expecting IT savings
Blimey, they never learn, do they? I'm waiting for Watson to utter those immortal words "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"
Santander is locked, loaded and ready to fire the cash gun at IBM in an effort to speed the bank's jaunt towards the cloud. The five-year deal will see Santander spank $700m to get its hands on IBM's tech, including AI smarts in the form of IBM Watson, which will be, er, put to work "enhancing branch advisors' expertise" and …
> IBM Watson, which will be, er, put to work "enhancing branch advisors' expertise" and increasing productivity.
> That is one of the aims at least, assuming UK customers can actually find a branch,
Surely the point will be that an AI doesn't need a branch. It just inhabits the web. So potential customers will just see an avatar that doles out vague advice and then tells people to buy Santander products. Your financial adviser will just be an app on your phone.
I'm well aware that IT outsourcing deals are settled over lavish dinners, golf trips and strip club visits, but you would think that companies would be wise to the outsourcers' playbooks by now. We'll see what happens in 8 or 10 years when Santander's back on the "bring it all in house" cycle again.
It's not hard to understand...massively underbid the contract, include loopholes and omissions you could drive a train through, make up the difference by enforcing change order payments for anything not written in the contract, offshore all the workers to increase margin and do the absolute minimum work necessary to avoid losing the contract. I've seen it more than once and experienced a full outsource/insource cycle. It's not pretty.
What are they teaching CIOs in their MBA programs that blinds them to the fact that the outsourcer isn't there to help them, but instead to maximize profit?
I spent the first half of my career in Financial Services IT, writing and implementing systems that put everything under head office control and so they could de-skill or remove branch managers.
The second half of that career was building humongous data warehouses, analytics systems, data lakes etc.. The goal of which was to glean information and insights that a traditional branch manager would have known instantly.
Funny old world.
Best of luck to them.
I know for a fact that the engineers that IBM let loose on other vendors equipment in Santander DC's had so little a clue that multiple visits by other engineers were required to fix the mess.
I also know that other major outsourcing deals with Big Blue lead to major cost increases for the unlucky parties.
Anon for obvious reasons.
IBM had a contract with Somerset County Council using a joint venture 85% owned by IBM called South West One.
They promised savings of £180m but instead syphoned off £69m from key services like schools and social care.
Read about it here:
I bank at Santander and the interest rates on my savings are rubbish. This tie-up with avaricious and unprincipled IBM will end in tears.
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