There should be no shortage of opportunities for resellers in the coming year as 46 per cent of companies interviewed by IDC expect to increase their IT spending.
And again, in what seems to be something of a recurring theme, the news is even better in the small-business arena where 54 per cent of companies will increase their IT spend.
"There are plenty of opportunities out there in the small-business market right now," said Chris Fell, vice president and managing director of IDC Australia/New Zealand, at last week's direction '99 briefing.
As Australians drive towards enabling their businesses in the new Internet economy, significant opportunities for the channel and vendors will be presented.
However, it needs to be understood that rather than dealing with a traditional IS manager, resellers are likely to be selling to a new breed of decision maker - "the Internet executive".
"As the Web penetrates the fabric of an organisation, we are seeing increasing emergence of the Internet executive. They have a different mindset, they're likely to take greater risks nd they are early adopters of technology," Fell said.
The new customer needs were; increased yields, global 24 x 7 support and internationalised products, lower Web maintenance costs, and the ability to integrate the virtual and real business worlds.
The other startling fact was that most businesses were actually more confused about the partners they would team up with in the information economy. More than 50 per cent of users didn't have a primary supplier or didn't know who it was.