Daylight-Saving Change Requires Easy Fixes

Don't hit the snooze button on this one, IT managers: Daylight-saving time has moved up in 2007, from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March, and lasts longer, until the first Sunday in November. The change could affect some IT systems, though this issue certainly doesn't approach the scope of Y2K. What do you need to check? For starters, databases (including financial and payroll) and calendar applications may require updates.

Major vendors, such as Microsoft, Novell and IBM, are alerting customers via their websites of system-related issues that they may face after the daylight-saving extension -- a result of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 -- takes effect.

Microsoft says almost a dozen of its products will be affected, including Outlook. Problems could arise with Microsoft's calendar and scheduling applications, date and time calculations and transaction logging. Java-based applications and punch-clock systems may also be affected, says Vince Zambo, a technology specialist at CDW. Some older punch-clock systems may need to be replaced, he says.

To avoid system interruptions, IT departments should check their software vendors' websites for fixes.

"Ninety percent of [the fixes] are going to be handled through simple patches, and some of the fixes will be automated through updates," Zambo says.

Also review physical plant and security systems, advises risk mitigation firm Lee Technologies: You may need firmware updates for fire panels, UPS units and generator control systems, or patches for building management, security and monitoring systems running on Windows or Linux.

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