UK companies are taking an alarmingly laid-back approach to the millennium problem, according to a recent survey from IT recruitment and consultancy firm Delphi Group.
The survey, which looked at IT resourcing in 3,000 of the UK?s largest businesses, found that 60 per cent of respondents' computer systems were wholly or partially unready for the Year 2000 date change.
?People are focusing on the general election and then they will start to concentrate on the millennium,? said Tony Reeves, chairman of Delphi. ?But if they leave it right till the last minute it will only exacerbate the skills shortage. Demand for old Cobol skills has already doubled in America,? he said.
The survey also revealed that UK businesses continue to suffer from skills shortages, and these can add an average 10 per cent to their costs. 66 per cent of the survey?s respondents suffered skills shortages and almost three quarters of those - 10 per cent more than last year - expect these to worsen over the next few years.
The skills in short supply include client/server, relational database, networking, object oriented development and PC development. Oracle is the most sought-after language or application skill.
Reeves was also surprised that, despite the apparent growth of Intranets, none of the sites surveyed mentioned that Java or other Intranet development skills were in demand. He also said that the survey showed little evidence that the companies were using the Internet for recruitment.
Only seven per cent of respondents said they were using the Net for recruiting IT staff and those that had reported poor results. ?There was a lot of hype when recruitment on the Internet was first introduced,? commented Reeves. ?It will become increasingly important but there will not be an explosion.?
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007