Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The paper examines the risks, cost, size, implications, and likely outcomes of the Year 2000 or "Y2K" Problem, as well as the lessons learned, opportunities, and silver linings of Y2K projects. The MIS academic community has largely missed a unique opportunity to be relevant to practitioners as well as our communities. Fortunately, it is not too late since knowledgeable and rational voices are needed to help communities, and the people and enterprises in them, intelligently deal with the challenges of Y2K. Strangely, in spite of billions of bytes of data about year 2000 problem appearing each week, we still know surprisingly little about the reality of the Y2K risks we face. And there is little chance that a complete assessment of even the greatest risks faced by our enterprises and communities can be made, let alone repairs completed. Then there are the global risks of Y2K, and the thorny fact that most Y2K risks are beyond our direct control anyway. So what can ethical, conscientious, and concerned MIS professionals do about this situation? How can we help our communities reduce risks, appropriately plan for contingencies, and quickly manage failures? With only a few months to go, this may be the last chance we have to be relevant, enhance our collective credibility, and genuinely help improve IS practices.





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