An independent centre of certification is urgently needed to deal with the Year 2000 and EMU software crises. This was the message from market research company IDC at its European IT Banking Forum in Rome last week.
The company believes organisations' customers and shareholders will demand certificates of compliance, preferably under a common brand such as ISO9000.
Jonathan Steel, director of IDC's banking and financial services group, said: "Both the Year 2000 and the changes required for European Monetary Union have an impact way beyond technology. Both issues directly affect a company's ability to carry out its business, and therefore, directly affects the valuation of that company."
An independent, European centre would also function as a source of information and advice on the issues, at a time when knowledge is still fragmented. "Knowledge should be collated in one body and made available to all," Steel added.
Steel told delegates that certification of compliance will be necessary to maintain confidence in companies. Customers will want to be reassured that business will not be affected and financial institutions that their credit and share values are justified. Compliance will also be vital in any merger and acquisition talks.
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