What does it take to get companies to update their systems? Sometimes, only the threat of total mayhem.
This was certainly the case toward the close of the last millennium, when Y2K, a brand-new flavor of disaster — an IT crisis! — loomed large, kicking off a panicky, worldwide effort to avert computer Armageddon come midnight on December 31, 1999.
Fortunately, the IT crisis never fully materialized, but the upheaval in the run-up to Y2K did come with a silver lining: It accelerated the adoption of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that help run most large companies today.