IDC: Aust technology lag is a good thing

- Australia is still nine to 15 months behind the US in the technology race, but one analyst says that could be a blessing in disguise.

International Data Corp's (IDC) Graham Penn said the US would continue to use Australia as a test market for technology initiatives in 2000.

`Things can be tried out here safely before they are rolled out in the US,' he said.

Consequently, Australian technology companies would benefit from the experience of US-funded initiatives, resulting in new Australian products that would be locally competitive with the US product, he said.

`There are many examples of US dominance not necessarily translating to dominance here because people [here] have been able to adjust their strategies along the way to achieve a higher position than the equivalent US service,' Penn said.

Penn also said Australian Internet companies could learn from the restructuring of many US `bricks and clicks' companies expected this year.

According to IDC's annual Predictions report for 2000, this year will see the `death' of pure `.com' companies. The report said it would become clear to dominant US companies that a strong presence would be needed both online and non-online.

`We won't follow slavishly exactly what's previously happened in the US because we'll learn,' Penn said.