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1997-06-27 00:00:00


Why We Know the Necessary Testing Will Not Be Done



Testing: Is it 40% of costs (California White Paper) or 60%? Who knows? It really doesn't matter: almost no organization will ever get to that stage anyway.

A May 5 article in INFORMATIONWEEK identifies two companies that plan to rent mainframe time to firms that want to test. If most firms get to the testing stage, there will be an unsurmountable problem: not enough excess mainframe capacity to run the tests. So, if most firms get their code repaired, they will not be able to test.

But a few firms will be able to, if they take advantage of this offer: sign up now, and secure future capacity to run the tests. This will be critical for any firm that gets this far, assuming that many others also get this far.

As of May, 1997, how many organizations have signed up with the first firm, Sabre, which does airline scheduling? Zero. (Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Sabre has 100 million lines of code in its own noncompliant system.) The other firm won't say how many have signed up for 1999.

Customers will need from 20 to 30 days to run the tests. The rental cost (today's estimate): $7,000 to $100,000 per day.

If the programmers of the world actually get to the testing phase, which I doubt, the second firm may do very well renting time to hard-pressed mainframe users. (Sabre's success will depend on whether it gets its own code in order.) If the second firm doesn't profit greatly, it's because the world is not going to beat the deadline: hardly anyone will have made it to the testing phase.


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