IT spending in the financial services sector will be "cautious" in 2005 and IT executives in that industry should "prepare for a rough year", according to a survey of industry IT executives by analysts at IT research company Forrester Research. The financial sector, traditionally one the biggest spenders on IT, will reduce its combined 2005 spend by 2.1%, say the findings.
For financial sector IT executives, the completion of existing infrastructure consolidation projects is the first priority. Additional investment will be focused on enterprise mobility and data centre automation projects.
Of the 40 IT executives surveyed, 60% plan to invest in a virtual private network (using the public Internet to support a secure, private network). Other priority areas for investment include server virtualisation and information lifecycle management.
The Forrester report warns IT departments that reduced spending may delay vital projects and that financial services IT departments should instead focus on customer acquisition and retention strategies; outsource maintenance to free up IT budget; and plan infrastructure consolidation well in advance to ensure that data centre automation goes ahead.
"To succeed with these priorities, IT departments will need to focus on generating more new investment budget for critical business objectives and key IT initiatives," says Forrester analyst Manuel Mendez.