The total cost to UK industry of adjusting computer systems for the millennium will be #10 billion according to the 1997 Holway Report ? a far cry from the #31 billion predicted by government-funded agency Taskforce 2000.
Since #7 billion will come from organisations? existing IT budgets, the additional cost will be reduced to #3 billion, the report, due to be published later this month, estimated.
According to figures from the Year 2000 Conference Europe, telecoms giant BT will face the largest individual bill of about #350 million, while the big four banks are expected to spend #480 million; the top 10 insurers, #800 million; the top 10 building societies, #500 million; the 900 smaller companies, #5.82 million; the health service, #120 million; social security and the Inland Revenue, #130 million and defence #110 million. The total figure will be #9.725 billion, including public sector costs.
The estimate differed drastically from Taskforce, which previously worked out that it would cost the UK industry #31 billion to fix the year 2000 problem (PC Dealer, 16 April).
Robin Guenier, executive director of Taskforce, defended the figure, saying it was an estimate of what it should cost if the UK were to make the changes correctly, but that industry is now faced with a huge problem because the resources in terms of people and money are not available.
Tom Glasson, Taskforce 2000 assistant executive director, said: ?The fact is nobody is sure. But the problem is bigger than people think. People can?t afford to ignore it.?
Holway estimated that British computer sales will rise from #30 billion to #38 billion by 2000, fuelled also by the introduction of the euro, but this will be followed by a great IT recession.
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