In the 1990s, the computer and business press had a field day with Y2K. The effects of our old two-digit date field were going to end the world as we knew it. Y2K did a lot of things. It sold thousands of generators, flashlights and batteries. It had normally sane people doing very irrational things such as stocking up on dried foods, bottled water and toilet paper. It gave insomniacs something else to talk about on those late-night radio shows besides conspiracy theories surrounding the Middle East and Monica Lewinsky. It forced corporations around the world to spend billions of dollars on COBOL programmers, new hardware, databases and application software.

What Y2K didn’t do is prepare business for the next wave – wave that will have a profound effect on the way we conduct business and will impact our IT organizations. Both the computer and business press have already started the hype. The consulting world is salivating at the potential assignments, and the three-dimensional guru gap – the difference between hype, reality and what you can sell – is larger than any we’ve ever seen before. E-business is here.

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