strategy

Addressing computer non-compliance in Year 2000

Context:
Some computer hardware and software designs will not function in the Year 2000 (Y2K). The sources of Y2K problems are pervasive, and can affect: computer clock mechanisms, operating systems, software packages, libraries, tools and application software. In addition, many different types of computer technology systems are at risk, such as: personal computers, mainframe and mini computers, programmable logic controllers, microprocessors, and embedded software-based systems. These flawed designs became standard throughout all sectors of the world's economy, including chemical processing, handling, distribution and disposal industries. Larger technology systems developed around failed computer designs, thereby creating a monumental problem. Fixing this problem is technically complicated and costly. Deadlines are certain and immutable. Several classes of date problems will be encountered over the next several year beginning in 1999: the major problem of relying upon 2 digits to indicate calendar year dating; and others, such as incorrect leap year algorithms, alternative number codes, and rollover of registers used to store date-related data. It is too late for some important systems and organizations to completely resolve the problem before the deadlines. Available skilled personnel and financial resources are not sufficient.
Claim:
1. Success at dealing with Y2K has a lot to do with resources, and anyone who believes otherwise is painfully naive. And yet, defeating the challenge of Y2K says as much or more about one's competency than it does about one's wealth. The rich can survive Y2K just fine, but only the truly clever can thrive in Y2K.

2. Those who are more open and transparent and share information more freely will do better with Y2K than those who hoard information, throw up firewalls, and refuse outside help. Secrecy will backfire in almost all instances, leading to misperceptions and harmful, stupidly self-fulfilling actions. This is a pivotal moment in human history: the first time Information Technology has threatened to bite back in a systematic way. In a very Nietzschean manner, Y2K will either "kill" us or make us stronger, and the balance of secrecy versus transparency will decide much, if not all, of that outcome.

Broader:
Addressing
Subjects:
Informatics
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies