Many Companies Believe 10% or More of Their Systems Not Y2K-Ready

Year 2000 is not a binary, all-or-nothing situation, according to recent comments from Cutter Consortium Chairman Ed Yourdon. Says Yourdon, "Even in good times, I think you’ll find that only 99 percent of the mission-critical systems in a large company are working. There’s always a problem somewhere, always a glitch with one or more computers, vendors, business partners and the like."

"The significant question is: What percentage of your mission-critical systems do you expect to have fully remediated and tested?" says Yourdon. "Cutter Consortium has compiled a new study that indicates that approximately 92 percent of the organizations believe that 99-100 percent of their mission-critical systems will be fully remediated and tested. That’s the good news ..."

"The bad news is that the study also found that approximately 1 percent believe that less than half of their mission-critical systems will be ready; and approximately 6 percent believe that 90 percent or less of their mission-critical systems will be ready. The remaining 1 percent believe that somewhere between 90 percent and 99 percent will be ready."

"Even if half of the mission-critical systems are not ready, that doesn’t necessarily imply that the business will shut down right away -- on the other hand, the failure of even a single mission-critical system might do the trick, depending on the circumstances. But for most companies, the other key question to ask is: If you discover that a mission-critical system is broken on January 1, 2000, how long will it take to fix?

Yourdon’s conclusion: "Everyone can guess and predict and prognosticate ... but there is very little ‘hard’ data out there to back it up."

For more information, visit the Cutter Consortium Web site at

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