IT managers ready for the euro

A majority of UK IT managers expect to handle any move to the euro with ease - bad news for those who predicted IT chaos
Written by Peter Judge, Contributor

IT managers have no fear of the euro.

Despite continuing uncertainty over the UK's possible entry into the euro, British IT managers generally believe they can make the change when required to do so. Many UK retail businesses have decided to handle the euro next year anyway, regardless of Government action; and IT managers' confidence may also be boosted by the fact that the similar Year 2000 scare turned out to be a damp squib.

Nearly 50 percent of IT people responding to a ZDNet survey claimed that their IT systems are ready to handle the euro now, with only minimal changes. Of the rest, 22.5 percent believe they can make the change in less than three months, which will be far quicker than the legal machinery allows the government to make the change. The survey was made of visitors to ZDNet UK's news site, and Tech Update UK, ZDNet's resource for IT managers and senior IT professionals.

There is a sizeable minority, however, who foresee some hard work in the change. Fourteen percent of respondents believe that enough work is involved to take them up to a year, while 15.3 percent admitted their systems would need a major upgrade. As the UK government has promised to have a referendum before implementing any change, it seems likely that most if not all of these companies should have time to get their systems ready.

Many retailers in the UK have pre-empted Government moves, and are already prepared to accept euros, with one in three planning to accept them from the moment the coins and paper money comes into use in the euro-zone in the New Year, according to today's Guardian newspaper. Companies operating internationally or based in the euro-zone have already made the change.

It is a far cry from the chaos which was predicted two years ago, by the same people that predicted that companies would not be able to update their systems to handle the Year 2000 problem.

More enterprise IT news in Tech Update, ZDNet UK's enterprise channel

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