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1998-05-19 07:48:45


70% of Computers in U.S. Still Haven't Been Checked for Y2K



So, you think it's OK. You think businessmen have y2k in hand.

Think again.

Some 70% of all business computers in the U.S. still have not been checked. Managers refuse to face reality.


* * * * * * * *

The truth is that year 2000 is quickly approaching and about 70 percent of businesses across the United States have failed to check their computers. This mistake, some experts say, may cost them their livelihood. . . .

In the past eight years, Tony Silva, president of Miami-based Corporate Systems Group, has turned his consulting company into a local leader in the development of 2000-compliant software for the banking, health care and transportation industries. His clients include Union Planters Bank, BankAtlantic, Eastern Financial Credit Union, Commercebank, Baxter World Trade, Carnival Cruise Line and The Sports Authority. In 1996, CGS was selected as one of Florida's Fastest Growing Technology Companies by Deloitte & Touche LLP and Enterprise Florida and was listed in Inc. magazine's top 500 companies.

Question: What kinds of problems will companies have if they don't change in the year 2000?

Silva: A company can get hit at several angles. It can cripple their business flow and they can acquire liability with customers, especially for publicly held entities and financial institutions. There are two concerns -- they both have federal regulators and are exposed to the possibility of shareholder lawsuits.

Question:How aware are people about the seriousness of the year 2000 problem?

Silva: Awareness has increased a great deal, but there is still a great deal of skepticism about the real problems that could actually cause the economy to take a downturn. Although there is some kind of exaggerating going on, the problem will be devastating to a business if no one addresses it. Even in my own business, we're preparing ourselves.

Question: How old are computers that are non year 2000 compliant? What part of the computer has the millennium bug in it?

Silva: We found that the best manufactures in the industry were still not putting out computers that were compliant. The point is that everybody has been irresponsible about it. It's not necessarily a deliberate thing. It doesn't have to be an abusive breach of warranty for a company, but it's vital for a consumer to know about this and to ensure that the subsequent upgrade takes place. Some might fail on Sept. 9, 1999 or as soon as Sept. 9, 1998 of this year.

Question: How much will it cost, per computer, for companies to become year 2000 compliant?

Silva: The two biggest problems with this is it can't be postponed, but it also can't be estimated. It's like a construction project without knowing the cost of materials. It all depends on your project management approach. Some replace everything, others renovate and remediate everything. . . .

Question: Are we doomed?

Silva: We have to focus in the next 20 months on the fact that this is an enormous problem. If that happens, we will stand a good chance of having a little interruption. But if the complacency continues, we will deal with a very serious issue.


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