* End Of (Y2K) Days* - Computerworld - Maryfran Johnson, Editor-in-Chief -

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End of (Y2K) days

By Maryfran Johnson - 12/20/99

So here it comes: the final countdown. The last 12 days till Y2K. Never in the history of information technology has one programming misstep cost so much and involved so many -- or generated so much ink and attention. Estimates of the worldwide cost to fix the Y2K bug range from a relatively modest $300 billion to more than $1 trillion. The U.S. Department of Commerce says America alone spent at least $100 billion on Y2K projects during the past few years, or roughly $365 per man, woman and child. In one survey, Gartner Group found that larger companies earmarked at least 44% of their IT budgets for Y2K this year, with the average corporate bill running around $6.6 million for date-conversion efforts.

Oddly enough, this turned out to be a blessing disguised as a curse. In the roiling wake of the Y2K crisis, the high-tech staffing shortage and the rapid rise of e-commerce, the connections forged between IT and the business side have never been stronger. Dealing with Y2K has forever changed the way senior management views the strategic role of technology.

So here it comes, the long-awaited alignment of business and IT.

We've always felt a strong kinship with the IT folks working on Y2K projects. In 1984, Computerworld published the first story ever about it, and nine years later in these pages, consultant Peter de Jager's "Doomsday 2000" article (Sept. 6, 1993) issued the first call to arms for the IT community. Then, in early 1998, we began an in-depth series called the Y2K Chronicles, which tracked six user companies through every phase of their Y2K projects. The penultimate chapter of that series is on this week's front page, with a postscript to follow in early January.

And for the tens of thousands of IT professionals on duty New Year's Eve, Computerworld will be there with you, once again. Starting Dec. 27, our Web site will feature a special Y2K Watch. We'll supply everything from breaking news and international reports from many of the 55 Computerworlds around the world, to user forums, resource links, Y2K stats and tidbits -- even a lighthearted take on it all from cartoonist John Klossner.

So here it comes, the end of Y2K days. We'll see you on the other side.

Maryfran Johnson is editor in chief of Computerworld. You can contact her at maryfran_johnson@computerworld.com.

URL: http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/all/991220D2B6


-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), December 21, 1999

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