Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK


Bug warning for small firms

Many small firms have ignored the warnings

Most small and medium-sized firms are on track to beat the millennium computer bug but a worrying number are still at risk, according to Action 2000.

Bugtown UK
The number ready for the millennium has risen eight per cent since the last survey, to 73%.

But the government-backed body warns that more than a quarter of small businesses still have "a considerable amount" of work to do, in its latest report due to be published on Tuesday.

BBC News' Emma Simpson: Large firms' unreadiness poses biggest threat
Most worrying were the very smallest firms, making up a "critical minority" within the wider business sector, said Don Cruickshank, director of Action 2000.

"Those who have done next to nothing will face problems with suppliers and customers alike, which could cause their businesses to fail," said Mr Cruickshank.

Of particular concern were businesses employing between 20 and 29 staff, with only 65% of companies in this category having complied with millennium requirements.

'Extremely disappointing'

Mr Cruickshank warned that the greatest threat will be posed by multiple small failures adding to the normal disruptions that occur at that time of year, such as New Year holidays, sickness and bad weather.

The organisation's director described as "extremely disappointing" the fact that 37% of small and medium-sized companies thought it unnecessary to develop contingency plans.

Action 2000 said it was sending a "Last Chance Guide" to 1.3 million businesses to help them with their contingency planning.

The problem arises because many computers have been programmed to recognise the year by the last two digits.

At the end of the year, when the year moves from 99 to 00, many computers may crash or malfunction by thinking it is 1900.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Business Contents

Your Money
Market Data
Business Basics

Relevant Stories

03 Aug 99 | The Economy
Small firms ignore Millennium Bug

30 Jul 99 | The Economy
Why two bug busters battle...

28 Sep 99 | Business
Y2K bug busters target company

08 Jun 99 | UK
Drive to beat Y2K panic

Internet Links

Action 2000

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

NatWest bid timetable frozen

No longer Liffe as we know it

France faces EU action over electricity

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

The growing threat of internet fraud

Christmas turkey strike vote

Brown considers IMF job

Train robbery game hope for SCi

From Sport
League to rule on Sky shares

Mannesmann fights back

Online share dealing triples

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

Pace enters US cable heartland

The rapid rise of Vodafone

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

Brown's bulging war-chest

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

House passes US budget

Rate fears as sales soar

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

Maxwell pledge to pensioners

Power cuts spark union warning

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

Oil reaches nine-year high

'Asian management culture must change'

US 'prepared for Millennium Bug'

Gucci on a spending spree