CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The financial services industry is the biggest consumer of information technology in North American business, and infrastructure spending is leading the way this year, according to a new study. Forrester Research Inc.'s survey of 874 North American executives (including 80 in the financial services field) found that 11.1% of revenue was being spent on IT this year by money firms, compared with 5.4% by the typical company in the survey. And as far as infrastructure goes, 32% of financial services firms reported projects under way involving networked storage, compared with 17% of companies overall. Similarly, Forrester Research said, 32% are piloting or deploying voice-over-IP technology compared with 22% overall. The core hardware also continues to be a big ticket item on the IT budget. Eighty-four percent of the financial services firms said they're adding to their server racks this year, compared with 74% overall. And 35% of financial services respondents (31% overall) said they're considering CRM investments this year. Of course, all this spending comes with internal debate. Forty-two percent of the money firms said there's "constant struggle for project ownership" compared with 27% of the overall respondents.

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