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Gartner urges IPO patience

Gartner urges IPO patience

Gartner has warned capital-starved IT startups to refrain from racing down the IPO path and argued for the adoption of more stable, non-listed growth periods.

Speaking at a media preview of its E-Business 2000 conference in Sydney this week, Gartner's senior vice president of Asia-Pacific operations, Bob Hayward, poured cold water on the stock price dream.

"The ASX is just too easy, it provides startups with dumb money and traps them in prospectus forecasts," he said.

Amid claims that the "new economy" is merely a more efficient version of the "old economy", Hayward explained some of the intricacies associated with the brave new world of e-business.

Gartner's analysts predict that it will become increasingly difficult to distinguish between IT strategy and general business strategy as e-business becomes the central focus of business methods.

Gartner analysts are also set to signal an increase in collaborative commerce, with a sharp growth in online B2B services and partnerships. Hayward explained the need for business in the Asia-Pacific region to "open the kimono", and share information in order to survive. "Business will have to accept that 80 per cent is good enough and get moving, when it comes to B2B services," he said.

According to Hayward, those companies that can launch e-business strategies and services quickly and become involved in a process of constant innovation, are those most likely to survive in an atmosphere of increasing consolidation. "It's better to shoot yourself in the foot than to be shot in the head by another," Hayward explained, describing the rush into e-business as "normal business on steroids", resulting in marked improvements in supply chain and inventory efficiency.

Although Gartner remains upbeat about the prospects of e-business innovations, and is encouraging a climate of risk-taking and innovation, it predicts that 80 per cent of Australian dotcoms will fail by the year 2003.

E-Business 2000 will feature over 20 sessions covering a wide selection of business and technology issues, including case studies, Gartner's E-Business opportunity/Threat Model and technology education sessions. http://www.gartner.com/events


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