Some Key Facts and Events in Y2K History

  • Y2K costs will reach $75 billion, predicted Peter de Jager in the Sept. 16, 1993, issue of Computerworld.

  • Y2K repair costs will reach at least $100 billion and may go as high as $114 billion -- $365 for every man, woman and child in the U.S., reported the U.S. Department of Commerce in November 1999.

  • The estimated worldwide cost of fixing the Y2K bug, according to analysts: Cap Gemini America Inc. -- $858 billion; Gartner Group Inc. -- $600 billion; International Data Corp. -- $300 billion.

    Comparing the cost of Y2K fixes with the costs of various natural disasters:
    • Hurricane Floyd caused infrastructure losses of $82.4 million, insured losses of $50 million and other losses of about $2 million, officials said, according to a Nov. 30, 1999, Reuters report.

    • Initial estimates on the Turkish earthquake suggest it will cost $8 billion to repair the quake's damage, reported the International Herald Tribune on Dec. 2, 1999.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the cost of crop losses in the eastern part of the country due to the 1999 summer drought will be $1.1 billion, according to the Gannett News Service on Sept. 1, 1999.

  • Y2K projects caused changes in vacation policies at 43% of 150 large companies, with 97% restricting December and January vacations. Yet 40% weren't planning to reward IT staff with money or time off, according to an August 1999 Computerworld survey.

  • 44% of major companies said they wouldn't have their mission-critical systems compliant by this month, according to a September study by Cap Gemini America.

  • Inc. reported that only 75% of federal mission-critical systems would be finished by Jan. 1.

  • The White House's Y2K Information Coordination Center cost $50 million and was staffed with 200 federal workers.

  • 40% of small businesses have done nothing about Y2K, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

  • Financially wealthy companies were spending 5% to 8% of their IT funding on Y2K, while poorer companies were spending up to 40% of their IT budgets, noted a September study from Cap Gemini America and Rubin Systems.

  • The average mainframe or midrange system contained 510 date-related errors after remediation, according to a study by SEEC Inc.

  • Testing catches 30% of Y2K bugs, while independent validation and verification catches another 40% to 45%, reported a study by SriSoft Corp.

  • If a major brokerage has Y2K-related transaction problems on Jan. 3 ( the first day of trading this year), the Securities and Exchange Commission won't give out information specific to that company, Computerworld reported in the Nov. 22, 1999, issue.

  • Y2K could lead to $1.1 trillion in damages worldwide, with the U.S. cost estimated at $115 billion, not including legal and insurance costs, said analyst Nick Gogerty at London-based International Monitoring in October 1999.

  • Some Y2K budgets: Union Pacific Corp. -- $46 million; Merrill Lynch & Co. -- $525 million; Nabisco Inc. -- $42 million.

  • The labor crunch will continue post-Y2K: 1.6 million new IT workers will be needed between 1999 and 2006, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report in July.

  • A December poll of 1,011 adults conducted by USA Today and the National Science Foundation found that just 7% of Americans said they expected major problems to result from Y2K mistakes, while 55% said they believed the effects will last only a few days; 42%, a slight rise from previous polls, planned to stockpile food and water; 21% planned to withdraw some money from their accounts; 34% (down from 63% a year ago) expected banking and accounting systems to fail; and 51% planned to avoid air travel on or around Jan. 1, though only 27% believed air traffic control systems would fail.

  • A November poll of 400 adults released by Hibernia National Bank in New Orleans found that only 7% of Americans were "very concerned" about Y2K and that only 11% of consumer and 8% of commercial bank customers planned to withdraw extra cash.

  • Gartner Group predicted that more than half of U.S. companies wouldn't achieve 100% compliance by the end of 1999 and that 15% of companies and government agencies in the U.S. would suffer Y2K-related mission-critical systems failures through the first quarter of 2000. Where failures occur, 10% will last three days or more.

  • How many people were needed to fix Y2K? Gartner Group estimated one man-year for every 100,000 lines of code. IBM reckoned that the average large company will spend up to 400 man-years on the problem. On average, 100,000 lines of code will require one year of full-time labor to correct.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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