The new chairman of the IBM Mid-Range CUA has spoken out against resellers and vendors who are seizing the opportunity of the Year 2000 Problem to persuade users to replace kit which is satisfactory. Tony O'Shaughnessy, managing director of systems house ABS said: "There is a lot of confusion surrounding Year 2000 and some users are being persuaded to ditch their existing IT and buy a complete new system to ensure that they are Year 2000 compliant." The fear and misinformation which surrounds Year 2000 is being used as a smokescreen by unscrupulous vendors and resellers to increase sales, he says.
Dan French, business development director with Texas Instruments Software agrees that some users with systems based on hardware which is beyond its life expectancy are being told that it is cheaper to replace than upgrade, but in most cases that is the truth. He said: "The problem is that the cost of undertaking an audit and then reprogramming all the suspect lines code can cost a fortune and there can be little or no return on that spend. By buying a new system and perhaps upgrading it to the latest available, users not only make sure that they are protected against any system crashes on the 1 January 2000 but get some return on their spend."
There is still widespread concern that many companies have still done nothing about auditing their systems to establish whether their IT will be able to cope with the date change at the end of the millennium. The Government has now set up a Task Force to help encourage managers to face the problem as soon as possible. O'Shaughnessy says that some resellers and vendors are taking advantage of the situation and recommending full system replacement even before an audit is completed.
Rob Wirszycz, director general of the software and services trade association, the CSSA, agrees that users are vulnerable but is concerned that fear of being ripped off will prevent them from going ahead with making any decisions about dealing with the problem. He said: "The next six months are crucial and it is vital that companies assess whether their systems will be able to cope with the date change. If they leave it any longer than that they may find that they do not have the necessary resources to invest in putting their systems right." Wirszycz adds that the Year 2000 problem is a business threat with a fixed time for completion, and those who miss the deadline will find their businesses seriously disrupted.
The charter has pulled together the biggest names in tech in an unprecedented attempt to address the tech industry's lack of diversity. Tom Wright asks how it plans to do it
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages