, expect message management costs to decrease compared to those who keep the solution in-house.

The 20% of respondents who do currently outsource, or would consider outsourcing, are also more confident they will meet regulatory demands that they provide a three-year data audit trail within 48 hours.

Chris Hughes, BT Consulting & Systems Integration marketing director for financial services, said, “Electronic messaging channels are now considered viable media for taking orders, sending approvals and contracts, and discussing sensitive financial issues.

"It’s amazing that most firms can’t tell you how much their messaging infrastructure costs, yet continue to throw money at the problem with no difficulty at all.”

The survey also found that most organisations use multiple suppliers to provide software and services to support messaging. Over 50% use more than one supplier and almost 20% use more than four different providers.

Despite this, most respondents see there is a clear advantage in having a single point for management: simplifying the implementation of policies for individuals or groups, providing one user interface to centralise administration, lowering the cost of control, and speeding up the response to incidents.

David Axford, MORI senior research executive, said, “Limited understanding of total cost of ownership in current messaging environments suggests that organisations should look more closely at their current, complex messaging set-ups.”

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