International retail banking: The Citibank Group

Rapp, William V.

This case for a large international bank with extensive global retail banking and financial services capabilities together with other cases support an initial research hypothesis that leading U.S. and Japan software users are very sophisticated in the ways they have integrated software into their business strategies. They use IT to institutionalize organizational strengths and capture tacit knowledge on an iterative basis. While Japanese users have relied heavily on customized and semi-customized software (Rapp 1995, 1998 and 1999), this is gradually changing towards a more selective use of package software managed via customized systems, including proprietary middleware. Conversely, U.S. firms, who have often relied more on packaged software, are customizing more especially the systems needed to integrate software packages into something more closely linked with the firm's business strategies, markets, and organizational structure. This is especially true when the company wishes to initiate a new product or service that advances the competitive envelope but for which no packaged software product yet exists since industry demand has not yet developed. Since Citibank (Citi) has often been on the cutting edge of new information technology for such new services, it has thus traditionally relied much less on packaged software than other U.S. firms.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 178
Published Here
February 10, 2011