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Banks' IT spending set to soar

The UK financial sector is set to increase its IT spend in 2014, with a third of firms in the industry stating this as their intention in a new survey.

The Fujitsu-commissioned study questioned CIOs and senior IT decision makers across 176 banking and insurance firms in the country.

Participants said the biggest investment concern was enhancing customer-facing services, with a total of 28 per cent citing this as an issue.

This is up from 22 per cent in 2012 when a similar study was conducted.

“The findings reflect a sector that understands what it needs to do and is poised to make the leap to invest,” claimed Anne MacRae, Fujitsu UK and Ireland head of financial services.

“Focus on enabling growth and driving innovation are crucial in organisations moving forward in an increasingly competitive market under threat from technology-led entrants,” she added.

Shifting priorities

The report also reveals that the perceived importance levels of some areas in IT innovation are starting to drop when compared with similar research two years ago.

Moving to the Cloud has is now less of a priority, dropping from 18 per cent to 13 per cent in a two-year period, while mobile banking and payments has dropped from 20 per cent to 11 per cent in the same timeframe.

Reducing costs has also seen a significant drop in importance, with just 27 per cent of respondents citing it as a priority compared to 51 per cent in 2012.

Those participating in the study claimed that issues preventing good investment include a lack of labour resources, financial resources and internal politics.

“I don’t think that the reason that IT doesn’t ‘deliver’ is that the resources aren’t there,” claimed Matthew Oakeley, head of group IT at research firm Schroders, which conducted the survey with Fujitsu.

“Even if you had an infinite supply of resources, I just don’t think it would be possible to deploy them.

“There’s a tolerance threshold for change in any organisation and I think there’s a balance that needs to be struck between doing more and the level of concurrent change that the organisation can actually sustain successfully,” he added.