Year 2000 Industry Program's chief executive officer, Graeme Inchley, has laid the blame for what he described as an appalling lack of action on the solution to the Year 2000 problem squarely at the feet of the IT channel.
"The channel has been way too slow to act," he said, adding: "Very few people in the channel see it either as a concern or even a business opportunity."
Inchley extended his ire to vendors, recently asking a small gathering of IT cognoscenti: "Other than selling upgrades, what programs have been undertaken by vendors to educate the channel?" This was met with silence, until Inchley launched an almost evangelical call to action.
"Consider the big picture of our economy if even 10 per cent of small businesses fail because of inadequacies in their computer systems after January 2000?," he said. A Portrait of Australian Business (1995 Longitudinal Survey) showed that a 10 per cent failure of businesses with less than 200 employees will result in: a 6 per cent reduction of total gross product by industry, equivalent to $12.5 billion; a 5 per cent loss of total Australian exports; and a loss of 359,000 jobs.
The Y2K Industry Program is about to launch a campaign of awareness and understanding about the ramifications of the millennium bug. It will be especially targeted at the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector.