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1997-09-26 08:12:55


Success Formula: Start Your Repair in 1992 or Earlier



This story from INFORMATIONWEEK (Sept. 22) reports on the semiconductor industry, which supposedly has "all but completed successful implementations of their year 2000 remedies, some of which were undertaken more than five years ago."

First, nobody is compliant. "All but" isn't. Second, this is a high-tech industry. Third, it got started before de Jager's "Doomsday" article appeared. Fourth, and most important, these firms did not adopt the "repair code" strategy. They adopted a "switch to a new platform" strategy: SAP or client-server. They scrapped their legacy systems. It's way too late for that now.

To do this, they had to make sure their data could be transferred. As one person interviewed here admits, his company is still not sure this has been done successfully.

"Moving multibillion-dollar companies from legacy to open and mobile systems, worldwide, is a nontrivial job," [Texas Instrument's CIO Pallab] Chatterjee says. "A lot of attention over the next year will be paid to ensuring we made the transition and didn't lose anything in the process. We're basically jacking the engine from one car to another while they're still moving."

Here was this industry's key to "all but success": abandon legacy systems. This is what most companies have not done, cannot do in the time remaining, and are now pretending does not need to be done.

"Reengineering with new applications has emerged as the primary mechanism semiconductor manufacturers use to solve 80% of their year 2000 problems. Over the past year nearly all of the major semiconductor manufacturers have deployed massive, fast-track implementations of general business solutions from vendors such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Baan, and J.D. Edwards."


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