Multicountry Survey Shows 15 Positive Technical Outcomes of Y2K : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Thank you to John Horton, Founder, Salt Lake City Year 2000 User's Group, for passing this information on from Denys Martin, of Perth, Australia. What are some additional benefits you have seen? ______________________

Benefits of Year 2000 Work (Survey )

Input from 57 subscribers (16 countries)

1.. Greater awareness of risk management, risk exposures and business continuity planning - specific result being an up-to-date business risk analysis and BCP Plan

2.. Up to date contingency and Formalizing Contingency Plan plans for the whole organisation

3.. Standardizing all hardware and software and discarding those that were no longer being used.

4.. Develop and enforce a Standard Operating Environment ( SOE ) Standardization throughout to specific, more recent versions of software

5.. CEO and other Shareholders now appreciate the criticality of IT to the success of the organisation

6.. Complete Inventory of hardware and software that is going to be put onto our intranet and kept up to date. Inventory Management and Asset Management improvements.

7.. Improvements in IT strategic procurement across the whole organisation.

8.. Change Control implemented with a view to the future. Long-term benefits include having a stable IT infrastructure, whilst being flexible (allowing changes to be implemented in a controlled manner).

9.. Tools developed to monitor traffic and identify bottlenecks

10.. Implementation of better configuration management, previous controls proved inadequate

11.. Improved understanding of business processes by all stakeholders.

12.. Review of all maintenance agreements.

13.. Review of all product brochures and customer agreements.

14.. Helped to identify those capable of project management and those incapable.

15.. Experience of bringing in an organisation-wide project to a rock-solid deadline -------------------

-- Jennifer Bunker (Salt Lake City, Utah) (, January 05, 2000


And who also benefited from this? Computer manufacturers and software companies (Microsoft). Have we been had?

-- Cyndi Crowder (, January 05, 2000.

I don't think we've "been had" by Microsoft about Y2K. They had to spend an enormous amount of money fixing their software and making the patches available at no charge to their customers. We have, however, been had by Microsoft in respect to the way they capture their customers and abuse them. Did you ever try to upgrade a Microsoft operating system?

I hope that one of the positive outcomes of Y2K will be that there will be better quality control on software. Maybe Microsoft will hire some grownups with business experience to design and program their software. Maybe they will begin to look at the long term consequences of shipping software that has not been designed well.

-- Sally Strackbein (Reston, VA) (, January 05, 2000.

Another "positive benefit" story:

From FT.COM, Jan 7, 2000

Companies News / IT Y2K: The benefits of the millennium bug

The lasting gain of tackling the Year 2000 computer problem may be that many organisations have modernised their IT systems, argues Paul Taylor

The information technology industry always recognised that the final effect of the millennium bug was likely to be an unresolved issue - and so it has proved. Even before the New Year hangovers kicked in, critics seized on the absence of widespread and calamitous computer failures as proof that the warnings of systemic breakdown had been little more than a giant hoax.

But as Cisco, the leading data network equipment provider, notes: "The fact that nothing happened doesn't mean nothing would have happened. It just means we prepared well."

Jane Burns, Year 2000 communications manager for Britain's ICL computer services group, agrees: "Let's not lose sight of our original objective which was to avoid a serious system meltdown and ensure business continuity. This desired result has been achieved."

There is little doubt that many management consultants, Y2K experts and computer services companies - including those offshore contractors in India and elsewhere - have done well on Y2K work. But while there was certainly an element of scaremongering and profiteering by a few individuals and organisations, there is no doubt the Y2K problem was, and to some extent still is, real.

The Y2K problem arose because it had become common practice in the IT industry to represent years using only the final two digits instead of the full four as a means to save on costly storage space in the early days of commercial computing.

Only as 2000 loomed did computer programmes realise that hardware and other systems that relied upon two-digit date calculations would begin to crash or produce unpredictable results when clocks ticked past midnight on December 31, 1999, or before.

Although the root cause was simple, solving the problem has turned out to be both time-consuming and expensive. The latest estimates suggest most organisations spent about 10 per cent of their budgets in each of the last two years on achieving millennium compliance. That implies worldwide Y2K spending of perhaps $400bn.

What would have happened had this work not been undertaken, or had not been completed on time, is partly a matter of conjecture. But many organisations did undertake extensive Year 2000 audits which revealed the scale of the problem.

Alan Rowley, director of ICL's worldwide Year 2000 programme, says: "I know personally of many cases in both our own and customers systems, where, had we not audited and taken corrective action, there would have been a very serious business impact."

For example, he says, ICL's worldwide customer support systems would have failed and at least 20 per cent of ICL's 400 buildings worldwide would have suffered problems with access control and/or their switchboards. Overall, ICL audited over 700 application projects outsourced by customers, of which over 50 per cent would have suffered some level of failure had they not been fixed.

