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Downturn gives companies time to sort out Net problems

That and some 'by 2005' predictions from Gartner

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The forthcoming economic downturn will give companies behind on Internet technology time to sort out their operations and catch up. That's what the latest survey by Gartner says.

The research company is keen to point out though that business-to-business e-commerce is still expected to basically double in value each year up to 2004, reaching $8.5 trillion (£6,000 billion) by 2005. The US' e-conomy is expected to be the hardest hit.

"The economic downturn can be viewed as a reprieve for enterprises that weren't able to keep up with the e-business leaders," said Lauren Shu, research director for Gartner's e-Business group. "This is not a time to retrench, but rather an opportunity to get your house in order, work on internal adoption of e-business and associated change management and prepare to take advantage of and profit from the massive changes that will play out by 2005." [straight out the press release]

Gartner based its report on figures by WEFA (Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, apparently) which said there would be a 16 per cent fall in online transactions on what was previously expected. Gartner has therefore pumped out the following figures for total b2b value:

Past

1999: $230 billion
2000: $433 billion (189 per cent increase)

Forecast

2001: $919 billion (112 per cent increase)
2002: $1.9 trillion (110 per cent increase)
2003: $3.6 trillion (88 per cent increase)
2004: $6.0 trillion (64 per cent increase)
2005: $8.5 trillion (43 per cent increase)

Gartner reckons that the slowdown will cause companies to be more focussed (read: tight) on the financial aspects of IT systems - causing some to stick without out-dated legacy gear. It also feels that so-called e-marketplaces will start picking up this year. Which is nice. ®

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