Over 15,000 Northern New Jersey businesses were surveyed in late 1997 regarding the Millennium Bug. This is a very large sample. Most respondents said thay y2k is not in their list of the top ten problems.
This is from the Bergen (N.J.) RECORD (Jan. 25).
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Assistant state Treasurer Ed Mount said New Jersey will spend tens of millions of dollars before it's over. Of the state's 461 systems, 85 are being replaced, and the rest are undergoing painstaking repairs. The job is about 40 percent complete and should be finished by January 1999, he said. . . .
At Public Service Electric and Gas, Year 2000 manager Bob Green said the company has 12 employees devoted to the two-year-old effort and has completed nearly 30 percent of the repairs.
In all, Green said, more than 400 software applications and nearly 15 million lines of code must be inspected. Among the systems that are vulnerable are those that take care of billing and customer service.
"If we didn't do anything, those would surely be in jeopardy," he said. "Our goal is to maintain service. That's what we're concentrating on." . . .
First Union, Merck, and a half-dozen other companies with a large North Jersey presence all maintain that the Year 2000 problem is at the top of their "to do" lists, but there are indications that others in the region's business community are not exactly attacking the problem with gusto.
When the New Jersey Business and Industry Council surveyed 15,600 businesses in September, the Year 2000 problem wasn't among their 10 most pressing issues. And after a local chamber of commerce asked a computer expert to speak on the subject last year, the presentation was canceled -- for lack of interest.
Perhaps most telling is the experience of companies such as DMR Consulting, Delta Corporate Services, and Computer Horizons -- companies hired by Fortune 500 businesses to do the complete computer fix from assessment to repair to testing.
All three companies say relatively few North Jersey businesses have aggressively attacked the problem, and that the vast majority are woefully unprepared for the coming computer apocalypse.
"We found that '96 was a year of awareness, '97 was a year of denial," said Mike Signorella, who heads the Year 2000 practice for Delta. "And '98 is the year they're going to be jumping on the bandwagon."
The computer fixers say a typical Fortune 100 company will need to clean about 30 million lines of code, at a cost that can range from a few pennies to a few dollars per line. The service is a hard sell -- a multimillion-dollar expense that adds no value to the business -- and the fixers say many companies are not buying, hoping that a cheaper solution will become available.
"I think there's this belief that something's going to happen, that I won't be in this job anymore or somebody will invent something that makes this go away," said Bruce Whitman, vice president in charge of DMR's Year 2000 services. "Nothing's going to fix this but brute force and spending a lot of money. Those people who forget that have their heads in the sand."