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Back to basics for CIOs?

As Gartner predicts, apparently against the run of events, healthy growth rates in global outsourcing this year (8.1 percent IT & BPO), I wonder if financial sector CIOs aren’t actually considering the year with a wry smile?

Despite contemplating a budget squeeze and the need to fully comply with regulatory issues such as MiFID and SEPA, they may be relieved that the pressure to innovate has eased. Certainly, a “back-to-basics” agenda from the businesses they support, underpinned by firm guidance from the international regulators is setting a clear tone for 2008.

Many financial institutions may have ticked the November box on MiFID and some may be holding back with SEPA. Yet those who are quietly getting on with full compliance could find themselves, perhaps surprisingly, at the cutting edge of financial regulation and with real competitive advantages.

So perhaps CIOs are secretly pleased that 2008 is unlikely to turn out to be an innovative year for financial products. Their challenge is, in the context of stringent cost control – even reduction - how to make significant progress in the regulatory and operational arena while meeting the demands of business and shareholders in uncertain market conditions.

Achieving that may well be enough in 2008.

Graham Underwood
Managing Director, GFT UK


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