Year 2000 projects have drained IT departments of money and resources, and completion dates have been deferred to the last possible moment, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.
Mike Bridge, the survey's author, said the 1998 PwC Year 2000 status survey showed that 42 per cent of non-Y2K IT projects are feeling the impact of year 2000 compliance.
"The latest findings suggest a large backlog of work is building up for completion after the year 2000," Bridge said.
"The year 2000 issue will continue to propel activity in the IT industry well into the next century.
"Last year, the average expected completion date for year 2000 projects was December 1998," he said.
"Now it is May 1999, indicating a significant slippage in projects over the past year.
"At the current rate of progress, we project many organisations will just be completing their projects in December 1999. And that is way too tight for comfort," he said.
The total Y2K cost for Australian businesses has climbed 47 per cent to $8.1 billion in the last 12 months, Bridge said.
"About a quarter of this money is forecast by the respondents to be spent on hardware and a similar amount on software," he said.
"Another 20 per cent is expected to be spent on outside consultants."
The survey was conducted with the support of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.