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1997-11-18 12:51:34


It's Too Late for 30% of Businesses and Governments (Optimism!)



This report on Capers Jones' new book emphasizes his estimate that Nov. 1, 1997, was the last date for companies to repair their systems by the 2000 deadline. The problem is, at least 30% of US companies and governments had not begun.

The reporter missed the point. Jones' deadline is for actual code repair. The Gartner Group survey dealt with companies that have begun anything, not just code repair. The number of large, Fortune 500 US companies at the code repair stage by October, 1997, is variously estimated at 16% to 20% -- not high. (See October 8 posting in this category.)

But let's accept the 30% estimate. There was 25% unemployment during the worst of the Great Depression in the US. Are we ready for this today?

Then there are the companies outside the US. What of Latin America and Asia?

Yet this is "old news" in late 1997 -- hardly worth mentioning. A year ago it was also non-news: 2000 was too far away.

Denial comes in many forms, with many excuses. But the deadline just keeps getting closer.

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

* * * * * * *

Caper Jones, chairman of Software Productivity Research, argues in his upcoming book "The Year 2000 Software Problem: Quantifying the Costs and Assessing the Consequences," that institutions will be too late if they have not begun preparing by Nov. 1. So if you thought Halloween was already scary enough, consider the finding of a Gartner Group survey that found about 30% of companies in America had in fact not started. About 90% of those lateniks are relatively small outfits with fewer 2,000 employees -- but the survey found the same number of governments worldwide at a similar level of non-compliance. . . .

Estimates for the overall cost of fixing the bug range from a modest $52 billion at the British Investment Bank BZW to as high as $3.6 trillion at Caper Jones' firm. The Gartner Group eyes the cost of a fix at between $300 billion and $600 billion.


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