Survey: Y2K Won't Stamp Out E-mail Projects

A new survey by Creative Networks undercuts the widespread belief that 1999 corporate e-mail deployments will be severely curtailed by Year 2000 projects.

"We found that people are devoting a larger part of their IS/IT budgets to Y2K, but they're really not all that concerned about it," says Michael Osterman, director of market research at the Palo Alto-based consultancy. "The bottom line is that it's just not going to be as severe as the hype would indicate."

Among the survey's findings:

--Almost three-quarters of 39 companies surveyed report that they will impose no freeze on messaging infrastructure projects as a result of having to wrestle with Y2K first and foremost.

--The median budget for Year 2000 expenses has risen from US$90 per employee last year to $117 per employee for 1999.

--18 percent of respondents report that managers in their companies are not "fully aware of the impact of Y2K" on their businesses.

According to random interviews with network managers, the optimistic outlook for uninterrupted e-mail deployments does not come as a surprise.

"We have not put anything on hold because of Y2K," says Jim Santiago, assistant vice president of information services at AEW Capital Management in Boston. "We had a merger with another company two-plus years ago and most of our systems are new, so there are no big Y2K issues that would stop us from moving forward."

David Byrkit echoes that sentiment from his viewpoint as e-mail administrator at ITT Avionics in Clifton, New Jersey.

"We have a team dedicated to Y2K and I'm not on it," Byrkit says. "Granted that these people could be doing other things, but I don't sense that anything is suffering because of the Y2K effort."

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