Recent Y2K survey of small businesses - about half have acted : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Small businesses contend with Y2K
Small-business procrastinators are finally beginning to wake up to the threat of the millennium bug, according to the third survey on the issue of Y2K problems by the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo.

In the past month, 1 million small businesses took action to avoid potential problems associated with software or computer systems unable to handle the arrival of the year 2000. The survey of 500 small-business owners conducted in April by the Gallup Organization indicated that about half of all small employers have taken steps to protect their company from Y2K.

Surprisingly, a significant minority is not going to do anything at all to fix company software and computers.

About 30 percent of all small employers exposed to Y2K are not going to take any action because owners think that the problem is being blown out of proportion. The survey found that 40 percent of companies planning action will spend less than $1,000; 26 percent will spend $1,000 to $4,999; and 1 percent will spend more than $100,000.


-- Linkmeister (, June 08, 1999


But is it a gamble to investigate?

Perhaps we shall soon see who is "blowing the problem out of proportion" - the half who checked (and found problems) and fixed them, or the half who did not bother to check at all.....

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, June 08, 1999.

Robert - The article does not say that the problem is already fixed at these companies, it says they have "taken action" or "taken steps". That could mean the hardware or software "fix" is on indefinite backorder. This is one of my main concerns about projected times for compliance - how much of it is based on timetables the company has no control over?

-- Brooks (, June 08, 1999.

The definition of a "small business" is quite important here. The SBA definition is 1-5 people. Most businesses this small have relatively little exposure within their jurisdiction -- that is, there aren't a lot of fixes they can make. The usually have a single PC running packaged software, and rent their spaces. They may have created some spreadsheets to be checked.

For most businesses in this category, remediation consists of determining if any date bugs in what they're using are worth the expense and effort of an upgrade, and making the upgrade if they think it's worthwhile. And a surprising percentage of these businesses don't use a computer at all, farming out bookkeeping tasks to service bureaus.

The SBA estimated that for the average small business, remediation would cost considerably less than $1,000 and take less than three hours. As business size grows, of course both exposure and expense of remediation also grow. According to this survey, 73% will be spending less than $1000 (including those who will spend nothing, at least until they really need to).

-- Flint (, June 08, 1999.

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