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Millennium bomb "cause and effect" problems are more likely to happen here than in the United States, where they have received substantially more widespread coverage. Still, a major IDC survey on how business is dealing with the problem in the US found, interestingly, that "the . . . industries, as a whole, including all levels of corporate management, do not view the [millennium bomb] problem with the degree of seriousness that some prognosticators . . . suggest they should".

The survey found that only 2.8 per cent of US IS executives did not expect to complete their millennium bomb projects by 1 January 2000 and that the average project had a duration of 9.4 quarters or 28 months.

Of the companies questioned, 47.5 per cent expected to become Y2000 compliant in 1998, with only 4 per cent waiting until the bitter end, Q4 1999.

Of the 303 companies surveyed, 51.6 per cent sought the assistance of outside consultants to help manage the project.

IDC said, however, that the survey results masked some serious concerns in a number of sub categories.

Assigning sufficient staff to millennium bomb projects, the top-rated problem area, was far more serious in companies with revenues in the $US500 million to $US1 billion size (44.5 per cent) than in smaller companies or companies with revenues of over $US1 billion; The amount of time remaining to complete the project was viewed more seriously by the three vertical market segments - insurance (28.9 per cent), communications (22.6 per cent) and banking (22.4 per cent) than by the other three industry groups - investment (15.4 per cent), manufacturing (10.4 per cent) or utilities (7.1 per cent); Getting information from vendors on the compliance of their packages was a serious problem for the communications industry (41.9 per cent), the investment houses (38.5 per cent) and the mid-sized companies with revenues in the $US500 million to $US1 billion range.

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