Considerations of a Consultant
What Y2K Meant to Techno-specialists
By Ronald E. Kaplan
As a system consultant the Y2K preparedness issue was a hot one for the past year. Some clients were unfortunate enough to have older hardware and customized older accounting software. For them, getting ready for Y2K turned out to be costly and very time consuming. Others had new hardware (Compaq Proliant 1600) with older Operating System software (like Netware 3.12) and found their system date in† NetWare did not functioning properly after the New Year even though they had installed the Y2K patches to the operating system.
††††††††††††††† But most firmsí Y2K needs were satisfied with the following list of steps to determine which BIOSís needed to be flashed, Operating System or Applications needed to be patched or upgraded and which pieces of hardware required replacement.
††††††††††††††† Once the firmís information was catalogued and checked against each of the respective manufacturersí Y2K status postings, implementation of the required changes was not usually difficult, though tedious in many cases.
This checklist is just one variant used at a client firm to prepare for the data change. The message it carries should not be considered dated since Y2K is behind us:† To the contrary, maintaining control over a frimís computing environment, including the desktop configuration and inventory of software, is always universally important.
††††††††††††††† Firms faced technology problems not simply because the date was going to change, but rather, because they had lost any measure of this control.† Much of the tedious effort associated with Y2K preparation was the rote collection of this information.† Keeping control on a rolling basis would have prevented much of the feverish and frantic information gathering leading up to the analysis of the remediation, planning and true steps necessary to prevent anticipated problems.
††††††††††††††† If firm managers and IT professionals had taken a few minutes to log the new systems into an accurate inventory method when they made a purchase, they would have prevented weeks of work done later. This is a classic case of labor minutes saved, precious weeks lost. Pay attention as systems and software are deployed. Rigorous adherence to the inventory checklist utilized below will help prevent future problems. Donít let the lessorn learned from Y2K fade away Ė compabe future technological problems today.
Ronald E. Kaplan, MS, MBA is a management consultant with System Integration Consultants in Los Angeles specializing in law Firms.† He has Mastersí Degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration from UCLA. He can be reached at (310) 551-0505 ext. 527 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.