Small-to-medium Australian enterprises remain a large market for Y2K remediation work contracts, according to Paul Ventura, program director at research company Meta Group.
Ventura claimed there would be a major increase in the amount of contract work over the next 12 months.
"This will not be derived from a sudden realisation that work has to be done, but from when SMEs start encountering problems associated with the millennium bug and the work they're doing to fix it.
"This is going to send people into panic stations," he said.
With the increase in workload and limited specialist consultants and contractors to cater for the demand, Ventura claimed "the channel has to be fairly aware of what's happening.
"There are big opportunities for service providers to make a lot of money. There is a decided shortage of people with those skills so they are able to charge premium rates, because companies will have to pay them. And this will be compounded nearer the year 2000," Ventura said.
Ventura added that while "resellers have an obligation to their customers to provide sound products, many won't be doing the remediation work themselves, so they too will have to call in specialist consultants and contractors".
He sounded a further warning that "one of the biggest issues facing SMEs, which could cause problems, is not from their own hardware or software, but from production in terms of their supply chain.
"It may be a case of having their company's house in order, but if their supply chain doesn't comply, then this is where glitches are going to occur. And I don't think this is very well known," he said.