Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Daylight Saving Time change = mini y2k?

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed into law in August 2005 to extend Daylight Saving Time (DST), which some legislators claim will reduce domestic oil consumption by up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. Under the new rules, DST will now start on March 11, 2007 and end on November 4, 2007.

Although this sounds like a simple change, it has forced many organizations to assess the impact of Daylight Saving Time on their business that reminds me of the global y2k worry about the change from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000.

Any system that is dependent on timestamp-based data (airline reservations, hotel and car rental, ATM machines, shipping, appointments, etc.) will have to be assessed to gauge the impact of the time zone change. This could lead to a lot of late nights and crossed fingers as operating systems, databases, and application code are patched to address timezone-related issues. As an IT consultant, I have seen both ends of the spectrum with this issue. I have one client that has already addressed the DST issue, and I have another client that didn't even consider investigating impact of the DST issue on their business until I mentioned it.

In my opinion, this DST change will probably cause some minor disruptions, but nothing along the lines of the y2k scare. Even so, I will probably be checking out my bank and brokerage accounts on March 11th just in case...


  • I think people learnt some lessons from the Y2K worry...there was nothing much to worry :) (or so I thought).

    Hopefully, technology has improved many times over since then and this one will be a smooth transition.

    By Anonymous Golbguru, at 2/7/07, 1:08 PM  

  • One of the reasons that I believe y2k was such a non-issue is that people had a few years to prepare for it. I had several customers that would have had problems running their business if they hadn't addressed the issue proactively.

    In this case, it will probably be easier to squeeze by if some transactions are off by an hour rather than 100 years... :)

    By Blogger Frugal Frugalson, at 2/8/07, 10:26 AM  

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