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Year 2000 Bug

.. eparate program to determine which millennium certain dates are in. For example, the program could determine that if the year ends in numbers between 00 and 20, the date is in the second millennium. If the year ends in 21 to 99, the date is in the first millennium. This technique avoids some of the massive changes and coordination associated with the expansion approach (Martin 1997).

Date logic routines also have some downsides to them. The most important one is that the “time window” can never be more than 100 years, and the length of the time window cannot change in the future. Also, system performance may slow down with this extra step for each date to be processed. On top of that, all of the assumptions and logic must be the same for all of the programs that will use it (IBM 1998). If and only if all three of these downsides to windowing techniques can be overcome, should a business consider this solution? Another way of getting around 2-digit dates involves a bridge program.

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This type of solution is used to convert data from one record format to another. This allows a system to convert 2-digit to 4-digit dates as they are needed. This also allows a business to have very little down time for year 2000 renovations. Instead of converting all of the data at one time, it is instead converted gradually. Also, this technique is very cost effective and fairly easy to do (Moffitt & Sandler 1997).

Be aware that a bridge program has the potential to ruin a computer system. By removing the bridge before all data has been converted, 2-digit dates may become mixed with 4-digit dates, creating a larger problem than in the beginning. Replacing the systems is probably the most straightforward method of solving Y2K. By simply discarding old, non-compliant systems and purchasing new systems that are year 2000 ready, a business can eliminate the year 2000 problem altogether (Martin 1997). This avoids the hassle of coming up with solutions to the problem, but presents the difficulties of starting from scratch. This solution should be considered if a companys systems are too costly to fix, or if there are not very many systems that need to be fixed.

Another idea that incorporates the replacement idea is for one company to merge with or buy another company that has Y2K compliant systems. Then, the old systems can be retired (Martin 1997). The last alternative that will be discussed is to do nothing to current computer systems that a business may use. This is not the same as ignoring the millennium bug and hoping that it will go away. Instead, it involves analyzing exactly what will happen to a companys computer systems and determining that the effect it will have is either none or very little (Martin 1997).

If this would be the case, and employees could work around any damages that may be caused, this selection could work. Carrying out a solution in any business involves careful planning in order to be successful. Each of the four steps- awareness, planning, implementation, and testing- are crucial for a company to successfully get beyond the year 2000. Though the shortest step, the awareness step can be considered to be the most important step. This involves a detailed description of the problem to CEOs and the other decision-makers for the company.

Also, the management must be informed of the impact that is likely to occur if Y2K is not solved. Without successfully informing the company executives of the millennium bug, there is no hope of getting funding appropriated and fixes underway (Conner 1997). The preparation and planning phase involves finding all applications that use dates and choosing the right combination of solutions to result in a successful endeavor. Also, a business must consider any dependencies on outside systems- other companies, for example. In addition to this, a “priority schedule” should be created, to determine which systems are absolutely necessary to the operation of the business, and to fix them in accordance to their importance (Conner 1997). standard date interface should be agreed upon both within the company and with all other companies, which are relied on.

Also, the first estimate of how costly and how prolonged the fixes should be done (Conner 1997). The implementation phase is probably the most tedious phase of year 2000 compliance. This involves taking proposed solutions and incorporating them into a business computer systems. Depending on which solutions are chosen, and how the solutions affect everyday business, a companys commerce could be crippled due to the need for various systems to be down at all times (Moffitt & Sandler 1997). Testing the solutions may be seen as an unimportant phase in the conversion process.

The rewards seem few, and the costs of are high. However, testing solutions is the only way to ensure that a business will flow smoothly into the 21st century. This procedure involves making sample databases and records to verify that the fixes were made correctly, and that all systems work correctly. During this phase, a few glitches will most likely be found, and correcting these will be relatively easy. There are two common approaches to testing the solutions. The first involves making sure the systems work correctly in the 20th century, testing the computers for the 21st century, and then putting the systems back into everyday use. An advantage of this method is that all of the tests are done at the same times, allowing quicker feedback.

The downside is that the amount of down time will be fairly high. The other approach is the same as the first, except switching the second and third items. The systems are first put back into production, and then they are tested for year 2000 compliance while they are ensuring the flow of business at the same time. The advantage of this method is that down time is much shorter. However, getting results will take a longer time (Pollner 1998). In conclusion, as the year 2000 comes closer and closer, companies are losing precious time in order to swat the millennium bug. The deadline is fixed.

The price of survival is high and the only reward is the hope of continuing to operate in the worlds of commerce and industry. Businesses that continue into the next millennium will enjoy the happiness of existence. Companies that fail to act now will probably crumble under their own weight. “The alternative to addressing the year 2000 will be going out of business” (Moffitt & Sandler 1997). Year 2000 is coming.


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