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Network World - At first blush it may seem like no big deal: clocks will move ahead by an hour three weeks earlier than usual this year. But for today’s networked businesses, the simple change could mean complex problems if IT shops aren’t prepared, industry experts say.
The trouble goes beyond missed meetings and messed-up schedules to errors within time-reliant applications that are critical to a company’s business — processes such as operating room scheduling, billing and contract deadlines and ensuring record compliance, for example, could be at risk. Any applications dependent on timestamps will run into trouble after March 11, the new day for the daylight-saving time change, if actions aren’t taken.
For more than two decades, daylight-saving time has begun on the first Sunday of April and reverted to standard time on the last Sunday in October. But beginning this year, due to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the daylight-saving schedule will be extended by a month, with the period beginning on the second Sunday in March and ending on the first Sunday in November. Legislators backing the change say it will save some 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
But the change also could throw a wrench in IT systems set up to automatically handle the old daylight-saving schedule. As a result, IT professionals need to take a close look at their systems and applications to determine which could be off when the change occurs and then take the necessary steps to correct them.
|Preparing for a change
Industry experts say IT executives should make sure theyÕre prepared for the March 11 daylight-saving changes. Some things to consider:
“My fear is that a lot of people aren’t going to realize this is a big issue until months down the road when they say, 'Oops, why aren’t these dates lining up,’” says Scott Metzger, CTO at consumer credit management firm TrueCredit in San Luis Obispo, Calif.