Bazile Lanneau Jr. probably knows better than most executives that a clear understanding of not only how much U.S. banks are spending on information technology, but why, and on what, requires a little "context": namely, a recognition of the important differences between the technology initiatives of money-center banks and efforts of "the mass of smaller guys, whether you want to put the line at (total assets of) $5 billion or $10 billion."

In the mid-1990s, after several years as an executive with Natchez, MS- based Britton & Koontz National Bank and its parent, Britton & Koontz Capital Corp., Lanneau began working on the company's Internet banking strategy and its in-house preparations for doing business through a new and largely untested channel.

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