Europe's adoption of electronic commerce is being held up by a 'wait and see' attitude, warns a report from a UK research firm.
According to UK research firm Romtec, European organisations have low expectations of the hard benefits from electronic commerce, and need to be persuaded to act strategically rather than defensively in response to it.
The Romtec study was presented to a European Commission workshop on the industrial aspects of electronic commerce.
?Electronic commerce is the most important change since the industrial revolution, and the majority of people say that electronic commerce will become the norm in 2001. But we need to define motivating factors? said Russ Nathan, managing director of Romtec.
Romtec's study found the penetration rate of usage of Internet-based electronic commerce by companies will rise to 47 per cent this year, compared to 29 per cent last year.
Across industries, business services account for the biggest percentage of organisations using Internet-based electronic commerce, with a usage level of 33 per cent compared to 14 per cent with finance.
Nathan said 15 per cent of services say security is a big concern, but only 8 per cent said the same of privacy, suggesting this is not preventing people from moving ahead with electronic commerce.
The study found that in Europe, Scandinavia leads electronic commerce application usage, while Spain, Portugal and Italy are fast catching up. Germany is set to overtake the UK and electronic commerce adoption in France is slow.
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