Complacency at board level about software problems continues to threaten big business with disaster, services company ICL Sorbus warned yesterday.
Introducing a portfolio of products called Dateproof, Alan Brown, director of marketing at ICL Sorbus, said 10 per cent of UK business had started to look at the problem while only two per cent had succeeded in tackling the problem head-on.
He said: ?The biggest problem is that people in the outside world are not taking it seriously at board level. You have cases of people who have got problems already. People are running out of time and need to get the problems sorted by 1998.?
The level of awareness, Brown said, continued to be low despite articles in the UK computing press, while many IT directors had failed to look at the problem because they felt their jobs were on the line. ?There?s an apocryphal story of a chairman finding out about the problem and saying, ?Right, who do I sack and who do I sue,?? Brown said.
Glen Horgan, marketing and development manager at Sorbus, said that it was impossible to cost how much a full Year 2000 survey would cost big business because of the different mix of business and computer systems in large corporations.
?We take on IT estates that are in a wildly different state,? he said. ?We very rarely take on a 1,000-seat site that hasn?t got network management installed but they?ve often customised and bastardised the system.?
Horgan said that one of the problems faced by big business was that in the initial stages, executives in a big company were not sure who should take on the problems. ?Senior people at board level need to smooth out the initial hump where people won?t take charge of the problem,? he said.
Problems at the stroke of midnight have been well publicised, ranging from lifts failing to aircraft being affected, Brown warned. Other less catastrophic effects could include pension and other membership schemes being hit.
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