Adapting to the New Normal, Part 2: IT Spending in the COVID Era

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7 August 2020

Impact of the Pandemic on FIs’ IT Plans in Japan/ APAC

Key research questions

  • Which business goals will be the most affected?
  • What is the expected impact on IT budgets in 2020?
  • What are the planned response measures and priority items in 2020 IT spending plans?


To better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial implications for Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, Celent continues to conduct online surveys and interviews that target financial institutions and IT vendors.

This two-part series is based on two surveys conducted in April 2020: the first interview was titled “COVID-19 Impact on the Financial Industry in Japan and APAC Survey”; the second was titled “COVID-19 Impact on IT Plan | I&I Day Poll April 2020.” We will analyze the results of the surveys, offers insights and recommendations on how to respond to the initial stages of this crisis.

Part 2 analyzes the impact on IT budgets and their sourcing models.

Caught amid the onslaught of an unprecedented situation and the shift to a new normal, financial institutions in Japan and APAC can be characterized as proceeding by stages in fits and starts with stopgap approaches.

A clear shift was evident among survey respondents in Japan before and after the government issued a state of emergency declaration and the release of Financial Service Agency guidelines related to COVID-19. The crisis response at Japanese financial institutions progressed in phases. Following an initial emphasis on the internal IT structures/systems, the focus shifted to customer-facing IT support before finally culminating in a review and rethink of the entire industry value chain.

Even in various parts of APAC, responses changed significantly before and after the lockdown and before and after the announcement of macroeconomic indicators by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Many APAC financial institutions fear that cross-border transactions will slow in addition to the stagnation of domestic economies and delays or breakdown of the global supply chain, including IT resources. Some survey responses also noted they were starting a review of IT sourcing models for crisis response related to system development and operation.