The banking IT budget outlook for 2012 was a main focus of the Tuesday morning session at Banks Systems & Technology's executive summit.
During a discussion on the topic of IT budget outlooks featuring Celent Senior Analyst Jacob Jegher, and BS&T Editorial Director Katherine Burger, attendees were asked to text or tweet their responses to questions about what they expected their 2012 IT budgets to look like.
The admittedly unscientific spot poll returned some interesting results, with 40 percent of those responding indicating they believed their IT budget would increase by more than 3 percent in 2012. They next highest polling response was those that thought their budget would increase between 1-3 percent from last year. Those responses were somewhat similar to a separate online poll conducted last week by BS&T where most respondents indicated they saw IT spending increasing in 2012. In that poll however, 42 percent foresaw increases of only 1-3 percent, whereas merely 13 percent of those that responded thought they would have an IT budget of greater than 3 percent next year.
Interestingly, even though most of the attendees indicted that they would have a larger IT budget in 2012, 50 percent answered in another question that a limited budget/resources would be the biggest challenge facing their department next year, perhaps indicating that even though many foresaw a budget increase it would not be as big as hoped.
Three of BS&T's Elite 8 award honorees -- Ghan Desai, CIO/CTO of Team Capital Bank (Bethlehem, Pa.), Richard Ferarra CTO of Woodforest National Bank (The Woodlands, Texas) and Madge Meyer, Chief Innovation Officer and technology fellow at State Street Corporation (Boston) -- later took the stage to discuss the challenges confronting Bank IT departments going forward.
Meyer discussed the need to invest "a lot of money" in compliance, even opining that banks "would go bankrupt"if they had to implement all the requirements of the 3,000 page Dodd-Frank Act.
The theme of using IT to create efficiencies throughout the organizations was also a big topic.
Desai said efforts to remove manual processes and add more automation have been a focus at Team Capital, while Ferrarra reported that Woodforest is looking towards complete virtualization of its data centers and reducing inefficient back office functions.