Gartner Group: Y2K to start in July; 25% of failures in 99; 55% in 00; 15% in 01 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Y2K - New Scenario - Problems To Begin In July And Linger For 30 Months

Steve Alexander Star Tribune 4-19-99 The script for Y2K is all wrong. Instead of Y2K failures occurring at midnight on Dec. 31, they will be spread over a 30-month period that will begin in July. So says the Gartner Group, a leading computer industry consulting firm based in Connecticut. This is revisionist stuff, since practically all Y2K scenarios to date have focused on the potential for serious computer failures at midnight on Dec. 31. But Gartner maintains that only 10 percent of Y2K failures will occur within two weeks of Jan. 1. In an interview, Dale Vecchio, a research director in Gartner Group's Y2K practice in Stamford, Conn., said his firm has been eyeing a multi-month Y2K impact since the middle of last year. But Gartner analysts have been frustrated that the public debate about Y2K has continued to focus on the Jan. 1 millennium date change, he said. "People haven't quite gotten it," Vecchio said. "They have been too focused on the single time boundary and not enough on what they may have to deal with before the time boundary occurs." Why should Y2K start in 1999 and stretch into 2001? In a recent speech in San Diego, Lou Marcoccio, another research director of Gartner's Y2K practice, said the causes will be forecasting software that looks six months into the future, the beginning of new fiscal years for many corporations and some "date-related anomalies in software code." The number of Y2K failures will increase further in October as forecasting software that looks three months ahead runs up against the Jan. 1, 2000, date and still more companies begin new fiscal years, Marcoccio said. In Gartner's view, 25 percent of Y2K computer failures will occur in 1999, 55 percent will occur in 2000 and 15 percent will occur in 2001. The other 5 percent occurred before 1999. While computer system failures will be spread throughout the 30-month period, the failures of devices containing embedded computer chips -- such as factory process control units or building temperature control systems -- will peak at midnight on Dec. 31, Gartner said. The research firm also predicted that 10 percent of all failures will last three days or longer. While Gartner's extended Y2K impact scenario is at odds with most discussions of Y2K impact, the company's leadership role in raising awareness of Y2K practically guarantees that its findings will not be ignored. Gartner has consistently been the leader in estimating the technical cost of Y2K and projects that the software costs alone will be $300 billion to $600 billion worldwide. Other analysts have estimated that related costs, including lawsuits, could push total Y2K expenses to $1 trillion. Vecchio said it's hard to say what specific kinds of computer failures will occur before Dec. 31 and which ones will occur afterward. But the root causes of the failures will be different, he said. During 1999, programs that look forward in time will be the primary sources of failure, Vecchio said. But after January, the problems probably will come from programs that deal with year-end 1999 corporate results and from programs that are used so seldom that their Y2K flaws won't become apparent until well into the year 2000. In addition, efforts to fix Y2K problems inevitably will introduce other software errors that will extend the impact of Y2K for many months, he said. Vecchio said that other post-Jan. 1 problems will be caused by "corrupted data" -- information that accumulates errors during data processing by Y2K-flawed software -- and new versions of packaged commercial software that have acquired Y2K flaws as they were upgraded to include new functions. Worldwide preparedness As part of the San Diego conference, Gartner also offered a worldwide snapshot of Y2K preparedness. It listed the countries that it believes are the most and least prepared for Y2K and predicted how bad things could be for those nations. The countries that Gartner said are most prepared for Y2K are the United States, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The nations in the second category are the Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand, Gartner said. Less well off will be Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Panama, Poland, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Yugoslavia, Gartner said. Worst off are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chad, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Lithuania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Uruguay, Vietnam, Zaire and Zimbabwe, Gartner said. The worst thing likely to happen to countries in the best-prepared category is a moderate interruption in government services, Gartner said. The worst scenario for countries in the least-prepared category includes "widespread and severe" interruption of government services, plus widespread and moderate interruptions in air transportation, and moderate to severe interruptions of electrical power, telephone services and the flow of imports and exports, Gartner said.

-- a (a@a.a), April 19, 1999


Curiouser and curiouser..... Perhaps the reason the "debate has been focused" on the wromng place and we "haven't quite gotten it" yet is that this group has not stood up and said what it truly thought, to the public. This looks a lot like they didn't get paid for their earlier "public" report, and are now going back to what they had been saying to the business comunity all along.



