Given the ultra-competitive nature of banking, technology is no longer optional. But in the rush to keep up, the process often leads to a money pit syndrome.

Consider data warehousing: The operational efficiencies and competitive advantages created by making the bank one centralized, self- feeding information machine are obvious and intuitively appealing; but because every software component now has to be able to communicate with every other component- previously the bank system could be a Babel of discrete systems-the costs of getting the systems to understand each other are often daunting.

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