Daylight savings time is probably to blame for a decent percentage of technology related problems, especially the first week of November and the second week of March. Studies report an increase in traffic accidents in both the Fall and Spring daylight time changes.  On Mondays after the changes, the NYSE, AMEX and Nasdaq exchanges average a one-day loss of $31 billion.

We’ve said it before to always use GMT as your timezone. It makes it easier on your application not to have to deal with the switch. In November, the 1:00 AM hour re-appears after 1:59:59.9 AM, which is a problem applications (read: programmers) should be able to deal with. In March, the we skip the entire 2:00 AM hour. From 1:59:59.9, the clock skips to 3:00 AM. Applications should be able to anticipate and handle these changes, but you better verify in advance, and it would be optimal to just use GMT and thus not have to even worry about the change.

But don’t just worry about the application. Also worry about the humans. After both timezone changes, humans are going to be, on average, more groggy than the week before. In a larger environment, this average adds up to something. This dynamic can be compounded, especially in retail season, by pressure to complete tasks before coming change freeze windows.

There isn’t that much that can be done to change this, but the best thing is to be aware of it, and plan for it. If you’re a professional in information systems, make sure you’re well rested going into a daylight savings time change. And check the applications to make sure that they can handle the timezone switch.

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