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IT Spending Trends in Japanese Banking

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2003/04/03

Abstract

Although Japan’s banks are preoccupied with grave issues such as a stagnant economy and crushing bad debt portfolios, this has not distracted them from maintaining a serious focus on technology. Japanese banks will spend US$11.9 billion on technology in the current fiscal year.

The most forward-looking of Japan’s banks—among both the Big Five banks and the many smaller regional banks—recognize the great potential of strategic technology investment for reducing costs, increasing efficiencies and enabling value-added and competitive products and services. In a new report entitled IT Spending Trends in Japanese Banking,Celent examines IT investment and strategy trends in the Japanese banking industry.

The report gives an overview of the Japanese banking market, identifies the strategic IT projects that banks are focusing on, and makes specific spending estimates for areas such as corporate and retail internet/wireless banking, branch systems, core systems, NT-based software applications, and outsourcing.

"These are tough times for Japan's banks." says Neil Katkov, author of the report. "But despite, or because of, intense competitive and fiscal pressures, Japanese banks are increasingly relying on technology to improve their cost efficiency, the services they provide, and their competitiveness."

The report also identifies an important, but under-reported, segment of the Japanese banking industry: the 115 regional banks that account for 25 percent of bank IT spending. Expected mergers among regional banks will give rise to a new wave of spending on systems consolidation. There is also a rising trend to outsourcing by the regionals. These two trends are making the regional banking market in Japan an increasingly important one for technology vendors.