This year the start date and finish date of the daylight saving time has changed in the USA. The start is brought forward to March 11th and the end deferred to November 4th in order to save energy. This results in an additional time difference with regard to the European daylight saving time which could lead to problems as far as electronic data processing, long-distance travel to the USA, contracts containing specific time requirements as well as international project teams are concerned.
Therefore, the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) recommends to inform all employees in charge of contacts and business in the USA about the new daylight saving time introduced in the USA. Particularly critical is the time interval between the two start and finish dates of the different daylight saving time periods in the USA and Europe given that during theses periods the time difference will be one hour bigger than normally.
“The new time setting is by far not comparable with the millennium time problem of the year 2000. Nevertheless, calendar functions, travelling and financial transactions by companies and consumers could be affected in the transition period until the end of March”, says Mr. Stephan Ziegler, software expert of BITKOM. Although according to him software updates could eliminate many risks, they cannot guarantee one hundred percent protection against failure. “Companies should enquire from software manufacturers to what extent their systems could be affected and whether updates are available”, says Mr. Ziegler. IT departments in charge of important computer systems affected by the problem in question should inform staff about the possibility of failures occurring on the 11th and 12th of March.