Recently, a group of senior-level it officers from some of the nation's top financial service firms gathered in Austin, Texas, to attend an executive IT financial services forum to share their thoughts on industry trends and exchange best practices with their peers in a non-competitive environment. These forward-thinking executives took time out of their busy schedules because they realized that they could improve their organizations' performance by learning from others. Cosponsored by Wells Fargo, Key Bank and PlanView, Inc., these 50 senior level IT executives from more than 30 financial institutions were asked what best practices they would like to review and how they self-assessed their current performance. The results were ranked on an IT process maturity scale to let executives compare themselves with their peers and with overall industry standards.

Many business executives consider IT spending to be wasteful and out of control. For years people shook their heads and exclaimed that it was a shame. Yet, the issues have only recently been taken seriously. Years ago, global spending for IT was growing rapidly. Enter the technology bust. While many negatives came out of the technology slow down, one benefit has been the empowerment of business executives to take back control of their technology spending.

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