IT managers stay alert : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tuesday January 11, 5:05 PM

IT Week: Managers stay on Y2K alert

Despite an absence of high-profile year 2000 problems, the consensus among IT managers is that it is still too early to assess the full impact of the problem, or to dust off major projects that were shelved in the run up to the New Year. Although there was a collective sigh of relief at most sites, few are complacent. Bill Stevenson, Y2K manager at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said he expects some "small cosmetic problems" to emerge over the coming months and will not be driving any new IT projects forward just yet. "We've got a round-the-clock bug watch on until the end of February so it is still too early to plan any new implementations," he said.

Analysts are warning not to make any early judgements, and some estimate that 70 percent of problems have yet to materialise. David Clementi, deputy director of the Bank of England, said that only a few minor glitches have been reported so far. "But it is too early to declare a complete success," he said.

Gwynneth Flower, director of government-backed Action 2000, shared this view. "It could be months before we know the complete picture," she said.

Some IT departments encountered many minor difficulties over the New Year. "Virtually every programmer I know was helping to solve a Y2K problem," said David Thielen, chief executive at software developer Windward Studios. "None of these problems was serious, nor visible to the outside world," he said.

The biggest reported problem hit shoppers in the New Year sales when 20,000 credit card readers, made by Racal and distributed by HSBC, failed to work. "This didn't show up in testing," said a Racal spokesman. "You can't cater for every eventuality."

But some IT departments felt they had covered all bases. Judy Barker, IT manager at Tendring District Council in Essex, said the New Year passed smoothly and the preparation had shown that suppliers and contractors could work together in a focused way. "We have had no problems whatsoever and that's because of the work we put in rather than in spite of it," she said.

-- Martin Thompson (, January 18, 2000

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