Saturday, March 17, 2007

Daylight Savings Time - Aftershocks?

Let's say you're a seismologist and you develop a technique to prevent earthquakes. You take your responsibility seriously, so you invest as much time, effort, energy and money as you can muster into perfecting the technique. You go ahead and implement the technology along a fault line close to a major metropolitan area. Your technology works perfectly. You predict and prevent a major catastophe. But nobody notices.

Well, if you're an IT manager and you did your preventive maintenance well before last Sunday's daylight savings time extension, the worst thing to have happened was that your PBX-based telephone clock was off by an hour when you came into the office on Monday. I'll bet that got noticed! But nobody noticed that you prevented information system problems significant enough to have warranted a Gartner risk assessment warning.

My experience of the aftershocks of DST was exactly the same as Y2K. Nothing significant least not to the systems with which I was associated. There were, to be sure, significant problems unreported in many small- and medium-sized businesses. In fact, I know firsthand of at least one company whose demise was related to non-compliant Y2K systems. And I have heard stories of other organizations whose preparedness for the DST extensions weren't as comprehensive as they should have been. Some of the stories are truly funny. least if you encountered some disruptions owing to the DST extensions, then IT gets recognized. If you were perfectly prepared, nobody notices, no thanks are offered, no congratulations are given. It's as if you did absolutely nothing.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that IT pros become less professional. But maybe it's time we start "educating" users more thoroughly. You can be sure that marketing professionals wouldn't stand idly by without getting clear acknowledgement for their work. Maybe it's time we take a page from their notebooks!

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