Year 2000 survival is No. 1 priority for federal agencies

Is survival of the millennium the focus of your agency's Year 2000 compliance program? If not, it should be. It's too late to concentrate on overall compliance of your information technology enterprise - the fact is, there will be problems and issues regardless of the strength of your overall approach and how long your plan has been in place.

Is survival of the millennium the focus of your agency's Year 2000 compliance program? If not, it should be. It's too late to concentrate on overall compliance of your information technology enterprise -- the fact is, there will be problems and issues regardless of the strength of your overall approach and how long your plan has been in place.

A quick check of the grades on the congressional Year 2000 report card for federal agencies reveals a strong indication that most agencies will not be fully compliant by 2000. Therefore, the chief information officer's focus must be to ensure that those millennium bug events that occur on Jan. 1, 2000, will occur only in areas that will not significantly impact the organization's mission. CIOs must consider the potential risk of losing "mission-essential" automated processes as a result of Year 2000 faults - systems that spell success or failure, survival or mortality, for mission accomplishment and organizational functionality. It is too late to depend on the "enterprise" overall Year 2000 program strategy for Year 2000 survival. The question becomes how to survive the century date change? Every CIO's Year 2000 survival kit should contain the following items:

Mission-critical prioritization of all enterprise systems.

If it hasn't already been accomplished, an inventory and prioritization of the applications within an organization are required. Prioritization must reflect those systems most critical to organizational survival vs. organizational modernization or growth. Mission criticality must be the criteria used to determine compliance priorities.

So, what makes a system mission-critical or mission-essential? Generally speaking, applications can be considered mission-critical if the absence of that system will severely impair the accomplishment of an organization's mission. Any systems that produce data critical to the daily or monthly management or operation of the organization can easily be considered mission-critical, regardless if they are mainframe, PC, Mac, proprietary, commercial off-the-shelf or 4GL systems.

Constant re-application of "triage" to ensure survivability.

Triage is the process of evaluation that goes on during a Year 2000 project. Triage is being applied when decisions are made to keep the current system, to re-engineer the current system, to migrate the current system, to replace the current system or to just let that system die. Triage not only is applied at the start of a Year 2000 proj-ect, to determine how to approach the various Year 2000 system and software problems, but re-applied as old decisions are revalidated and every time the Year 2000 Project Team conducts a project review. After all, schedules slip, funds get re-allocated and tests find unknown unknowns.

Use of risk management principles.

There are many methodologies for conducting formal risk management programs. The minimal requirement is constant vigilance and "what-if" analysis to make sure the organization (mainframe applications, client/server, PCs, elevators, automatic locking systems, security systems, etc.) will be minimally affected and can function through and beyond the millennium.

Contingency planning.

Any good general will enter a campaign with a well-developed series of pre-existing plans that potentially take into account all possible scenarios the opposing force may choose to utilize. Similarly, Year 2000 "what-if" contingency plans form the basis for work-arounds, crisis management and emergency planning when and if something Year 2000 goes "bump in the night."

Agencies need to ensure that prioritized mission-critical systems will operate as expected and support the organizational mission. Through thinking in a risk management mode, reutilizing triage and continually revisiting Year 2000 decisions and establishing thorough contingency planning, CIOs can ensure their organization will survive the greatest challenge of the technology age: the arrival of the millennium.

Kersh is director of OAO Corp.'s Millennium Solution Center. He is a U.S. Military Academy graduate who spent 22 years in the Army, primarily in acquisition and program management positions.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.