As many of you probably know, I am a "strategy and research" guy for a living, for a $2.5B computer services firm...I spend about half of my time travelling and giving presentations to senior Information Technology (IT) executives on "The Future". I track trends, I describe future issues they need to prepare for, I do the Nostradaemus thing...
In the fall of 1993, I added a bullet to my presentations on "future issues" called "Y2K issues", and have spoken consistently on the impact of that on IT budgets, priorities, staffing, etc.
I have a current business assignment to produce a video/cd to help customers think through/work through PC/LAN related issues in that area. I have been tracking Y2K issues more broadly than just the PC area for almost 9-12 months now (since remote management of LAN's requires the telecom infrastructure and utility substrate to be working in remote/rural/foreign environments), and I finally gave a 3+ hour general management briefing this past weekend to a local group. A have gotten several emails from TankReaders asking my opinion/assessment on the matter (in spite of its non-"apologetic" nature), and I thought it might make sense to make the briefing (the overview one) available to all. Accordingly, my friends at Pennisula Bible Church filmed and digitized the session, placing the resultant RealAudio and RealVideo files (and the slides) on a specially-created website [LINK REMOVED].
When I first participated in a planning meeting last fall with several executive Y2K managers, from Fortune100 firms, I actually came away disturbed about the whole scenario. The flurry of research that followed indicated (initially) that we might be faced with a rather bumpy future.
But as I have studied this more intensely, and have traced the patterns and power-forces creating the flurry of activity the past 3-6 months, I have grown less and less concerned about the prospect of some Dark Ages scenario. I see the network of Socio-Politico-Economic forces massively at work now, and manifesting themselves in every front of the struggle. The checks-and-balances in the system are starting to exert their considerable power on increased compliance by EVERY level of organization. I am lowering--daily and rapidly--my estimate of the probability of any serious economic disruption, and much less ANY significant social upheaval or threat.
I discuss all the forces at work and the interplay between the various stakeholders in this struggle in the seminar. It is 3.25 hours, 150+ slides, and after discussing how the forces interact, I discuss/debunk some 60+ 'myths' that are commonly assumed/accepted/preached on the Internet and in the Media. Alarmists will brand me a 'Denial-head' or a "Just Dont Get It' guy, but I can no longer construct (to my critical thinking comfort level) a realistic disaster scenario.
Mind you, I am a technologist, a futurist, and a business executive.
I have taught software engineering at the college level, and have cut millions
of lines of code earlier in my career. I have programmed real-time telemetry
and ballistic control systems, and like other business executives, I "survive"
because I DON'T live in a Pollyanna world...
There is a lot of fuzzy thinking about this out there, and my seminar is meant to help others think critically about what they hear and read about the Y2K scenario.
Just an FYI...