Banks set to be stingy with technology spend next year too

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It's approaching that time when predictions for next year's financial services IT budgets (and hence job prospects for technologists) begin to emerge. Sadly, initial projections for 2010 don't look fantastic.

The headline findings of a survey of banks' CIOs and top technologists by Aite Group is that the majority of respondents (72%) expect their budgets to remain the same or decrease in 2010 and just 28% expect more money.

As IT spend in 2009 was negative on the previous year, these findings are clearly bad, but not totally catastrophic.

However, perhaps more tellingly, the vast majority of respondents to Aite Group's survey (82%) expected their discretionary budgets to stay flat or shrink. This includes money earmarked for new projects as well as spend on vendor packages.

In terms of jobs, this means banks will be focusing on maintaining what they have rather than increasing headcount through rolling out exciting new ventures. But it's the technology vendors, previously fairly active recruiters, who will feel the pinch.

"The road ahead will be a difficult one for vendors," suggests Gwenn Bezard, research director with Aite Group.

But while the general outlook is one of relative thrift, some areas remain a priority for CIOs next year. These include improving efficiencies, cutting costs, supporting risk and compliance enhancements and information security.

This does, of course, all sound very similar to this year...

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