-- Internet services, Java and enterprise applications are fuelling the Internet and intranet market, which is expected to grow to $US562 billion by 2002, according to a British researcher.
Internet and intranet-related expenditure totalled about $US80 billion in 1997, according to market researcher Input. Of the $US562 billion projected for 2002, about $US300 billion will be in software and services.
"This information illustrates the growing reach of the Internet/intranet markets and emphasises the increasing importance of Web technology in a myriad of business and consumer applications," said John Willmott, director of research at Input.
Last year, North America accounted for 70 per cent of the worldwide Internet/intranet market, Europe 18 per cent, Asia-Pacific for 11 per cent and the rest of the world for 1 per cent, according to Input. Those figures will shift by 2002, with North America taking 59 per cent of the market share, Europe 21 per cent, Asia-Pacific 18 per cent and the rest of the world 2 per cent, Input estimates.
Currently, the five largest Internet/intranet markets are the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, and France, said Input spokeswoman Katherine Chalmers.
"The US is responsible for a large percentage of the Internet and intranets markets, and that will continue. However, we are seeing rapid growth outside the US, with other countries growing at a faster rate," said Chalmers. "The Internet is becoming ubiquitous."
Companies are investing in database and commerce applications, as well as Internet-based VPN (virtual private network) services, Input said in its report Internet and Intranet Market Forecast Worldwide 1997-2002.
They also are investing in applications that allow them to integrate their EDI (electronic data interchange) and VPN networks into their Internet/intranet infrastructure to link company branches, mobile workers, suppliers and customers, the study said.
Enterprise applications will continue to be integrated with the intranet environment over the next five years as intranet use grows, Input said. In the US and in Europe, 50 per cent of large organisations have an intranet, compared with 15 per cent in 1996. Intranet-based knowledge management applications will be one of the fastest growing applications segments over the next five years.
In the application software and development tools market, Java is having a strong impact, Input said. The number of developers using Java, currently about 400,000, is growing at a higher rate than the number of developers using C++ or Visual Basics. Almost all the development tools in use today will feature Java support within two years, Input predicted.
The researcher's market forecasts are based on ongoing data collection and analysis conducted by Input analysts who follow the industry throughout the year, Chalmers said.