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Financial Directions July/August Update

Put a lid on IT
Almost a quarter of businesses around the world think current IT projects should
be suspended until economic conditions improve, according to research conducted
by the
Intelligence Unit
. Though many believe the current crisis is a good
opportunity to press on with such initiatives, most accept it is not the right
time to launch new IT investment programmes. Those that do are likely to focus
on customer relationship management.

Undo the breach
Companies are neglecting their responsibility to protect information as
one-in-five businesses breach the Data Protection Act, according to quality
standards group
Two-thirds of respondents to its survey have not given their staff any training
in this area, while 43% of the 500 companies that took part claim there is no
one in the company responsible for overseeing data protection.

Just the beginning…
The recession has ‘only just begun’ outside the US, with little hope for signs
of non-US economic recovery until the end of 2010 or even early 2011, according
to Professor Willem Buiter of the London School of Economics, a former member of
the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. Speaking at
European Investment Forum in May, he said, ‘With the financial system in
tatters, the availability of external finance will be limited and its cost will
be high.’

…Or is it?
Most companies believe economic conditions will improve over the coming year but
one-in-five don’t expect a recovery until the second half of 2010 at the
earliest, according to an
Ernst &
survey of 570 global companies. Forty-three percent reported
that their operating model has been permanently changed as a result of the
current environment while 56% said their risk management processes has been
permanently altered. Almost a third managed to improve revenues, however.

London calling
Almost 40% of London businesses still have problems finding the right talent,
despite the economic downturn. The skills shortage is more serious for larger
companies than small ones, according to a
and CBI survey of 125 companies. Three-quarters of respondents said
publicly-funded training schemes were not beneficial and just under half believe
they are neither relevant nor useful.

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