UK: too many businesses are woefully behind in their Bug preparations : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From the British Government's Action 2000 site:


Businesses tunnel vision blamed as new Action 2000 research reveals slowdown

March 4, 1999

Prime Minister Tony Blair today sounds a Millennium Bug warning to British businesses.

Research by Action 2000, the company responsible for the Governments Millennium Bug campaign, shows too many businesses are woefully behind in their Bug preparations.

Just two in five (43%) of UK businesses are on course for the New Year.

Mr Blair said: "Time has very nearly run out for the firms that are behind. With under ten months to go, they have two clear choices; use the time to beat the Bug, or risk being beaten by it.

"The Bug is biting now. One in ten companies interviewed by Action 2000 have already suffered disruption caused by the Bug.

"I strongly urge board directors, managers and employees alike to ensure their firms, their jobs and their livelihoods are safe from the Bug."

Gwynneth Flower, Action 2000s managing director, warns: "Our research shows that, at the current rate of progress, 40% of small-to-medium businesses (10-249 employees) will not be in a position to beat the Bug come the date change."

Analysts GartnerGroup describe five possible consequences of not being ready for the Bug: health or safety hazards; considerable revenue loss; significant litigation expense; significant loss of customers; shutdown of business, production or product delivery operations.

Flower said: "Lets be clear. We are talking about the risk of severe disruption, or worse, if companies fail to address their own vulnerability to the Bug.

"It is worth reminding companies that there is an explicit legal duty on employers to identify what they need to do to ensure health and safety in the workplace by carrying out an assessment of the risks. The Bug is such a risk."

Action 2000s fourth wave of research highlights three sectors of business:

progress by large companies (250+ employees) has been too slow in the last quarter

small-to-medium businesses (10-249 employees) have improved, but not quickly enough:

58% are on course, compared to 49% previously

firms with 1-9 employees have progressed, with 34% now on track.

Action 2000 believes thousands of businesses are suffering from Bug tunnel vision.

Flower said: "Many said they would be ready by the end of 1998 and we expected to be able to report far more positive progress today. Im surprised and disappointed that we cant."

Firstly, despite saying they appreciate the potential impact of the Bug, companies arent doing enough about it:

four in five small-to-medium businesses (78%) describe it as serious for them - but only half that number believe their management or board treat it as a high priority (40%), and although the vast majority of them describe their IT (85%) and communications (91%) systems as critical, just 46% have contingency plans for their failure.

Secondly, too many small-to-medium companies think they are more prepared than they really are:

four fifths of those that think they are fully ready, are not: some of those have, in fact, taken no effective action.

Flower said: "Many directors who think theyve given the Bug top priority and got it sorted appear to have got it very wrong on both counts. Examples of areas they have not properly considered include thorough testing and obtaining information relating to their premises."

Action 2000s study focuses on small-to-medium businesses. Their readiness is crucial to the progress of large companies responsible for many essential services.

Within this group, readiness levels differ by industry sector. Companies in manufacturing (68%), business activities (67%), finance (66%) and retail (61%) are most advanced.

Two-thirds of companies believe their business would be seriously affected if they experienced disruption in essential supplies, and a third would find it difficult to source alternative suppliers quickly.

Flower commented: "Despite this, it is worrying that only a quarter of those companies interviewed have formal plans in place for switching to an alternative supplier in the event of disruption.

"Our interviews show that preferred supplier status is the most effective method of encouraging suppliers to take action."

Cut and pasted by

-- Old Git (, March 18, 1999


Old Git,

Glad you are back!

-- Watchful (, March 18, 1999.

Thanks, W, glad to be back. Nelson is gaining weight and his care is not quite so acute, although force-feeding is still necessary.

-- Old Git (, March 18, 1999.

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