E-commerce projects often stand accused of promising much and delivering little.
But despite some industry perceptions, GartnerGroup last week outlined what it believes will be a massive boom in e-commerce-related business in the Asia-Pacific into the new millennium.
Leading the charge is business-to-business e-commerce IT spending that Gartner's high-tech research arm, Dataquest, predicts will reach over $US6 billion in 2003 from 1999 spending of $2 billion.
Total business Web spending will rise from around $3 billion to $45 billion by 2003.
According to Lane Leskela, Gartner's Hong Kong-based senior digital commerce and Internet access analyst, the Asia-Pacific e-commerce push is driven by business procurement and electronic supply chain management. The North American market, by comparison, is driven largely by consumer demand for online shopping, he said.
"A lot of the spending [on the Web] is actually the culture of North American consumers," Leskela added.
In fact, Gartner claims up to 75 per cent of online purchases hit US servers.
As a result, Leskela believes the statistics help justify the growth pre-dictions for the APAC region. With up to 240 million people already using the Internet for business-to-consumer e-commerce functions, the business-to-business market can expect to benefit.
"Australia is already the largest spending environment in this part of the world," he said. Gartner's research also reveals Australian and New Zealand companies lead the region in e-commerce Web site development.
Respondents to a survey conducted on 150 companies in the two countries earlier this year revealed that over 30 per cent already have e-commerce implementation underway. Singapore came second with 20 per cent of companies developing e-commerce solutions, followed by Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, and Korea.
Meanwhile, worldwide business-to-business e-commerce spending will reach $800 billion in 2003 from 1999 levels of under $100 billion.