Greenwich Mean Time finds simple reasons for small business disinterest in the government year 2000 campaign.

London, UK – (26 November 1998) – 400 days to 2000. The conclusion of a recent survey* conducted by Action 2000 shows that more than half of small to medium sized UK businesses are not prepared – or preparing – for the millennium bug.

Now Karl W. Feilder, President & CEO of Greenwich Mean Time and an advisor to Action 2000, has released the reasons for this high level of inactivity, established during informal research his company routinely conducts.

“Of the 973 calls we had from small and medium businesses during August and September, we’ve analysed the answers to our routine question, ‘Why haven’t you dealt with this problem sooner’. These are the reasons we’ve been given,” says Feilder.

1. I don’t understand the problem (23%).
2. My computer is new so I don’t think it will be affected (19%).
3. Microsoft (or the computer industry) will fix it (17%).
4. I thought the problem only affected mainframes (13%).
5. My suppliers have given me letters saying their products are fine (7%).
6. It’s a hardware problem (5%).
7. It’s a scam by the computer industry (5%).
8. My IT manager says he has the situation under control (4%).
9. I don’t use my PC for anything really important (3%).
10. If it were that serious the government would be doing something about it (2%).
11. Other (2%).

Feilder, who has made this information available to Action 2000, says these “reasons” are year 2000 myths, with the exception of the first one. Acknowledged worldwide as the authority on the year 2000 PC problem, Feilder lists the facts as follows:

1. Most people don’t understand the problem but that won’t make it go away. What you really do need to understand is that this is a business problem and that it can be solved.

2. 11% of the PCs manufactured in the first half of 1998 are not year 2000 compliant. You can’t know which they are unless you test every PC.

3. Microsoft, or any other member of the computer industry, cannot fix it since the problem occurs across all five layers of the PC and no one member of the industry produces all of them. The five layers are hardware, operating systems, software programs, user data and data sharing.

4. The mainframe problem is much more easily solved than the PC problem. There are 400 million PCs in use in the world today, a far greater number than mainframes. PCs are the prevalent devices that feed information to and from mainframes.

5. The only purpose these letters serve is to show due diligence.

6. The hardware constitutes about 1% of the problem and is easily overcome. Far more serious are the software, data and data sharing layers.

7. It doesn’t serve anyone to endanger the world’s economy. This problem is frighteningly real.

8. This is a business problem based on a technical oversight. Management needs to be sure that the problem is under control, with the help and support of the IT manager/department.

9. Research conducted by Gartner Group in January 1998 shows that 64% of mission critical business applications are run on PCs.

10. It is that serious. Action 2000, the government funded year 2000 taskforce, currently has a budget of 17 million. But ultimately, your business is your responsibility.

“Obviously, the major obstacle is that people don’t understand this problem but enough information is widely available,” says Feilder. “If you own a business it is up to you to save it. You can’t expect anyone else to care more about your business than you do. However, I do believe the hardware and software companies should use more of their vast financial resources to help their customers transition into the next century,” he says.

About Greenwich Mean Time.

Greenwich Mean Time’s unrivalled research and understanding of the Year 2000 PC challenge led to the development of the Check 2000 suite of diagnostic and corrective software. Check 2000 is the only product suite on the market which address all five layers of the Year 2000 problem: hardware, operating system, software programme, data and data sharing. Today, Check 2000 is established as the industry standard, due largely to the maturity of the brand and its unprecedented functionality in large scale enterprise projects. Greenwich Mean Time’s ongoing investment in research and development continuously advances the world’s chance of economic survival through 2000.

Headquartered in the UK, the company currently has offices in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Further information on Greenwich Mean Time and its products can be found at: http://www.gmt-2000.com

* Action 2000 is the government-funded taskforce charged with helping UK organisations prepare for the millennium date change. Their telephonic survey was conducted in September/October 1998 among 2,600 private sector organisations employing between 10 and 500+ people.