Maintenance continues to suck up IT budgets

Over a third (34%) of financial services firms' IT budgets are being taken up with application support and maintenance, according to a survey of 45 CIOs.

Over a third (34%) of financial services firms’ IT budgets are being taken up with application support and maintenance, according to a survey of 45 CIOs.

The survey, carried out by business and technology consultancy HCL, showed that the cost of maintaining and supporting applications was increasing year on year for 87% of respondents, while over the last 12 months, financial sector organisations have on average seen a 27% increase in support tickets for application support and maintenance.

IT spend is forecast to increase throughout 2014 as many banks battle against their aging legacy systems and come under increasing pressure from new entrants to modernise.

Vijay B. Iyer, SVP at HCL Technologies, said: "Application support and maintenance represents a disproportionately large proportion of IT spend. Many organizations are struggling to meet users’ heightened expectations of application performance, which in turn is leading to a growing number of support tickets."

"With the need to drive greater efficiencies and business value from IT, organisations can no longer allow their current application support and maintenance functions to stagnate. By taking a more proactive and efficient approach they can free up capital that could be allocated towards more innovative transformational projects."

The majority (87%) of the financial businesses surveyed admitted they found prioritisation of the IT budget a challenge.

A further 89% of respondents said that resource and skills restraints were making it difficult to align business and IT objectives.

The 45 CIOs within various financial services companies around the world surveyed included around 20 retail banks.

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