Opportunities abound for Australian resellers who can adapt to the burgeoning e-commerce and Internet markets, according to John Gantz, senior vice president of IDC.
Speaking at IDC's inaugural Asia-Pacific IT Forum last week, Gantz said there is a pent up demand from customers for Web-based applications, but the spending patterns on Web technology deployment are different than the spending patterns for general IT.
Business needs, including marketing, sales and new business strategies, are driving this Web application development, Gantz said. "If you're going to automate your customers it's not going to be a computer guy who decides to do that, it will be the person who has control of the customer relationship." Gantz added that vendors will have to change the mix of business partners they have, as pressure to create new networking services increases.
"All the assumptions we make about our planning or allocating our internal resources for marketing, technical specialists, advertising budgets, or sales quotas, have to be different if we're selling Web-enabled products."
But while this could see an increase in vendors bypassing the channel and going direct, Gantz claimed there is room for all players.
"There'll be an infinite demand for services and support around these applications. There'll be guidance and probably also an infinite amount of storage in mips capacity, which will have to be sold in these applications.
"IT has to be a competitive advantage, rather than just a cost setter for organisations," he said. "That's one of the fundamental drivers for adopting Web technology, the fact that you can affect an entire enterprise with an application you can develop in less than three months."
"We'll get to the point within the next five years, where $1 invested in a Web site generates $2-3 in receipts, per buyer."
Based on IDC research, spending in the Asia-Pacific IT market, including Japan, is set to rise from "about $US7.5 billion this year to about $US57.1 billion in the year 2002", Gantz said.
"So if you don't see an opportunity in there for creating wealth for your company, and therefore for yourself, I'd be very surprised."