50% of Companies Planning Y2K Lockdown

September and October mark the beginning of the Y2000 "freeze," or "lockdown" for about 50% of the companies surveyed in a study by Cutter Consortium. During these final few months, there will be no system enhancements, no upgrades, no downloads, no new hardware installations and no installation of new applications. The objective is to freeze the overall computing environment, in order to make it as stable as possible, and to eliminate unexpected last-minute surprises.

Ed Yourdon, the Chairman of Cutter Consortium comments, "In our latest Cutter Consortium Year 2000 survey, we found that approximately half of the IT organizations are planning such a freeze; some 36% indicated that they have decided against a freeze; and 15% were unsure, probably because they hadn't thought about the issue. For the organizations planning a freeze, the two most popular months were September and October — thus obviously indicating that some organizations have already begun their lockdown activities."

But what are all of these IT organizations going to do during the three-month freeze period? Yourdon continues, "The Year 2000 project teams will still be busy — chances are they'll still be working on their contingency plans, and training key users in the details of manual procedures and other fall-back plans. Some members of the team will still be testing, taking advantage of every last moment to look for those elusive Year 2000 bugs."

"Whether they're allowed to fix the bugs and change the software is an interesting question: in theory, the remediated code should be running in production during these last three months, and should be subject to the same freeze conditions as everything else in the environment. While it will be tempting to fix any last-minute Year 2000 bugs that are discovered — especially if it's a serious bug — there is always the chance that the repair effort will introduce a new bug."

The Cutter study consists of responses from 96 organizations, with an average IT budget of $38.2 million, and an average IT staff of 816 people. Approximately 86% of respondents were senior managers, IT managers, year 2000 project managers or quality assurance managers.

For more information, visit the Cutter Web site at www.cutter.com/consortium/.