The Westpac Group, an Australia-based financial services firm, has entered into a new five-year IT contract with IBM, effective 1 December 2010.

As per the contract, IBM will hold prime responsibility for the operation of Westpac’s key infrastructure services, including services related to group’s new data center, mainframe, midrange, storage, desktop, print and security operations.

Initially the contract, including operational and transformation services, involves little change in IT spending for The Westpac Group, allowing for value improvements as the business grows.

IBM will also provide risk mitigation at a critical time as the bank implements its five-year IT transformation program involving 15 Strategic Investment Priorities (SIPs), rigorous governance model and clear service requirements and service metrics aligned to its business requirements.

IBM general manager for Global Technology Services Australia and New Zealand Peter Campbell said that IBM’s deep understanding of Westpac’s business, coupled with IBM’s proven capability in delivering robust and flexible IT infrastructure solutions will enable the bank to maintain its focus on customers, people and productivity.