The millennium bug

By : |May 7, 1999 0

A lot has been said about the Y2K bug and its effect. This is an
attempt to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
analysis of the Y2K problem in the Indian scenario.

Strengths
India, as a nation, is not yet fully computerized like US. The systems,
like water supply, are still under manual or mechanical control
in most of the Indian towns. It’s difficult to see failure in water
supply or the working of elevators in on account of Y2K-noncompliance.

Reason is simple-most of the Indian towns systems are not yet under
electronic control. In all probability, if you don’t leave in metropolis,
you are unlikely to face the effect of the bug immediately.

Another strength of the country is the large pool of COBOL programmers
we have. Their expertise can be used to tackle the problem.

Weaknesses
Y2K awareness in the country is pretty low. In fact, Reserve Bank
of India (RBI) instructed banks to give top most priority to Y2K
compliance. But recently, it found most of the banks not conforming
to instructions.

Especially, small businesses refuse to invest in Y2K compliance.

Another problem is there is no data available on the extent to
which the government and its departmental undertakings will be affected
by the millenium bug. The departments like Indian Railways are fully
computerized. If these don’t address the problem properly, the result
can be disastrous-errors in wrong signaling claim thousands of lives.

There is no data available as to what extent the government has
been able to make its systems Y2K-compliant.

Opportunities
Every problem brings with it a hidden opportunity. The millenium
problem also holds a lot of promise for the software companies.
The Indian software industry has earned quite a bit from the Y2K
solutions, and this is likely to continue till year 2001 as the
Y2K rectification will continue.

Threats
Time is the threat. What come may, the Y2K deadline will stay December
31, 1999. Though it applies to all countries, it becomes a major
threat to India as we were late in starting our efforts to address
the issue.

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