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1997-11-13 12:57:48


902 British Firms: Confused Awareness, Little Action



This survey of 902 firms of various sizes reveals that there is lots of optimism and little actual recoding in British industry.

Obver half have not completed the audit of systems. This is the inventory process. The California White Paper rates the inventory as 1% of the project and awareness as 1%. Conclusion: over half of the firms have 98% of the project ahead of them.

But it's way, way worse than this indicates. On November 13, this posting appeared on Peter de Jager's forum. It was submitted by the author of the report, Graham Ride.

". . . the 902 responses where derived from a 50,000 questionnaire mailing. This is a 1.8% response and I wonder what the other 49,098 businesses are doing. How many are in denial and how many don't respond to questionnaires on principle? I think this puts an even worse gloss on the subject because the likelihood is that a large number of companies not responding to such a questionnaire are also unlikely to respond to the existence of or need to act on the problem."

* * * * *

When asked to describe best the status of the organisation's position;

14.3% said no action so far

27.6% said reviewing current IT systems

14.7% said performing audit

7.40% said re-coding existing software

22.1% said investing in new software

12.6% said Year 2000 compliant

If 14.3% are taking no action yet, 27.6% are reviewing current IT systems and 14.7% are performing an audit (a total of 56.6%), then clearly 55% cannot have completed an audit, the maximum figure has to be 43.4%. My own suspicions are that many of the 22% investing in new software believe this will solve the problem and that only those who are re-coding and who claim to be compliant have completed a real audit. That total is a mere 20%. . . .

When it comes to estimates of how long it will take to solve the problems the largest percentages believing periods of 12-24 months are Retailing, Construction and Motor Trades. 41.7% of Retailers think 12-18 months and 16.7% 18-24 months. 28.9% in the Construction sector believe 12-18 months and 13.3% in the Motor Trade think 18-24 months. In view of the Construction Industry's view of how long it will take and with its dismal record on compliance to date it really had better get its skates on!

At the bottom end of the time spectrum 48.9% of Accountancy and surprisingly 45.5% of Telecommunications believe compliance will take less than 6 months to achieve. In the case of accountancy I hope these are the views of the smaller practices and in the Telecomms case I hope it is an aberration.

The highest percentage of honestly 'don't knows' was in Transport (26.3%), Education,Health & Government (24.6%), Business Services (19.2%) and Accountancy Practices (17%).


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