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Asia banks to spend more in tech

Computerworld Hong Kong staff | Jan. 20, 2010
Banks in the Asia Pacific region are expected to increase their technology investments in 2010, said IDC Financial Insights recently when releasing its "Top Ten Strategic IT Initiatives for Asia/Pacific Banks in 2010: Investing for The Comeback".

HONG KONG, 18 JANUARY2010 - Banks in the Asia Pacific region are expected to increase their technology investments in 2010, said IDC Financial Insights recently when releasing its "Top Ten Strategic IT Initiatives for Asia/Pacific Banks in 2010: Investing for The Comeback".

Many of the transformative and long-term projects that were held off because of uncertain economic conditions last year are expected to be revisited and implemented this year, according to the research house.

Progress in these projects will change the IT planning and IT governance practices of banks, the firm added.

"Strategic IT priorities will shift toward solutions that enable banks to quickly fill in gaps in their risks management capabilities, as well as take on risk management best practices learned from the recent crisis. Focus will also be given to newly revamped programs for customer acquisition, cross-sell and up-sell, and customer loyalty as banks build business from their post-crisis customer databases," said Michael Araneta, senior consulting and research manager, IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific.

"The need to roll out a good IT governance program will become more crucial. IT teams should make sense of disparate projects competing for attention," said Li-May Chew, CFA, senior research manager, Financial Insights Asia/Pacific. "They need to be able to associate these projects with strategic objectives on operational efficiency, risk management, and customer centricity, all underpinned by the still-important cost management agenda."

Highlights of this report include:

* The upsurge of risk management and customer centricity projects will work on and produce massive amounts of data. As a result, IT organizations will have to take on the growing challenge of integrating and managing disparate databases to achieve a single version of truth across the enterprise. Effective data management and improved utilization of business analytics will distinguish winners from losers in the years to come.

* The economic crisis did not discourage some technology vendors from keeping to the development roadmaps of their offerings. IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific has seen significant progress by some technology vendors in bringing to market modern solution architectures and customer-responsive application modules, especially in the areas of core banking, risk management, business intelligence, and payments. Banks should regard this continued innovation as an indication of a vendor's long-term commitment to the industry. Vendor selection and assessment criteria should also take these factors into account.

* The growing concentration of market share among the largest banks points to how technology spending is possibly consolidating among the top-tier institutions. Furthermore, vendors should consider the rise of super-regionals as an important trend, not only because of the potentially huge uplift in IT budgets but also because it will necessitate more "regional" sales and marketing strategies.