Fixing Y2K bug is creating new problems says consultant

Firms with comprehensive millennium bug programmes are creating a raft of new problems a Y2K consultant told ZDNet News today.

Despite the revelation that eight large financial institutions are still at severe risk of bug problems, Action 2000 reports big business is largely on target to crack the bug. Martin Caddick, director of Year 2000 at DMR Consulting Group paints a different picture.

DMR's checks on 50 big businesses, including banks, in the UK found "a significant number of errors," according to Caddick. Incredibly, one third of these were introduced by trying to fix the problem he said. "They are not as prepared as they think they are," he added.

Companies have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in an attempt to clear systems of Y2K glitches but, according to Caddick, they could be wasting their money. "No company will clear out all Y2K bugs," he said. "It is not like looking for one needle in a haystack but thousands."

Caddick estimates up to 5 percent of big businesses systems may fail come the year 2000. "Most will be fixed quite quickly as the clock turns around but the real problems will be insidious," he said. Miscalculations of tax or pay may not be discovered for months, leading to a spate of litigation.

Research firm Giga estimates litigation as a result of the millennium bug could cost firms around $1 trillion worldwide. Caddick predicts there will be widespread litigation in the UK and, for companies with interests in the US, the threat is even greater. "Most worried are the banks," he said. "When you are part of a chain of litigation, it is the people with the deepest pockets that end up paying."

Show Comments