To say that the U.S. financial services industry has been rocked by information technology over the past 24 months is arguably one of the year's greatest understatements. As detailed in American Banker-Meridien Research, Inc.'s Strategic Technology Investment Report 1998, the impact and growth in strategic information technology investments varies by area within financial institutions; these areas include product/service design, sales and marketing, distribution, processing, monitoring and reporting, and customer service. Meridien Research findings indicate that the financial services industry as a whole is underinvesting in at least two high impact, strategic areas: sales and marketing and customer service. n

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