Westpac: IT Spend Is Up, Windows 7 Is In

Westpac: IT Spend Is Up, Windows 7 Is In

Westpac’s annual results include a breakout of how much money it is spending on IT. While that number has risen in the last year, the bank appears to think that’s worth it.

Westpac picture from Shutterstock

As is the case with many listed organisations, Westpac’s technology spend isn’t neatly bundled into a single category. This is what is says about broad technology expenses:

Other expenses increased $54 million or 3% compared to Full Year 2013. Increased costs related to the Group’s investment program, including higher technology costs and professional services. These were partially offset by cost management initiatives including renegotiation with vendors and migration of customers from paper statements to e-statements.

Clearly, those vendors are still driving a hard bargain. Westpac’s amortisation expenses for existing hardware rose by $11 million during the year, while software amortisation rose by $90 million. (Those numbers aren’t counted in the increased expense total mentioned above.)

Apart from saving money on printing costs, Westpac rolled out its new mobile and online platform, dubbed ‘Westpac Live’, which is now used by 2.7 million customers. It also added fingerprint recognition technology to its mobile apps and updated its wealth management platforms. Behind the scenes, in recent years it has cut back from 9 data centres to 5, and migrated to a single email platform.

Westpac’s announcement also highlights the challenges large organisations experience in trying to upgrade desktop platforms. It says it has “remediated” 452 applications to run on modern desktops, which is essentially code for “OMG Windows XP is no longer supported”. Most bank staff are now on Windows 7, and 190 branches are using “virtual PCs” rather than traditional desktops.


  • Why does IT have to pay for customer statements to be printed? Shouldn’t that cost be under banking accounts? It is not like the bank actually print their customers statements. Most are already out sourced to companies like Hermes Precisa.

    • Because they’re the only ones who know what “PC-Load Letter” means and they’re not telling!

    • Just a comment. Having worked in the print and mail industry for a number of years, HPA no longer exists. It was acquired by Salmat BPO which in turn was sold to Fuji Xerox Australia.

      Printing and mailing is such a small and niche industry that goes unrecognised but touches all organisations both locally and internationally. There is a trend to go digital but paper will still be around for a while.

  • I was at westpac a fe months ago getting my wife as a joint card holder, the computer she was using didn’t have connectivity for the remote desktop client session, she asked if i knew anything about computers, i replied, i am a developer and was once a qualified network engineer (though i let my CCNA qualifications lapse cause i never used it).

    Turned out the clip on the ethernet cable broke off as a result of the incredibly short keyboard cable being tugged too hard, i explained it to her and said she should ask her IT department for a new cable and she just stared at me blankly.

    I was frankly still in shock that i was allowed anywhere near the computer.

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