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1997-10-24 12:00:17


No Armageddon, Says Manufacturing Magazine



MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS magazine (Sept. 1997), ran a series of articles on y2k. In one of them, we read this confident assertion:

"What happens if New Yearís Day, 2000, rolls around and nothing goes wrong with computer systems? After all the hullabaloo from information technology pundits, magazines, and newspapers, will victory be claimed over the Year 2000 problem, or will media and analysts be branded as Chicken Littles? Despite the dire warnings, itís becoming clear 2000 will not bring a digital armageddon, but neither will it be free from failure. In manufacturing, most enterprises will keep running when the century turns, mainly because managers will have minimized Year 2000 risks, but also because the millennium bug will have struck in stages."

This is the standard line. Almost no one argues in public that there will not be a problem. So, to keep ad revenues flowing, they say: "No big problem." Where is the evidence that there is no big problem? Go through the links on this site. Where is the evidence that "managers will have minimized Year 2000 risks" by 2000. In any case, what have managers got to do with fixing it? Senior managers in 86% the Fortune 500 companies by September, 1997, had not demanded that their firms begin their y2k code repairs. What person in his right mind thinks that managers can do much of anything at this late date to see to it that the code gets fixed: in their own firms, let alone their suppliers' firms, their buyers' firms, and every government agency that they rely on?

Managers? Are we that far gone that we think that paper-pushing, meeting-attending, responsibility-avoiding, quarterly earnings report-hypnotized managers have something important to say about this problem?

Nevertheless, "itís becoming clear 2000 will not bring a digital armageddon." Clear to whom? Based on what evidence?

This is denial, pure and simple. With 27 monrths to go -- 24 before 9/9/99 -- this magazine decided to spread the gospel of "problems, yes, but nothing life-threatening, nothing bankruptcy-threatening."

American business is not yet at the awareness stage.

How about you?


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