Why don't small companies just get on with it

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Have I asked this before? It'll be a trivial matter for most small companies to get compliant, why don't they just do it. They can use compliance as a marketing ploy ("it'll be business as usual in 2000").

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 13, 1998



You're asking a question I ask every day. Small companies is about all we deal with. I'm amazed at how they can refuse to look at the situation. I've come up with some thoughts on why this is taking place. Don't know if I'm right or wrong, but I'll try and list the possible reasons I've found.

1. They don't understand their systems or how the system/data flows; therefore, they can't understand that Y2K could impact them. So they deny it could be a problem.

2. They understand it, know it might be a problem, but think it's small enough to handle at a later date.

3. They understand, know it might be a problem, but like all of us feel it's too big of a problem. So they put off doing anything about it. Kind of like a defense to their sanity. The theory they use is if they ignore it, it'll go away.

4. They feel they are very computer "smart", have examined the potential, and concluded it's a non problem. They feel they're too smart to get caught off guard by this. By the way, we usually see this one mainly from young, aggressive, startups. (I'd better watch out, I'm only 36)

There are more, but these four seem to lead the pack in why nobody is dealing with it. If I had to weight the answers, we see more of number 1 and 2 than anything else. Also, when you see survey results like Gartner Group's, the size of what they call a small company is usually still quite large. Employee range is something like 2000 employees and under. Personally, when I think about small companies, I think about 50 employees and under. As you drive down the street, look at the businesses you see. Most are in this size range. I'm afraid our findings have shown us that the 50 or < size range is in much worse shape than the current surveys show. I realize that they are going to have less problems than their larger counterparts; but hey, if you can't send invoices out - the effects are still the same. No cash flow.

One last note: I've talked with hundreds of small business owners, and for the most part it's like beating your head against a brick wall. It's frustrating to know your topic from firsthand experience, and be looked at like you're trying to get them to join a cult.

-- Greg Sugg (gregsugg@bbnp.com), October 13, 1998.

My best friend owns two small companies and I asked him quite awhile back his feelings on the image of small businesses in this whole Y2K thing. His reply was "There are a lot of people out there who own businesses who should just be shot in the head." (He has never been one for being subtle)

The only thing he would say in the defense of small businesses is that most of them use PCs and off the shelf software so it is a matter of waiting for patches, which are showing up more and more now. Between his two companies he has 4 laptops, 3 desktops, 2 credit card terminals, one cash register (one business is mail order only), 1 secuirty system and 3 fax machines. He is personally handelling their compliance and if people are really interested he said he would give me a break down of what he has done. He is working on it though and feels he is down to only one mission critical system (the security system is still being tested) that he questions.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 13, 1998.

Is anyone having any experience with Time Dilation problems - or is anyone even looking into whether their equipment will do this to them or not?

-- Laurane (familyties@rttinc.com), October 13, 1998.

Beating my head against a brick wall is exactly the experience I had back in 1992 when trying to convince management of a large UK Insurance company of the effect of 2k. They didn't believe the impact statement or the estimates, both turned out to be true.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 14, 1998.

This news about small companies does not look good:

http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/zdnn_smgraph_display/0,4436,2149356, 00.html

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 14, 1998.

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