Execs 'deaf' to Y2K: study

Pleas of IT managers to senior executives about the pitfalls of the millennium bug are falling on deaf ears, according to a survey of ComputerWorld readers.

Despite the hype and propaganda surrounding the 2000 issue, a report compiled by Inform Business Development has found a disturbing 11 per cent of respondents have "no active plans to meet the challenge", although some plan to start addressing the issue later this year or during 1999.

This is in spite of the fact almost 19 per cent of those surveyed are unsure whether their IT hardware is year 2000-compliant.

Perhaps of greater concern is that of the 51 per cent of organisations where 2000 plans have been made and budgets requested, senior management has approved only 53 per cent of the requests.

Equally staggering is the report's findings that these senior executives are "not in step" with their IT managers on the issue. The report, entitled "The Year 2000 Challenge", claims many senior corporate managers expect the millennium problem to be solved using existing resources, while IT managers, already strained to the limit by normal IT operations, want additional manpower and budgetary allowances to help tackle the issue.

Furthermore, while 99 per cent of IT managers agree they must do something to prepare for 2000, an alarming 11 per cent of senior executives do not agree.

The report, which surveyed a cross-section of ComputerWorld subscribers, also indicates senior executives are unaware of the implications of being linked to customers and suppliers that may be affected by the millennium bug. It claims little more than half the respondents are monitoring suppliers and less than half are monitoring their customers.

"We tried to get away from the speculation that's around and find out exactly what the situation is for Australian companies.

"Part of what we found was very positive with some companies well advanced in their 2000 projects," Inform director Terry Wiley told ComputerWorld.

"But there is still a lot of ignorance out there about the problem, and that will be the biggest challenge for local companies up to and beyond 2000."

The report concludes that only 16 per cent of organisations have actually completed their projects. It warns that the remainder will certainly find themselves with limited time for their compliance program . . . and . . . be at the end of the queue for external services and products."

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