Contingency Plans All the Rage

Year 2000 contingency planning, anyone?

Ask that question and you’re bound to get a lot more takers now than a year ago, according to a survey conducted by Rubin Systems Inc. for Cap Gemini America.

Howard Rubin, president of Rubin Systems in Pound Ridge, New York., found that all organizations surveyed were developing year 2000 contingency plans in the fourth quarter of last year. That’s up from a paltry 3 percent in March.

But there are good and bad sides to that meteoric rise. It may reflect prudent corporate planning or an admission that an organization may not be fully ready to meet the date change. Rubin’s survey found that 92 percent of organizations report an increase in missed year 2000 project milestones, up from 84 percent in July.

And the number of organizations that expected to have more than half of their systems ready by the start of this year dropped from 81 percent in the second quarter to 74 percent in the third quarter of last year.

Rubin’s numbers on contingency planning are “right on”, said Stephanie Moore, year 2000 analyst at Giga Information Group in Norwell, Massachusetts. She said even organizations well into their year 2000 work are developing contingency plans in case a critical supplier’s or customer’s systems fail.

Meanwhile, year 2000 laggards anticipate that they won’t be fully ready for Jan. 1, Moore added, so concentrating on contingency planning to keep the business going is “the right thing to do”.