At its most fundamental level, Year 2000 expenditure was necessary to ensure the survival of many businesses and other organisations. But perhaps, just as importantly, tackling the Y2K issue will have some lasting benefits.

"We will reap the benefits of this exercise for many years to come," says ICL's Mr Rowley. Among the benefits he cites for ICL are closer working relationships with customers, improved supplier management and procurement processes and the opportunity to take a more strategic look at internal systems and the way they support business in the future.

Grappling with the Year 2000 bug spurred many companies into updating their ageing IT systems - many of which dated back to the early days of the mainframe era and were both inflexible and costly to operate.

Ancient hardware and software has been updated or replaced with new and more flexible systems better able to cope with the fast-paced demands of internet computing and electronic business.

At the same time many organisations have seized the opportunity to adopt a standard hardware "platform" such as Intel chip-based personal computers and open software standards such as internet browsers and Internet Protocol (IP) networking standards.

It has also spurred companies to invest in new technologies such as Java, and to explore new opportunities in areas such as knowledge management, customer relationship management systems and electronic procurement.

Equally important, it has encouraged organisations to take IT more seriously and to treat it as a strategic boardroom issue that can play a crucial role in determining both competitiveness and productivity.

Indeed, it is arguable that the two most important issues facing senior executives in recent years have been the millennium bug and the impact of the internet and business-to-business electronic trading. The fact that the two coincided may turn out to have been an advantage for those businesses that needed to re-invent themselves around an internet computing model. The Year 2000 has also forced most organisations to complete what for many is their first ever IT audit and compile an up-to-date register of their IT systems, interdependencies and documentation.

It is little secret that many large organisations had little or no real understanding of their IT systems and how they interacted. Often the original documentation for a business program had been lost or rendered irrelevant by piecemeal alterations and updates. Many companies did not even know how many PCs they owned.

Compiling system registers and databases has helped introduce much- needed discipline into IT departments which are struggling to keep up with end-user demands.

Finally, the professional skills shortage highlighted by the millennium bug has forced organisations to re-examine their internal systems and, in many cases, to outsource non-core IT operations or to adopt new business models such as web-based application service provision.

For businesses competing in increasingly global and commoditised markets, these benefits are real and have probably come sooner because of Y2K spending.

-- Jennifer Bunker (Salt Lake City, Utah) (, January 07, 2000.

Another positive aspect of Y2K .... Jen

Friday, January 07, 2000 Copyright ) Las Vegas Review-Journal

Computer spending gets boost With the Y2K scare past, many U.S. businesses are lifting freezes on buying new technology. Associated Press

NEW YORK -- So much for dire predictions that the Y2K bug would throw the U.S. economy into a tailspin. A subtle economic boost may instead be the result.

Following a dearth of major computer problems from the date changeover to 2000, many U.S. businesses are lifting freezes on buying new technology -- some earlier than planned -- to install computers and software key to building World Wide Web sites and speeding communication with suppliers and customers.

Other companies are reaping an unexpected benefit of scouring for Y2K glitches -- the elimination of outdated technology that had bogged down networks with a hodge-podge of software applications and machines.

That's welcome news for tech companies, who have faced a harrowing plunge in their shares this week as investors cash in on the industry's remarkable rally during 1999. The selloff has sent the technology bellwether Nasdaq composite index down almost 10 percent in just three days.

Predictions now being made of a tech-related boost to the economy contrast with those of last year when many economists warned computer disruptions from Y2K would curb growth.

"The warnings were very widespread," said First Union Corp. economic Mark Vitner. He predicts 3.4 percent economic growth this year, down slightly from 4.2 percent in 1999 due to higher interest rates crimping new home sales.

The downside of Y2K was scarcely noticeable -- some hotels and other travel-related industries reported weak bookings as fears of disruptions kept people close to home.

But the emerging upside -- a burst of tech spending -- could help turn around prospects for sellers ranging from IBM to personal computer maker Gateway to the PeopleSoft software company, invigorating a key U.S. economic engine.

"A lot of people were holding back," said John Gantz, an analyst with researcher International Data Corp. IDC found that 37 percent of 2,100 North American companies it surveyed deferred spending last year on non-essential technology projects unrelated to the Y2K glitch.

"We're talking about billions of dollars of spending that was withheld," Gantz said. 2000/business/12703772.html

-- Jennifer Bunker (Salt Lake City, Utah) (, January 07, 2000.

Another good article on this subject can be found at: 000/business/16145.htm

Jen Bunker

-- Jennifer Bunker (, January 10, 2000.

Sorry, here's the link to the story above:


-- Jennifer Bunker (, January 10, 2000.

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