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1998-06-04 04:05:24


Why Large, Complex Organizations Are at Risk



The Party Line is that large outfits will fix their systems, and small ones won't. This is said to mean that small systems will not survive.

This assumes that small systems must fix their computer systems. But fixing a system can also mean going back to pen and ink. Large outfits can't do this. Small ones can.

This chart relates the number of computerized interconnections with the likelihood of trouble. The correlation is positive. The authors say that complete failure of systems with 1,000 connections is about 10% -- the standard optimism. But disruptions are guaranteed.

What if there are 2,500? What if we are talking about a money center bank? The chart doesn't go this high. Too bad. If the largest money center banks don't make it, the chart is irrelevant.

Click through to view the chart.

This is from BUSINESS TODAY (June 3).

* * * * * * * * * *

The "Beach/Oleson Pain Index" is a chart of Y2K probabilities and predictions based on a formula developed by team leaders Gary Beach, publisher of CIO magazine, and International Data Corp. analyst Tom Oleson.

The index determines the "degree of pain" companies are likely to experience when the Millennium Bug strikes.

The Beach/Oleson Pain Index illustrates how the Y2K software glitch is further compounded by connectivity to external organizations, such as suppliers, customers, banks and other business partners. . . .

"Realistically, no connected company can expect to survive the Year 2000 unscathed," Beach said.

He said the formula answers the fifty-thousand dollar question: 'Just how bad is it going to be?'

The index works by taking a company's number of connected applications and plugging that figure into the index.

"A company can determine the severity of its Year 2000 problem and create an appropriate contingency plan," Beach said. . . .

The index uses the number of applications a company has connected to external partners, vendors and customers to determine the severity of the Y2K situation. The probability of experiencing a Year 2000 problem is broken down into four degrees of severity: Annoying; Disruptive; Business Critical and Catastrophic.


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