Nordic bank hires IBM to revamp and manage IT

Nordic bank Nordea AB has hired IBM Corp. to manage its daily IT operations and to revamp its IT infrastructure, and expects the outsourcing arrangement to save it money and allow it to devote more resources to its core banking business, executives from both companies said Wednesday.

Nordea, based in Stockholm, is the product of the combination of five formerly independent banks, so it has a very heterogeneous IT infrastructure. Consequently, it decided it had to consolidate and standardize its IT infrastructure and make it more homogenous, automated and consistent across the board, said Nordea's Chief Information Officer Jarle Haug.

The bank considered handling this big consolidation and transformation process on its own, but eventually decided to hire an IT services specialist instead, a job that went to IBM due to its experience with this type of project, Haug said. "We think IBM will provide us with the competency and capacity to make this transformation come through with lower risk than if we do it ourselves," he said.

Moreover, Nordea liked that IBM agreed to price its services according to usage, instead of using a fixed up-front price. Thus, the bank will pay for the services it uses, which will let it match the cost of IT to its consumption, preventing it from overpaying for underused IT resources, Haug said.

In the 10-year deal with an estimated value of

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