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1998-01-17 22:39:29


2/3 of Big U.S. Businesses Are Still Without Detailed Y2K Plans



While things are better than they were in April, 1997, they aren't good. In fact, they're bad. Most American business leaders are still waiting for the silver bullet.

This is from COMPUTERWORLD (Jan. 11).

* * * * * * *

If 1998 is going to be the year that corporate America finally rolls up its sleeves and fixes many its year 2000 problems, then last year could very well have been the year in which chief executives woke up to the potential seriousness of the millennium bug. . . .

A series of tracking polls taken last year by Cap Gemini America, a New York-based year 2000 services provider, showed that corporate awareness about the date-change problem grew last year.

Cap Gemini raised the following two issues in April, August and December in a tracking poll of 108 information technology directors and managers. The survey was conducted by Rubin Systems, Inc. in Pound Ridge, N.Y.:

Full-fledged strategy begun:

April, 1997: 13%

August, 1997: 16%

December, 1997: 20%

Detailed plan in place:

April, 1997: 18%

August, 1997: 24%

December, 1997: 33% . . . .

But despite the apparently slow growth in awareness, there is no shortage of year 2000 optimism among those who took part in the survey. About 87% of the companies surveyed expect more than half of their systems to be compliant by Jan. 1, 1999. . . .

Some estimates of year 2000 costs:

•Gartner Group, Inc.: $600 billion; closer to $1 trillion with litigation costs included

•Capers Jones, Software Productivity Group: More than $3.6 trillion

•U.S. government: Its fixes alone will cost at least $3.9 billion

•Canadian government: It will spend about $1 billion to fix its computers

•Statistics Canada: $ 12 billion . . .

Four out of five companies have been underestimating their year 2000 costs. . . .

Some live by the Scout motto, "Be prepared." But when it comes to the year 2000, many organizations are so sure their systems will be ready that they're not even bothering to prepare for the unexpected in the event something breaks down on or after Jan. 1, 2000.

Contingency planning is a secondary concern, The Yankee Group found in a recent survey of year 2000 project managers at 25 companies.

The survey indicated that only nine of the 25 companies — or 36% — had contingency plans in place as of the third quarter last year. And only seven of 25 — or 28% — have identified third-party processors to run systems that can store data in the event of a malfunction in their primary information systems. . . .

The Dutch airline KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has taken an extreme contingency plan.

It announced in November that it may ground its aircraft or refuse to fly certain routes if year 2000 software problems pose a safety threat.


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