Two Thirds of Finance Industry at Risk of IT Failure

IT problems

A study investigating the priorities for the UK and Ireland’s top banks and insurance companies has revealed low confidence in the ability to remain secure in the event of an IT collapse. Only a third (35%) of the 176 organisations surveyed said they were “very confident” that security could be maintained in the event of an outage.

While security was the most critical service under threat, the companies admitted that in-branch and over-the-phone services would also suffer, alongside customer account access and online uptime. Around a third of respondents noted that they were uncertain at best that those services would remain operational.

The research, commissioned by Fujitsu and carried out by independent firm Coleman Parkes, was conducted with IT decision makers from retail/investment banks and insurance companies in the UK and Ireland. It further revealed that security concerns are acting as a blocker to adoption of technologies such as cloud and mobile.

Commenting on the results, Anne MacRae, Head of Financial Services, Fujitsu UK said, “It’s troubling to see the low confidence from financial services companies around their ability to withstand IT failures. This is an issue that we’ve seen affect several organisations in recent months and which has significantly disrupted business continuity. Going forward, effective steps must be taken to ensure that this risk is controlled.”

“In addition, more than half (52%) of IT leaders admitted that security is a significant barrier to deploying a successful mobile banking strategy. As Mintel revealed earlier this year, more than a third of UK adults are interested in making payments via their mobile phone – so it’s crucial that organisations address this issue and ready themselves to meet consumer demand.”

The study also revealed:
Cloud – as economic pressure and budget restraints have continued, cloud adoption has grown, albeit slowly. In 2014 nearly double the number of businesses (16%), implemented cloud across their organisation, compared to 2012 (9%), but nearly half (45%) are yet to utilise cloud in any way despite expressing enthusiasm to do so. Just a fifth (20%) say it holds no value for their business. Amongst those who are yet to deploy cloud, just under half say that it presents too many security concerns.

Mobile – while mobile is getting focus from some organisations, not enough seem to be making the leap. Amongst companies with a turnover under £100m, less than half (46%) have a mobile strategy in place. Security is again at front of mind, with more than half (52%) citing this as a major barrier to adopting a mobile strategy.

“The financial services industry has faced some tough challenges recently and will continue to do so over the coming years”, continued MacRae. “Technologies like cloud and mobile can be transformative, and security strategies should be embraced, which allow financial services firms to capitalise on their potential.

“Doing so is essential,” she concluded. “By getting ahead of the curve and enabling business models fit for changing economic and consumer pressures, financial services organisation will not only survive, but thrive.”