-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 20, 1999.

Depends on what they mean by "impact" - I think 25% occurring "early" is too high - but have no specific facts to dispute them. Just a feeling - more like 10-12% occurring in 1999 from specific code and controller problems - however, the barn doors are open about societal impact, which will be spread across Dec through maybe even March.

People can be resiliant - if primed for it like what Churchill did before the Germans began attacking in WWII.

But now?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, April 20, 1999.

Whom, prithee, did thee have in mind to prime us, hmmmmmm??
Certainly not the liar in chief??
Perhaps Walter Cronkite would have the public acceptance. The list is REALLY a very short one, now that we know Montel and Oprah are in the other camp.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 20, 1999.

Robert, I have the same "feeling" - in fact I think 10-12 is too high. Very few programs do look-ahead when compared to the overall, so it would make sense to fix these first. Even fewer have any "9999" problems, although I believe Chuck knows of a few that do. Oh, and the highly disputed embedded problem, not many of those will fail in 99, IMHO. Stay tuned, the fun hasn't started yet. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 20, 1999.

I suspect the embedded chip problems are already happening to some degree. Last year, my television crashed. I took it in for repair. When I went to pick it up, the tv repair guy took me in the back room. There were four of the same make, model and year. He said they all had the very same problem at the same time. Since we only have one large mall within a two hour drive, it is not unconceivable that they were probably all purchased at the same place as part of one shipment. I have heard of planned obsolesence, but this was too coincidental. (It's an older Sanyo, BTW.) It doesn't have an overt date/time function, but will display the vcr programing for onscreen setting. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree, but could it have been an early turn-over? If so, that could be good news!

-- marsh (, April 20, 1999.

This one statement, if it is true, has ramifications we should consider:

"...Instead of Y2K failures occurring at midnight on Dec. 31, they will be spread over a 30-month period that will begin in July."

Consider timing in reference to how this will affect WHEN the rumored banking withdrawal limits and freezes occur.

July could be the beginning of the end of certain preparation options.

Could this be a clue to when the real awareness/panic begins?

If so, are you still waiting to fly your college kids home at Thanksgiving?

If things start picking up substantially at an earlier date, then community preparedness groups should be stepping up their activities, also.

The list of implications from Gartner's statement goes on.

Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today.

-- Sara Nealy (, April 20, 1999.

If you want to do some checking, the Gartner Group web-site ... home.html

Also ... something else ...

REPORT: Year 2000 Risk Assessment and Planning for Individuals 00073955.html

... The Bottom Line: Individuals should prepare for limited duration, localized failures of services and infrastructure rather than an apocalypse. The type and number of failures will vary geographically and cannot really be predicted. Individuals should ensure that they have at least two weeks' salary in cash and up to five days' contingency supplies of key consumable materials (e.g., medication, fuel and food) that they might need.

This Strategic Analysis Report represents the collective view of GartnerGroup as of October 1998. ...

Thats at least a different prep recommendation than Koskinen.


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 20, 1999.

If you go back through Gartner's history, (I don't have time now so I'll run from memory, always a shaky thing for me [LOL]) you will find that they have been saying all along that most of the world was somewhere between toast burnt to fine ash, and medium dark toast, while we in the US were in for an interesting ride with variable failures by location, and by industry.
Then, suddenly, they get a large (even by their standards) contract with the Feds, and they put out a "Public" Report (very different for them to report to the Public) which says very different things, which happen to match the current Ko-Skin-Us (errr -Em) "3 day storm" position. NOW they say we (collectively) haven't quite gotten their point. And they go back to what they have said for a couple years.

I find this highly interesting, and wonder if, perhaps, their billing was rejected? Or, perhaps, someone recognized intelectual dishonesty and is now trying to make it right.

BTW I DO like the new, improved, 5 day storm model. If we keep going, we JUST MIGHT get to a usable 14 day storm model before too long. Besides, the supply chain has ALREADY had to deal with some hits and has responded quite well. I think Kosky has not listened to the right people on this part. Maybe he needs to listen to himself on the resiliency of the US people and economy for advice on the response of the supply chain to sudden increased demand for food, etc.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 20, 1999.

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