COMPUTERS AND THE PROBLEM 2000 IN THE BUSINESS WORLD Computers play a huge role in Government, Economy, and Financial affairs. Based on the information concerning the year 2000 computer crash project (y2k), people are realizing how much of the economy depends on computers. The age of electronics and more specifically, computers, has caused a tremendous shift in the way we do business today. Today, many business people wouldnt be able to function efficiently without communications as we know it, for example, e-mail or fax-on-demand. We have gotten so accustomed to the presence of computers and to what they provide, that many of us dont remember what it was like before.
This paper will attempt to discuss computers and their impact on how we do business, and the problems we will have because of the computer problem of 2000. In the last decade, businesses have spent $1 trillion US dollars for technology(Marciano). Now they are looking at a computer crash in the year 2000. The y2k project is a serious concern of computer systems to function correctly in the year 2000(Andrews). One must understand the computer systems perform logic functions based on date information to understand this major concern.
Dates in a computer system are stored as six-digit numeric. These six-digits consist of the last two digits of the calendar year, a two-digit representation of the month, and a two-digit representation of the day. The is the YYMMDD format. What is apparent is that this format omits the first two digits(19) of the calendar year. An example of the YYMMDD format for master-card or visa companies and the problem it hold is as follows: Suppose the current date is April 10, 1997 (970410 in YYMMDD format).
The expire date of the credit card is March 31, 1997 (970331). The computer would logically compare the current date to the expire date: 970410 (current date) – 970331 (expire date) ———– + 79 The result of this comparison would be that the current date is greater than the expire date. This would indicate that the credit card is due for renewal. Now, lets assume that the current date is Jan. 2, 2000.
In YYMMDD format, this date would be represented as 000102. If the computer were to logically compare this current date to an expire date of Dec. 30, 1999: 000102 (current date) – 991230 (expire date) ———– -991128 Page 2. This result is less then. This would indicate that the credit card does not need to be renewed for another 100 years. This is the concern that has been referred to as the year 2000 issue. Considering all the functions that are date sensitive and involve legacy computer systems: airline reservations, document renewal, scheduling, accounting, and even stock markets. The Wall Street Journal will begin its first round of testing soon on how the industrys order placement systems will perform after Dec.
31, 1999(Chruch). Merrill Lynchs research analysts have concluded that most large corporations are reasonable confident their computer systems will be ready for the milennium (Church). All these functions and more risk failure on Jan. 1, 2000, due to this potential problem. Computers are also a major form of communication in the business world, which the year 2000 problem cannot affect. Telecommuting is the technology that made businesss more flexible.
For instance, some employees connect from their computer to the office network and perform their job function from home. More then two million corporations are now telecommuting full-time. If an individuals duties dont require them to be physically in the office, this flexibility is perfect for employees to perform their job while controlling their own schedule. These employees can still communicate while working at home through e-mail and fax. The growth and innovations of the computer brought along with it many aspects of the business world. The global market has created the need for fast communications over a long distance. Teleconferencing and E-mail are two excellent examples of technologies that have met these needs and have literally transformed the way the business world operates.
Teleconferencing, in some companies, has all but replaced physical meetings. It has reduced travel costs and the loss of productivity as a result of the travel time required to attend the meetings. Electronic mail (E-mail) has transformed business communication like no other technology. In a simple inter-office communications, E-mail has helped to advance the global market and provides immediate information transfer(Siemens). Computers are also a managers dream for analyzing a decision for a major company. The computer has software that enables managers to input the major decisions facing them for maximization of profit, and wealth, and even shareholders wealth.
The computer can then generate a decision which would be more financial for the company or the stock holder. Stock brokers also take advantage of computerized information. A stock broker may use the computer to find out how a certain company has been operating for the past years, and how their stocks have been doing. This can let the stock broker know is the company is stable or at high risk. Page 3.
Computers are a major source of information for business, economy, and financial affairs. The y2k problem will be a down-fall for many businesses, but when the problem is fixed, computers will be back and technology will advance some more.