Survey Finds Firms Gearing Up on Contingency Planning

A new survey shows that most companies and their CEOs appear to understand the urgency of Year 2000 contingency planning. However, this type of work may only be a small portion on the plate of overworked IT departments that are also wrestling with ERP, e-commerce and Year 2000 testing.

A large majority of companies surveyed – 78 percent – are drawing up enterprise-wide Year 2000 contingency plans, reports the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA, Arlington, Va.). Forty-three percent even include key suppliers within the scope of contingency planning. Although 44 percent say they would stop doing business with companies found to be non-compliant, only 33 percent say they would actually visit suppliers to ascertain their Y2K status.

Seventy-one percent of respondents say contingency planning is a top corporate priority, and is being conducted with the direct involvement and support of the CEO.

However, for many firms, contingency planning is just one of many jobs for IT shops. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say their organizations perform contingency planning from the Y2K program office, primarily using IT managers and professionals. Only 18 percent of respondents say their organizations have an executive managing this process.

Just about all of the firms surveyed are still in the midst of contingency planning. Only three percent of respondents say their firms have completed contingency planning, while five percent indicate that their organizations have yet to begun.

Almost 25 percent of the sample have 10 percent or less of their plans complete.