Approximately £250,000 ($316,942) might be mismanaged annually by businesses and investment banks with annual budgets under £5m, and for 67% of respondents with budgets exceeding £5m, this amount could rise to a startling £1m or more.

According to an independent UpSlide study, two-thirds of investment banks (68%) waste over a quarter of their software budget on underutilised software solutions, even though 94% of them are suffering budget cuts.

In partnership with Williams Lea, a global provider of tech-enabled business-critical support services to financial, legal, and professional services firms, UpSlide, the productivity and brand compliance automation solution for financial services, conducted a survey of over 600 individuals in IT and innovation roles at investment banks in the US, UK, and Australia to learn about the software trends, obstacles, and strategies companies face.

The primary obstacles that are most likely to impede the effectiveness and utilisation of new software include inadequate internal training, both in terms of quantity and quality (66%), improper deployment methods (64%), and inefficient change management (63%).

Furthermore, while groups that are spending more than half of their money owing to underutilisation identified poor training and change management as the key sources of value impediment, more than two-thirds of respondents are not focusing on these areas to address the problem.

In comparison, individuals who spend less than a quarter of their budget regard them as the least difficult element.

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In the last year, 57% of investment banks purchased software externally, with 39% investing in document automation and management solutions, recognising the need for internal resources.

To avoid future utilisation issues, over 55% of respondents are implementing stricter vendor SLAs and internal due diligence during their software purchase process to ensure the right vendor is chosen for their investments.

Julien Villemonteix, CEO at UpSlide, commented: “Digital transformation and technology investments have had a positive impact on the performance and profitability of financial services in the past 24 months. However, these findings highlight significant inefficiencies in the investment banking sector, where underutilised software tools are draining substantial portions of already tightened budgets.

“Our findings suggest a clear correlation between poor change management and inadequate internal training, and significant financial losses for investment banking firms. By neglecting these areas, firms are not only wasting resources but also missing out on the potential benefits of their technological investments.

“Despite facing software budget cuts, it’s encouraging to see investment banks still prioritising investment in new software solutions. The focus on document automation and management shows a clear understanding of where efficiencies can be gained. By implementing stricter vendor SLAs and enhancing due diligence, these banks are taking proactive steps to ensure their software investments deliver real value and avoid the pitfalls of underutilisation.”