The most exact form of testing is parallel testing. The data are fed into two computer systems, one noncompliant and the other compliant (they hope). If the data are handled the same way in the pre-2000 noncompliant system and the repaired system, there is much greater likelihood that the repair is completed. But this doubles the amount of computer capacity -- extremely expensive for any firm and impossible to achieve for all organizations. The computer industry cannot produce enough machines by December, 1998, to equal the number of machines already in existence.
This is one of several Catch-22's in the Year 2000 repair field.
Result: parallel testing -- mandatory for safety -- will not be done by more than a handful of organizations.
All talk of widespread compliance by 2000 is preposterous. The world will not be anywhere near the testing stage. And since repairs are imperfect, testing is really a preliminary stage.
One New Zealand company decided to bite the bullet. It cost an extra $750,000 in hardware and software. No mention of extra labor costs.
This is from THE INDEPENDENT (Nov. 28).
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Testing for Year 2000 compliance is going to be difficult and costly for many organisations. In many items of equipment it is not obvious what to test for. For example, how do you test that your PABX is going to function beyond December 1999? One major New Zealand firm revamped all of its business systems two years ago and made sure then that everything was Year 2000 compliant. However the applications have never been fully tested for date compliance. They have decided to spend $750,000 next year to set up a duplicate computer system so that they can run a comprehensive set of tests.