Morgan Stanley Spending More on IT, Not Less

Despite the downturn in the markets, Morgan Stanley is on track to spend more then ever on its IT budget.

The conventional wisdom is that the downturn in the economy and the financial sector will lead to reduced IT spending by Wall Street. After last week's market selloff, concerns about demand for data center space and services might seem reasonable, particularly with reports of slowing demand in London due to fewer requirements from financial firms.

Some Wall Street firms aren't thinking about IT cutbacks. Reuven Cohen from Sys-Con attended last week's Morgan Stanley CTO Summit in San Francisco, and shares this account:

One of the biggest surprises was, regardless of the downturn in the markets, Morgan Stanley is on track to spend more then ever on their IT budget. They seem to think that during periods of lower economic activity it gives them a rare opportunity to establish themselves in new areas of emerging technology that may give them a competitive advantage down the road. They also seem to think that their use of technology will directly influence their ability to maintain their lead in the lucrative tech IPO market (which appears to be non-existent this year).

An affiliate of Morgan Stanley has bought land in Franklin Township, N.J. for a backup data center for the New York-based financial services firm. Morgan Stanley paid $12.3 million to purchase 17 acres of land, and has approvals from Franklin Township for a 330,000 square foot data center.