"Service" is an overused word. It can apply to the level of attention customers get at gas stations and restaurants, as well as the response that a depositor obtains from a bank employee on the other end of a telephone.

But in the context of a bank's information technology, service refers to more than the simple purchase of hardware and software. Services to support information technology must also be purchased, and this is one of the most complex, difficult-to-understand areas in bank operations.

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