In what analysts estimate is a project worth more than $100 million, Citibank is switching out a decades-old set of back-office corporate banking systems in all of its overseas corporate offices to install a single platform, which will allow it to create a cross-border set of standard user interfaces and business processes.
Citibank has already completed changeover projects in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in Western and Eastern Europe and Latin America, with a software suite it purchased from an India-based technology vendor spun off by the New York-based bank three years ago.
The switch to a single platform has already been completed in 11 countries -- Finland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, the U.K., Poland, Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Malaysia -- but rollouts remain to be completed in more than 100 other countries. Begun in early 2000, the changeover is expected to continue through 2004.
The financial services firm said the project has paid for itself because the company has been able to avoid development costs related to a clunky legacy back-office system the bank developed in-house in the 1970s that had morphed into 58 disparate software platforms. The bank has charted an 18-month return on investment with the project.