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The Year 2000

Introduction Many may dismiss the predictions that there would be a worldwide chaos on January 1, 2000 as many computers programmed with two-digit year fields would mistake it to be 1900 and breakdown. However, we need not wait for the turn of the century for the trouble. Signs of early troubles are already everywhere to sufficiently warrant both IT and business managers to take the issue seriously, if they have not already done so. What seemed as a reasonable solution to costly storage problem in past, would now cost, by some estimates, 600 Billion dollars to organizations worldwide. No matter what the final cost comes out to be, even at conservative 300 billion dollars, it is no pocket change. All concern parties must have thorough understanding of the problem, its solutions, and possible ramifications. Importance of the Issue IT managers are not the only one who needs to understand the depth of Y2K problem. Business managers probably has more in stake here than any one else. If timely solutions are not achieved, many business stands to lose many billions of dollars in form of lost revenues. This loss does not include possible losses resulting from litigation and out-of-court settlements. Many firms, including some large ones, have continued to drag their feet on fixing Y2K related problems. Companies with Y2K problems now often cannot find people to work on those problems. Shortages of qualified people to work on Y2K projects are very evident globally. January 1st, 2000 is a non-flexible date that is sure to come without any mercy and possibility of extension. If companies are not addressing it by now, they are simply playing catch-up(14). The good news is that the technical know-how exists and many tools are available. For many organizations, problem can be adequately addressed even if they start now – but for a higher cost, of course. Historical Perspective In 1956, Howard Aiken, a computer pioneer from Harvard Univ...

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