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1998-02-05 00:15:18


Canadian Businesses Are Doing Little



This report appeared in CANOE (Jan. 17).

* * * * * * *

The scary part is how unprepared we are. In December, Statistics Canada provided a grim reality check that revealed just how much a national challenge we face to beat this problem.

It did so by releasing the results of a preliminary survey that found more than half of all Canadian firms are taking no action to prepare for anticipated computer malfunctions leading up to 2000. . . .

 "The Statistics Canada survey confirms that the situation in Canada on business preparedness for the Year 2000 technological problem is serious and must be addressed urgently. Our competitiveness is at stake and time is running out," warns Jean Monty, chairman of Task Force Year 2000 and president and chief operating officer of BCE Inc. . . .

 Statistics Canada polled 2,000 respondents from small, medium-sized and large Canadian firms to achieve these results. The survey also found that 90% of all companies were aware of technical problems that could arise from the "millennium bug," but that half of those aware of the problem had done nothing about it. Even more worrying, some 60% of small firms were taking no action and 30% of medium-sized companies have not begun to address the problem.

Even among large firms, where 92% claimed to be addressing Year 2000 problems in some way, only 48% had made formal plans to tackle it.

The most startling fact of all was that few companies realized just how vulnerable they are to non-compliance by their suppliers and customers. Few businesses today operate their systems in isolation from either, yet only 13% of those who said they were aware of the problem were looking into preparedness of their customers, suppliers and service providers.


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