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Millennium bug alive and kicking e-commerce Source: The Guardian
After years of dire warnings about the chaos, confusion and even catastrophe that will ensue if their computer systems were not fixed to overcome the inability of older software to recognise the new century, only 63% of finance directors of small and medium-sized enterprises were confident that the bug had been sorted.
With just five weeks to go, one in five finance directors believe that not enough is done to counter what has been dubbed the `Y2K poser'.
More worringly, in the survey this week by Accountancy Age magazine and Reed Accountacy Personnel only a handful of brave souls who believe that the bug is truly vanquished were willing to be identified; the majority of them preferred to remain anonymous.
Robert Wallace, finance director at electrical repair firm Acorn Maintenance, said `I think there will be problems, even though companies have invested lots of money. They have spent thousands of pounds to put people on stand-by duties in case of problems.' Philip Newton-Webb of Premier Structures, said: `There won't be a big bang. It's the little things that won't get noticed straight away.'
These views are reinforced by Mark Williams of recruiters Supply Chain Personnel, who has been asked to look for mature candidates with skills used before we switched over to computers. He says: `Several companies have finally realised that there is no way they are going to be millennium compliant and are looking at alternative ways to keep going after January 1, until their systems are updated.'
To add to the gloom, a few people are looking forward to computer crashes and are planning to make matters worse. Those who follow the murky world of computer viruses have noted a decline in malicious activity during the past few months, suggesting that this lull is the prelude to an electronic epidemic of mil lennial infections, spread by e-mail. Most large companies are expected to defend themselves against virus attacks by temporarily restricting employees' access to e-mail.
However, there will be no respite for IT professionals who make it successfully through to 2000. Having dealt with millennium bugs and viruses, they will face a tidal wave of pent-up demand for new and enhanced systems, particularly in e-commerce.
-- Walrus (Eggman@GooGooGaJoob.com), November 30, 1999