The North American finance industry will spend a whopping $33.6 billion on packaged software in 2004, which is more than twice as much as the $16 billion the industry spent in 1999, according to new research from IDC, Framingham, Mass. "All segments of the packaged software market will grow in the finance industry, but tools will increase the fastest," says Karen O'Brien, research manager for IDC's Vertical Industry Practices research on U.S. Banking and Finance.

According to IDC, the tools segment will earn a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent from 1999 to 2004, while system infrastructure's will grow 17 percent and applications 10 percent.

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