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CFOs' investment choices: cybersecurity overtakes regulatory change

New research by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half Financial Services, reveals that the majority (52%) of chief financial officers (CFOs) in the financial services sector plan to increase spending on cybersecurity while 43% will spend more on data analytics and mining. Only 39% of financial services firms plan to increase spending on regulatory reform in 2014 – equal to the number of CFOs who aim to increase spending on IT investment to enable growth.

Regulatory change is still proving difficult to manage, prompting executives to address resourcing. When asked about additional hires to manage the increased regulatory budget spend, the majority of financial services CFOs (56%) plan to hire permanent employees to help, compared to 39% who plan to hire for cybersecurity initiatives.

Almost two thirds (64%) of large UK businesses plan to upgrade technology to improve customer experience whilst 44% of small businesses are looking to streamline business processes to further benefit their customers.

Financial services CFOs were asked “In which of the following areas does your business anticipate increased spending in 2014 over 2013 levels?” Their responses:

Increased spending

Additional permanent hiring

Cybersecurity

52%

39%

Data analytics and mining

43%

33%

Regulatory reform

39%

56%

IT investment to enable growth

39%

35%

Digital (website, online banking, user experience)

30%

37%

Product development

13%

35%

None of these

4%

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Owen, practice director, Robert Half Financial Services said, “While cybersecurity is absorbing the lion’s share of budgets, regulatory reform is driving the hiring agenda, with companies accelerating recruitment efforts yet facing a shortage of professionals with the requisite skills and experience. Businesses that successfully implement an integrated governance, risk and compliance programme (GRC), thus aligning resources to business demands, should be able to drive efficiencies, reduce duplication of efforts and realise potential cost savings.”

 

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