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By Jennifer Bosavage
Mar 1, 2007:

Time's A-Wastin'

Are you ready for daylight-saving time? Unless you're living in a cave, you know that the new, improved schedule for daylight-saving time begins on March 11. So, you and your business will spring ahead two weeks earlier than last year, which will result in an extra hour of light at the end of the day. Maybe we'll save some energy in the process.

The media attention this is getting is widespread; all of it seems to imply that this is coming upon us all of a sudden. For example, according to a statewide poll in Oregon, agency heads on average gave their departments a rating of 3.59 out of a possible 5 in terms of readiness for the daylight-saving bug. And we hear, too, that enterprise applications are likely to trip on the daylight-saving change. Talk about procrastination: President Bush signed this bill that extended daylight-saving time into law in August 2005.

But despite all the hoopla and instances of waiting until the last minute, we're not facing anything close to the scale of the notorious Y2K crisis. While the Y2K problem threatened to shut down computers completely, this problem is a low-level frustration that could cause computers to have the incorrect time. Calendaring and manufacturing systems could cause confusion and chaos in an organization if nothing is done to resolve the problem.

Of course, it's in the best interest of companies to just make the appropriate adjustments, rather than manually change the dates on every computer four times a year. Any time-sensitive documents could fail if the changes aren't made.

I talked about the problem recently with David A. Milman, CEO of Rescuecom. "There's an easy fix for Windows 2K and XP; Vista is ready with the new updates already," he said. "For Windows 2K and XP, just turn on automatic updates in the control panel...this does require some savvy user to accomplish this task, but it doesn't require a technician." Seems it really requires the ability to read a calendar.

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