According to research analysts GartnerGroup, Australia faces a difficult future in the growth and adoption of e-commerce in the next five years.
The Asia-Pacific region is facing more inhibitors to e-business than accelerators, claims New York-based Patrick Meehan, GartnerGroup research director. Meehan says that a lack of legal framework in most markets has stifled the financial sector's support while high networking costs and a lack of settlement facilities has also slowed the market.
However, e-business has received a surprising boost from the year 2000 problem with managers deploying Y2K compliant systems which are driving e-commerce understanding in the marketplace, says Meehan.
Meehan and several other key GartnerGroup researchers are in Australia for the company's Electronic Commerce '99 conference held in Sydney this week.
"There is a tidal wave heading for Australia," said Joseph Sweeney, GartnerGroup research director. He claims the most ambiguous issue facing Australia's e-commerce development will be the arrival of venture capitalists, a trend which he says is evident in Asia already.
However, Sweeney highlighted an overall skill shortage, a lack of government leadership and the readying of backend systems to enable settlement facilities as issues facing Australia's push into an e-commerce environment.
While Sweeney claims technology will drive electronic commerce in Australia, Victor Wheatman, GartnerGroup's RAS vice president and research director, points to new technologies in certificate authorities which look to develop an illusive online sense of "trust" between merchants and consumers. He says that despite lingering doubts, 80 per cent of businesses will trial one or more vendors' certificate-authority solutions between 1999 and 2003.