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Companies not rushing to prepare for euro

SLOVAK companies are in no hurry to prepare their IT systems for the arrival of the euro currency.

Less than 14 percent of the companies polled in a recent survey have made their information systems compatible with the euro, whose arrival is planned for January 1, 2009, and more than 20 percent have not started preparations at all.

The survey was conducted by the TNS SK polling agency for Microsoft.

"It is high time to start dealing with this issue," Microsoft Dynamics division director Peter Dovhun told the SITA newswire. "System integrators and companies that are now updating Slovak businesses' information systems are beginning to feel an increased demand for the services of their software specialists.

"So we are recommending that our clients book their software specialist today, if they want to make these changes by the legal deadline."

Almost half of the surveyed companies are in the analysis or preparation phase of euro-related system changes. Another 20 percent were not able to respond.

The survey shows that companies in the Bratislava and Banská Bystrica Regions are the best prepared. Not surprisingly, the information technology sector reported the highest number of firms with IT systems already adapted to work with the euro. But the industrial production and financial sectors reported a high level of preparedness as well.

Public administration organisations have most often not started preparing their IT systems for the euro yet, or are only in the preparation stage.

The survey shows that large companies with more than 250 workers are prepared the best. This is because they often cooperate with foreign partners, some of whom are already using the euro, the survey reported. Companies with between 50 and 249 employees are the least prepared.

Experts estimate that large companies need two or three years to prepare for the euro. But this is at odds with the companies' expectations, the survey showed: two-thirds of them assume that updating their information system will take six months at most.

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