The financial-services industry leads the pack when it comes to outsourcing technology development and business processes. Citigroup (C
) and Bank of America (BAC
) were pioneers, but now banks across the world are outsourcing their tech support and maintenance, administrative back offices, and even customer service.
Among the largest non-U.S. banks to jump on the outsourcing bandwagon is London-based HSBC (HBC
). Starting with one software-development center in Pune, a satellite city of Bombay, the bank moved on to establish development centers in China and Brazil. It also has opened back-office operations in five Indian cities. But Pune's steel-and-glass structure, overlooking the city on one side and the countryside on the other, is HSBC's star center and one of its most important operations.