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1997-07-16 00:00:00


95% of the Work Remains to Be Done, Testifies Expert



Larry Martin testified to the Senate Banking Committee on July 10. He is president of Data Dimensions, a firm that offers y2k repair software. His testimony began with this assessment:

"Current estimates by reliable industry groups suggest that only one-third of US companies and government agencies have seriously started work on a Year 2000 fix. And the rest of the world has been even slower to take action. A recent British study says that fewer than one in five businesses have taken action. Those figures only represent companies that have started work on the millennium. We would roughly estimated that only five percent of the total work to complete Year 2000 compliance has been accomplished. That means 95 percent of the work remains to be done. This is not a problem about money. It is about time and resources.

"Based on a mid-range estimate, it will require an additional ten million staff months in the 30 months remaining before 2000 for all US business to correct its computer systems software. When you factor in the additional requirements for updating new hardware and embedded systems [programmed chips], the estimate can be expanded by at least 25 percent. All these corrections require highly qualified technical personnel. The financial sector probably represents five to ten percent of these requirements" (p. 1).

Then he mentioned the killer factor: shared data. "It is an oversimplification, but nevertheless realistic, to say that this problem affects everyone. The size of the company and its assets don't matter. The geopolitical boundaries in which it operates are virtually meaningless. Even those organizations that expect to be Year 2000 compliant could be affected because their computer interfaces, in the normal course of dealing with other institutions which may or may not be compliant, could be contaminated. In short, the problem is all-pervasive" (pp. 1-2).

On the allocation of resources necessary to complete a y2k repair project, see the California White Paper.


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