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1998-05-27 18:13:56


British Rail Scraps 44 Projects for Sake of Y2K



The British national railway is in trouble. It has eliminated 44 IT (information technology) projects because they were absorbing resources needed to deal with y2k.

This decision will soon be imitated by every company that is seriously pursuing 2000-compliance. The best evidence that a company is not pursuing compliance is its unwillingness to ditch IT projects. With the recent huge increase in repair cost per line, there is no choice but to lay the axe to rival IT projects.

This appeared in COMPUTERWEEKLY NEWS (May 28). [Registration is required.]

* * * * * * * * *

Railtrack has suspended 44 business IT projects as it struggles to salvage its year 2000 programme. Compliance deadlines set last September have slipped by six months, an interim year 2000 project manager has just left, and his permanent successor has been appointed in the past few weeks. . . .

The problems highlight the growing financial and time pressures faced by businesses as deadlines for testing millennium systems approach. Critically, the memo reveals the state of Railtrack's year 2000 preparedness. According to the memo, Railtrack does not envisage that all mission-critical work will be completed until the last day of 1999. . . .

A Railtrack spokeswoman said the firm has allowed sufficient time to test systems for compliance before 2000, and describes the closure of the 44 projects as "good housekeeping".

"More information has come to light and we've re-set our deadlines accordingly," she added.

However, Railtrack IT specialists say the firm has lost much time in its preparations for the year 2000, having gone through a lengthy policy review. They say that the millennium schedule now has little margin for error.

The closure programme does not relate to existing mainframe applications and the year 2000 embedded systems projects which remain on course for completion by mid-1999, said a Railtrack spokeswoman.


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