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1998-05-29 09:05:02


75% of Small Business Have Done Nothing on Y2K -- Gallup



A Gallup poll of 500 small businesses in the U.S. reveals that 75% of them have done nothing about y2k, and half of them do not plan to do anything in the near future. Only 6% think it is a major problem.

82% are at risk of a y2k-related failure.

Small businesses employ the bulk of the population.

What should small business managers do? Prepare to move to paper-and-pen management systems, or Macintosh-based systems. They should stock up on cash. They should plan for a 50% reduction in business. They should get out of any city. In short, they should prepare for bankruptcy.

This is what managers of medium and large businesses should do, too.

Any suggestion that y2k can be solved by working on code is ludicrous, given the Gallup poll's findings. The vast bulk of all businesses will not meet the y2k deadline. Any solution to y2k has to be based on something other than repaired code and replaced chips.

To tell someone to fix his firm's code at this late date is to tell him to throw away his capital on a dead-end project. Y2K cannot be fixed. It's too late. Organizations must go back to paper-based systems and compliant microcomputer-based systems, mainly stand-alone.

This is from COMPUTERWORLD (May 28).

* * * * * * * * *

Despite a barrage of gloom-and-doom scenarios and predictions that four out of five businesses face major hassles, the overwhelming majority of small firms apparently believe that the year 2000 problem is no big deal.

That was the conclusion of a poll conducted by the Gallup Organization in Princeton, N.J., and sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco. According to the survey, which covered 500 small-business owners across the nation, widespread awareness of the computer glitch has done little to inspire them to take action.

In fact, 75% of those familiar with the situation have yet to make a move to prevent related computer failures, and 50% don't plan to start such an effort anytime soon. In fact, only 6% said they viewed the threat as "very serious." . . .

The survey also showed that 5 million, or 82%, of small businesses in the U.S. are at risk of year 2000-related failures. Most potential problems are related to computers, which are used in 78% of the small firms, according to the report, and 34% are at risk from other equipment, such as cash registers, telephone and elevators that use time- or date-dependent microchips. And 11% face potential litigation from having sold, leased or installed equipment stricken by the millennium bug. . . .


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