While millions of citizens around the world enjoyed fireworks and gala celebrations to welcome the 21st century, a contingent of dedicated IT professionals spent a much less enjoyable evening on December 31 either on site or on call. They were asked to be ready to immediately address any Y2K problems that surfaced. Airlines scaled back flights partly because few travelers wanted to be in the air as the 20th century ended and partly to insure that disaster would be averted if a Y2K glitch did arise. Facing the possibility of worldwide panic if the Y2K bug bit Wall Street, Alan Greenspan directed the Federal Reserve to pump a tremendous amount of liquidity into the system to avert any type of shortage. At Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, U.S. Space Command officers monitored the rollover through the 24 time zones of the world. And the 21st century began without a major hitch.
As the IT focus now shifts from Y2K to e-commerce, e-business, business-to-business Web strategies and bandwidth expansion, shouldn't we be taking a moment to congratulate all of the people who were responsible for the smooth transition? The tremendous amount of work (not to mention the billions of dollars spent) surrounding Y2K was not glamorous. It required extensive changes to old code that was written by programmers in the previous four decades, followed by countless rounds of testing the systems. I would like to congratulate every one of our readers who helped ensure a successful transition into the new millennium. You, the unsung heroes of Y2K, deserve thanks and congratulations and probably a month-long vacation! While there will undoubtedly be some Y2K problems as we move through this year, you are responsible for keeping the infrastructure of the world from collapsing. A job well done!
One of our goals at DM Review is to keep you abreast of new technologies and their impact on your companies. However, one lesson we all should have learned from Y2K is that maintenance of existing systems is critical to success and survival. It is estimated that the greatest expenditure in most corporations relates to maintenance of systems, and it has the greatest impact on a corporation's bottom line. Maintenance programming is not fun or high profile but it is the real glue that holds most corporations together. Spring cleaning is just as appropriate for your IT systems as it is for your home. Again, not glamorous, but so necessary!
As always, thanks for reading DM Review. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.
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