The biggest threat to small businesses is their heavy reliance on theirIT manufacturer or local supplier, and they have little IT skills toresolve a problem should one appear.
The realisation is gradually dawning that there will be very few'non-compliant' systems left un-addressed, but a lot of upgrades /replacements / patches that have not been properly tested or bedded downin time. The effect of this is likely to be a lot of teething problems,a slowing down and loss of efficiency / capacity rather thancatastrophic failures.
There is plenty of evidence of this effect already - the Passport Officefiasco, Doulton, Chester's Traffic lights system etc.
Should suppliers / customers suffer this type of disruption, it is thesmaller company who will feel the impact - delayed deliveries, paymentsetc as the higher priority trading partners are looked after first.
Those businesses that are not taking the threat seriously are in themain tending to rely on their experience of dealing with such problemsin normal times - unless they have taken steps to address these threats,they may find themselves at the bottom of the queue and having to wait along time for resolution.
There is also a justifiable level of confidence that any business thatfigures in a key supply chain has taken the issue seriously due to thepressure of its trading partners, and is thus well prepared. Thebusinesses that are identified as ill-prepared are in general notcritical to their trading partners. Some commentators have privatelyexpressed the view that these disruptions to trading patterns will be aneffective cull of bad businesses, leaving the better run businesses tomove onwards and upwards.
In other words the strong will get stronger, and the weak will getweaker.
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