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Summary and Comments

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1997-12-04 09:49:16


Too Many Vendors; Too Much Dependence



Large organizations rely on third party software supplied by vendors. The difficulties associated with tracking down all third-party software and then getting it repaired are very great. If the vendors drop the ball -- if!!! -- the systems dependent on them will fail or be far less efficient.

How can a firm successfully pressure a noncompliant vendor? That's what banks, the government, and others are trying to find out. So far, the answer is: "nobody knows."

The report attached to this link outlines a possible four-part strategy.

* * * * * * *

A majority of corporations use hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of different software applications from third party providers. On the eve of the millennium these vendor products must be carefully analyzed to determine if they are, or can easily become Year 2000 compliant. 3rd party software tracking is an essential element in determining the direction of any company’s Year 2000 resolution process. It affects everything from budget allocations, to human resource considerations, to legal advisement. Every corporation or organization should have a methodology to track and record 3rd party software compliance status on an on-going basis.

Despite the obvious importance of 3rd party software tracking, many organizations have dismissed the process as "a simple clerical task" . They subsequently attempt to resolve the situation by sending out short letters to the software vendors requesting Y2K compliance information and await the responses. . .

. . . Many Information Technology departments are so unorganized they have no coherent ensemble of software vendor information. Often the only information available on the software product is the licensing agreement, which may or may not be located in the depths of some filing cabinet. In addition, many of the applications date back to the 1970s and have been modified or customized for the company over time. It is therefore difficult to determine which software vendors are responsible for what software applications. To locate all software applications and assemble the pertinent information into a database is an arduous and time consuming task. . . . 

Software vendor compliance status is volatile and uncertain. Vendors declare compliance on one date and months later they announce that the date has changed. There is always the risk that software vendors will declare bankruptcy on the eve of the millennium as the magnitude of their compliance problem outweighs the benefits of remaining in business.


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