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1997-06-29 00:00:00


Importing Corrupt Data, Relying on Noncompliant Suppliers



INFORMATIONWEEK (June 2) ran a column by William Ulrich that warned managers that it is not sufficient to be compliant. All those with whom you do business must also be compliant.

"Financial institutions face particularly high risks. Banks and securities firms exchange massive amounts of data with other financial institutions and government agencies. One instance of errant data being passed from one organization to another could infect an entire network with bad information."

"Third-party dependencies in certain industries are a life-and-death matter. Health-care providers rely on electronic data interfaces (EDI) with insurance companies and hospitals. EDI standards still condone the use of two-digit fields that can easily be misinterpreted, with catastrophic results. Other industries could face even greater risks." He mentions airlines and transportation.

Manufacturers are especially vulnerable due to just-in-time procedures. "A supply-chain failure could occur if just one supplier cannot produce a part because of a systems failure. . . . A system failure could result in multiple plant closures and massive layoffs."

Ulrich is the author of THE YEAR 2000 SOFTWARE CRISIS: CHALLENGE OF THE CENTURY (1997).

This, basically, is the heart of the y2k problem. This is why it cannot be solved. Ulrich does not say this, but I do. Anyone who says that this problem can be solved between now and 2000 should offer evidence. Nobody does. Nobody who says that y2k will not be a disaster ever discusses this problem -- the heart of the matter. If you pay a fortune to get compliant, your investment falls to zero value if you import corrupt data.


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