The Federal Government taskforce formed to spur small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Australia into Y2K action is not aiming at a 100 per cent success rate.
Its goals will be met if the Y2K Industry project can convince at least 50 per cent of all SMEs to address the issue seriously, according to project CEO Graeme Inchley.
The taskforce's analysis suggests only 70 per cent of SMEs are dependent on technology to the degree that the millennium bug poses serious risks to them. Of those, 20 per cent are already on track with Y2K solutions or have investigated their systems and given them a clean bill of health.
That leaves a remaining target of only 50 per cent and even that may be too aggressive a figure, Inchley says.
"That's our target at the moment but we'll be doing research over the next few months to refine that figure and see where they are (in the spectrum of SME companies covering 10 to 200 employees)."
Meanwhile, the decision by insurance companies to stop underwriting Y2K risks altogether or impose huge premiums is making life more difficult for Inchley.
Even Big Six management consultancies can no longer obtain professional indemnity insurance and are peppering their contracts with disclaimers, he noted.
While that may make SMEs uneasy, "at the end of the day, they simply have to get the work done.
"Even if someone insists on putting in disclaimers, you've just got to trust they will do the work to the best of their ability."