Effective management of data will be the most important IT initiative for financial institutions in 2008, according to a report by Massachusetts-based research and advisory firm Financial Insights.
The rapid growth of unstructured data in recent years means that banks are moving away from simply managing the actual data infrastructure in areas like data warehousing, storage and security and are adopting a more comprehensive "lifecycle" approach, says Financial Insights.
The report - which identifies the top 10 IT initiatives for banking, insurance and capital markets firms worldwide in 2008 - states that refreshing and upgrading technology will be the second most important priority in 2008. The move towards "dynamic IT" - increasing flexibility and transparency without needing to replace large scale systems - will be an important trend, says the report.
Ranked third in the research is data security, as banks continue to combat problems arising from channel expansion, real-time processing, geographic dispersion, outsourcing and mobile workforce and customers.
Jeanne Capachin, VP, research, banking and insurance, Financial Insights, says: "This year, banks are focusing much more on back office improvements with their technology spend. Partly because the pendulum has swung to favour enterprise-wide IT initiatives, but also because business heads are recognising that to meet their individual goals the enterprise infrastructure must be refreshed. Product-focused investments will no longer solve the problems they are facing."