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1997-10-22 16:43:07


Most Systems Will Not Be 100% Repaired: Contingency Planning



The October issue of SOFTWARE magazine devotes a lengthy section to y2k. Its language is anything but restrained.

* * * * * * *

Many organizations are already admitting failure. Contingency planning and triage are the hottest topics among Year 2000 project teams, and the failure of supply chains is a growing concern. The latest trend is retraction letters from vendors who claimed compliance in early surveys. Yet, amazingly, there are still people who believe the problem is a fraud perpetuated by consultants. . . .

To minimize these problems, we must realize we are all dependent on each other: One company's compliance is useless unless other companies remain viable. Credit cards cannot process transactions unless all links between merchants and banks are operating. A compliant assembly line cannot create products without supplies. We all depend on federal, state, and local governments for an array of services. It's a good bet that numerous local governments don't even know about the problem. . . .

The most frightening aspect of this deployment problem is that, ultimately, [code repair] factory and offshore capacity will fall far short of real demand. Assume, for example, that each of 25 U.S.-based factories can process roughly 15 million lines of code per month. Over the course of a year these factories could collectively convert 4.5 billion lines of code. According to most estimates, this is less than 3% of the code in the world. Unless this situation changes, only a small percent of the world's code may be corrected by late 1998. . . .

The bottom line is that most companies and government agencies will not achieve 100% Year 2000 compliance. The key to survival, however, is to ensure that organizations fix mission-critical systems and build contingency plans for key systems and suppliers to avoid interruptions in normal business operations. The options are running out. . . .


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