Technology: news in brief

Europe’s leading software and e-business event for the accounting and finance profession is sponsored by Accountancy Age and promises to be a huge gathering with almost 100 leading software providers exhibiting. Benefit from free vendor seminars, executive masterclasses and breakfast briefings that focus on the set-up and implementation of a finance system. The show runs from 5-6 March in the Grand Hall, Olympia.

Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA) has signed a 10-year Business Process Outsourcing deal with Unisys worth an estimated $450m (£300m). The IT service supplier continues to make inroads into the burgeoning market for life and pensions administration outsourcing. From 1 May, Unisys Insurance Services Limited (UISL) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Unisys – will take over the processing and administration of 2.4m R&SA policies.

Analyst firm Forrester has forecast a gloomy outlook for the European IT market, and warned that many small software and services firms will struggle to survive next year. The study predicts the UK will overtake Germany to become Europe’s largest IT market by 2005, but warns the technology gap between Europe and the US will grow by $263bn (£42.7bn) this year alone. By 2004, IT will form 6.9% of the European economy, compared with 9.6% across the Atlantic.

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