Banks splash out withpost-crash e-spending



John Riley

Shocked by the dotcom hysteria last autumn, and emboldened by the shake-out last March, big corporations are currently on a...



John Riley

Shocked by the dotcom hysteria last autumn, and emboldened by the shake-out last March, big corporations are currently on a massive e-spending spree.

Bosses have also recognised the need for structural change and are grappling with the best way to achieve what David Newkirk, partner at consultancy Booz Allen & Hamilton, described as "the end of corporate Stalinism".

"The shake-out was followed by the awakening of the giants," said Richard Sharp, managing director of Goldman Sachs, speaking at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists' "Grasping the Nettle" event. Sharp said seven top European banks are spending 7.5bn euros between them on e-business this year. "That is 15% of their estimated pre-tax profits," he said.

Sharp also warned that the threat of the Internet to incumbent companies has not diminished, and that the true picture of growth is disguised by focusing on the performance of the US Nasdaq market.

There are still many successes: although the Nasdaq has dropped 21% since the beginning of the year, top IT companies have outstripped the Nasdaq index by 156%.

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