E-commerce different in 2006: Gartner

E-commerce different in 2006: Gartner

Micro-commerce is the next phase of online business models and IT systems will need capabilities to handle smaller, high-volume sales of consumer items.

During 2006, consumers will spend more 'loose change' online for purchases of small, downloadable items like ring tones and pictures paid for through PayPal accounts.

The micro commerce element of mobile telephony will leach into the online business model by 2006, according to Gartner senior vice president Bob Hayward, and consumers will expect to pay for small services or products online in a similar way.

"Today, it is just not practical to spend just 20 cents on the Internet, but in the near future these payments will have to be supported," Hayward said, adding that systems will be put in place to support transactions under $5.

"If you are not interested in paying $30 to subscribe to a newspaper online, the business model should support you paying just a few cents to access one particular column," he said.

Hayward's assessment is part of a presentation to be delivered at the Gartner Symposium from November 15 to 18, entitled Top 10 Tactical Technologies.

Hayward predicts the other nine will be virtualization, grid computing, software as a service, ubiquitous computing, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, location aware services, Linux in the mission-critical space, instant messaging for the enterprise and information access and meta data.

Linux use in the enterprise space is expected to ramp up during the next year as perceived issues with support and licensing has matured.

Hayward said Linux on the desktop isn't here yet but it has gained traction in the server environment.

"It is a two horse race for new servers in the market - Linux and Windows," Hayward said.

Software as a service model

Gartner vice president Bob Hayward said larger companies today are less likely to consider following a "software as a service" model because of existing infrastructure.

But, he said, it is ideal for smaller companies. "The difference with large companies is they cannot adopt their own processes and do not see software as a service as attractive because it costs them the ability to customize generic applications," he said.

Hayward added that licensing issues bought on by virtualization, dual core processors and grid computing experiments is putting the stress on vendors for appropriate software licensing, and forcing major software vendors to seriously consider worldwide fixed pricing.

"Look at, which pretty much gave Siebel a bloody nose through charging customers based on actual usage metrics - this is going to become much more widely accepted."

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