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1997-12-27 22:48:03


Prediction: One-Third of IT Projects Won't Make It



This report from Sam Albert:

* * * * * * *

Last month in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the Information Technology Association of America convened experts of all stripes -- users, vendors, consultants, bureaucrats -- to discuss issues facing the IT community. One entire track was devoted to the century date change.

Irene Dec, a VP of Prudential Life Insurance Company, observed that no IT project has ever come close to the complexity or importance of resolving the Y2K anomaly. She cast a justifiable pall on the proceedings with a pronouncement, which I have come to believe and which echoed the thinking of analysts: Fully one-third of IT shops will fail to convert all their applications to Y2K compliance.

What this means is that the disastrous stories you've been hearing will come true, at least in some applications. This is no longer a point of discussion; it's now a matter of triage: prioritizing on the applications that can be saved in time, replacing others with off-the-shelf commercial packages and suffering the consequences for the remainder.

One of the most experienced chroniclers of computer trends in the business, whose editorial career touched four decades, says he's never seen anything like it, either. Ed Bride, former editor of Computerworld and founding editor of Software Magazine, said the undercurrent of pessimism at the ITAA conference was unusual for the normally upbeat trade group, because the members are so uncertain about the success of their customers. . . .

There is no ROI [return on investment] in the Y2K arena; success simply means you get to stay in business. Could there be any better motivation to get on with it today?


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