The rapid evolution of the Internet from an information sharing and gathering medium to transaction-based processing is becoming a headache for many Australian IT staff, according to a recent International Data (IDC) report.
According to the report entitled "The Australian E-commerce Market: Analysis and Opportunities," advances in the Internet and electronic commerce have "forced the IT departments in many Australia companies to take responsibility for an area in which they have little expertise."
Tim Sheedy, IDC market analyst, Internet and networking said, "In many Australian organisations, the IT department is ultimately responsible for the Web site content -- an interesting task for departments that have had very little, if any, role in the content side of business before."
Sheedy said, unlike companies in the US, the control of and responsibility relating to Web sites is still in the hands of the IT department instead of management and marketing departments.
According to Sheedy, although Australian companies have one of the highest rates of Web access in the world, the use of e-commerce is still far from becoming an "openly accepted method of conducting business."
He said, "The seeds are currently being sown and the long-term opportunities will be worth the wait."
Sheedy also said that with the percentage of Internet-enabled PCs within organisations expected to rise to 52.6% by the end of 1998, e-commerce opportunities will increase and management will begin to take responsibility for their Web sites.
"This increases the opportunity for organisations that are selling on or across the Web, as they have a larger potential market," Sheedy said.