Small and medium size businesses are still causing the greatest concern in terms of Year 2000 readiness, a new report has revealed.
According to the latest "State of the Nation" survey from Y2K campaign group Action 2000, a startling 36 per cent of mid sized businesses (with 20 to 249 employees) believe the millennium bug is either simply an IT problem or that a "silver bullet" solution will be found.
Around 28 per cent of these companies, equivalent to 80,000 businesses, have not taken the appropriate action to deal with the millennium bug, the report claimed.
Companies with 20 to 99 employees are of even greater concern due to their lower levels of readiness. The report showed the vast majority of these companies have business critical systems or run IT networks within their business, yet around 40 per cent have not taken sufficient action.
Gwynneth Flower, managing director of Action 2000, commented: "This 40 per cent employs around one million people. Do they really want to put not only their own, but their employees livelihoods on the line."
She added: "Those who are doing work need to increase the pace. Suppliers need to be contacted. Equipment, old and new, needs to be checked. Legal and health and safety issues must be addressed. Time has very nearly run out and it could be your business that loses the race."
Larger companies did not escape criticism. Flower said that although 87 per cent are taking appropriate action, their main vulnerability is a lack of contingency planning in case of disruption. One in seven larger companies (250 employees plus) lacks any form of contingency planning and of those that have plans, only 50 per cent are formal or written down.
Flower commented: "These figures are grounds for concern. Action 2000 has been carrying out and reporting our research for almost a year now and yet there is still a hardcore number of companies that are adamant that they need to do nothing. This lack of perception of the risk shows a worrying short sightedness among British managers."
Action 2000 said last month governemnt agencies were falling behind with their remediation programmes. (See Newswire 23 July)
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