The total value of goods/services traded over the internet will reach $8bn (#4.8bn) this year, but explode to around $327bn by 2002.
According to a Forrester Research report, Sizing Intercompany Commerce, "effective organisations must combine marketing and IT skills".
Forrester researched the e-commerce plans of 150 companies across 12 major industries, and interviewed executives at 63 businesses trading via the net. The report found that companies are using the net as a fourth channel, supplementing mail and phones with electronic ordering.
The report stated: "The 63 companies we found actively trading this year will sell $5bn in business-to-business goods and services via the internet.
This is 10 times higher than last year. They perceive value in cost savings, reduced order- processing time and better information flow."
However, companies are not using the net for end-to-end transactions.
"Completing transactions from order to payment and delivery yields more value than completing only one part of the process. But integrating front-end customer systems with back-end order-entry requires a major investment."
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