During the “Year 2000” days that are often referred to as Y2K, the world was extremely concerned about the calendar date changing from 12/31/1999 to 1/1/2000. When the clock ticked over in each time zone around the world what would happen to computer systems and billions of microchips?
At the time, I was working for a Big Five accounting and information consulting firm in the U.S. as a business intelligence specialist. However, in 1999, all information processing consultants were pressed into service to deal with this massive concern.
My role, as an industry consultant to a number of Fortune 500 firms and their global extensions, was to help both the business and computer operation areas for each business avoid or minimize ALL types of business disaster scenarios.
Given that not every date sensitive, failure type could be predicted, special plans were put into place for each area within a business to “mitigate” or minimize impacts against imaginable outcomes with a series of strategies and levels of escalation.
All business and government executives were required by their various investors or public constituencies to achieve a level of acceptable “due diligence”.
At the time, my company had a very successful set of business and software templates that were used for each business or government agency to give management the most comprehensive set of activities and plans to survive this event. It’s this type of thinking that has been utilized in this website for the public’s benefit. The principles are not as rigorous as required in business or government but they need not be on the personal family level
Fortunately, due to the enormous amount of work that occurred globally to fix and/or minimize this date anomaly problem, the world dodged a significant “bullet” with a minimum of errors, disruptions, and accidents. Personally, my family was mildly impacted by computer billing errors but several could have been costly had it not been for our backup documentation. Needless to say, during that turnover of the clock, I stayed home and off the airplanes!
However, everything could have gone the other way very easily. Many were so concerned about the potential global damage that they coined the acronym— TEOTWAWKI— ”The End Of The World As We Know It”. (Oh, by the way, I’ve noticed that this term is coming back into our language today! Wonder why? )
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