NBAD doubles IT budget

Wide range of major projects underway for 2008 including banking systems and blade servers

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By  Imthishan Giado Published  May 6, 2008

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has nearly doubled its technology budget from $56 million in 2007 to $105 million this year, with $14.5 million already spent by the close of April.

CIO Srood Sherif revealed the figures at a press conference in Abu Dhabi today while announcing the adoption of three new mission-critical servers from Fujitsu-Siemens Computers to support database functions within its core banking applications.

Sherif stated that between 30% and 35% of the previous year's budget was spent on infrastructure and expects this to go up to 40% this year, with the remainder to be spent on a range on packages and implementations.

"We're looking at total front end and back office treasury system for our financial market group, we're looking at global market systems. We've already got Islamic banking systems which we will be installing in our Sudan branches," explained Sherif.

"We're also looking at trade finance, a new system for credit cards, an anti-money laundering system to replace existing system, and brokerage systems. They're all large sized projects - I'm not mentioning smaller ones," he added.

Apart from the new servers, NBAD is also working with Fujitsu-Siemens on implementing its BladeFrame technology in an effort to cut power consumption and heat generation. Sherif says that green IT continues to ascend the IT agenda.

"We're trying to ride the wave - it hasn't come into the UAE that strongly but certainly will. A lot of vendors claim that they are going towards a green datacentre - a lot of which is probably marketing. It needs maybe another year or two, but we don't want to be left behind," he said.

Stephane Rejasse, managing director for Fujitsu Siemens Computers Middle East, described the NBAD project as a massive implementation.

"We carefully crafted the specific solution to suit NBAD's business requirements, along with our partner Fujitsu Services. While all banks in the Gulf face increasing competition as well as rapidly changing market conditions, we are certain our core banking platform will arm NBAD with a competitive edge," he added.

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