Fifty-five per cent of Australian companies are participating in the nation's $28 billion-a-year Internet economy, according to a new report launched by Cisco Systems.
Commissioned by the networking vendor as a survival tactic, it is hoped the report will counteract the slowdown in Internet uptake which resulted from last year's tech wreck. "We [Cisco] can't afford to let the poor perception of the Internet simmer away," said managing director for Cisco Australia and New Zealand, Terry Walsh.
The report is also good news for the IT channel, claims Walsh. He said it demonstrates that Australian industry is readily adopting Internet solutions to improve its competitive position.
According to the report, the Internet-related spend of $28 billion during 2000-01 equals 4.3 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP). This compares to Cisco's estimate of $US524 billion in the US Internet economy during 1999, or 5.6 per cent of its GDP.
Revenue in Australia will continue to increase in real terms to $49 billion per annum by 2003-04, or 6.7 per cent of GDP.
"The Internet economy is prospering in Australia. It is made up of real companies that make real products," said Kerry Barwise, director of The Allen Consulting Group and the report's author.
"Companies which have adopted Internet business tools are profitable and forecast substantially faster growth than their offline peers," said Barwise.
Sixty-two per cent of firms surveyed, regardless of size, said the Internet provides them with cost savings. A tenth of those said that the savings were 15 per cent or greater.