Survey: 75% of US firms have had Y2K failures

Three-quarters of US companies have already experienced year 2000-related failures, according to a survey. But only 2% of companies polled have actually suffered business disruptions because of those glitches, as they were able to either fix the problems quickly or enact workarounds.

First, the bad news: Three-quarters of US companies have already experienced year 2000-related failures, according to an ongoing survey of information technology executives at 161 companies and government agencies.

The good news is that only 2% of those companies polled have actually suffered business disruptions because of those glitches, as they were able to either fix the problems quickly or enact workarounds, the survey found. Looking ahead, that could be a positive harbinger of what might occur early next year.

"The key is what will the volume [of problems] be and can they be fixed quickly," said Jim Woodward, senior vice president of Cap Gemini America in New York, which has been conducting the survey with Pound Ridge, N.Y.-based Rubin Systems Inc. since 1997.

Among the Y2K failures that have occurred, 92% involved financial miscalculations or losses, 84 % caused processing disruptions, 38 percent led to customer service problems and 34% were supply-chain or logistics breakdowns.

Few of the failures have been visible because they haven't caused significant business disruptions, and companies "don't have a lot of reasons to make them public," Woodward said.

Still, the survey results highlight other concerns. Only 48% of the organisations polled expect to have all their mission-critical systems prepared, and 16% don't expect at least half of their most important systems to be ready.

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