UK businesses are vying with the US in ebusiness adoption, contrary to popular belief, a new survey has revealed.
According to a report conducted by Mori for enterprise software company Intentia, Europe, in particular the UK, is not far behind the US in the basic uses of the Internet such as communication with customers and suppliers, promoting products and services and recruitment. It also showed that US companies are only slightly ahead in the use of the Internet for buying and selling products and services and financial transactions.
The report included 702 board level directors responsible for ebusiness or business development strategy in manufacturing, retail and wholesales sectors across the US and Europe.
The survey showed that the ebusiness market is on the verge of a massive explosion, forecasting total "e-sales" averaging 13 per cent of total sales. This is equivalent to $271 billion in two years' time.
UK companies forecast e-sales averaging 15 per cent of total sales, equivalent to $65 billion and almost five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP)
Stephen Thornton, consultancy director for Intentia UK commented: "We've found that with a lot of our customers, the Year 2000 discussion is over and it's all about ebusiness. We're seeing the start of a boom now and the UK is ready for it," he said.
However, while ebusiness is set to become a major competitive weapon, the research showed that UK companies, like their counterparts in the US and the rest of Europe, believe there are some major barriers to the development of ebusiness.
Of all those surveyed, 39 per cent of companies believe that waiting for customers and suppliers to adopt the e-technology rather than security is now the main barrier.
But specific aspects of security still remain a concern, the survey found. 68 per cent of UK companies (69 per cent of US) expressed concerns over the security of financial transactions, and 61 per cent of UK firms (US 62 per cent) have worries over competitors accessing authorised information.
However, the biggest worry for UK companies is computer viruses, with 80 per cent of UK companies expressing concern (US 71 per cent).
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