Web commerce sites growing rapidly, says IDC

Commercial World Wide Web sites grew to number more than 45,000 in 1996 and will reach 100,000 by 2000, according to new research from International Data Corp. (IDC). Last year was also the start of a move aware from 'brochureware' to more dynamic sites, says the resarch firm. The price of that transition has been far bigger budgets.

Commercial World Wide Web sites grew to number more than 45,000 in 1996 and will reach 100,000 by 2000, according to new research from International Data Corp. (IDC).

The study reveals the number of commercial sites on the Web is doubling every six months, with sites devoted to technically oriented businesses, information-intensive product lines, and time-sensitive products such as financial information leading the charge.

"In 1996 ... businesses began to move away from a brochureware site to a dynamic, page-generation, extended infrastructure site," according to Michael Sullivan-Trainor, director of IDC's Internet program. Last year, this transition boosted investment requirements, causing the price of highly functional commerce sites to rise to more than US$1 million per implementation, a prohibitive price for mainstream users, according to the research.

But now, packaged software products are rapidly bringing down the price point to less than $30,000 for a highly functional site and less that $5000 for a low-function offering. IDC predicts that these tools will help to fuel commercial Web site growth as businesses look to enhance their site capabilities.

High-profile sites, including those from Cisco Systems and Dell Computer, generate anywhere from $100,000 to $70 million a year in online business, according to IDC.

In 1997 and for the next few years, the next step for many companies is deployment of Web technology as an extension of legacy applications and databases, to allow high-level business processes and transactions to occur over the Internet, according to the study.

The full report, "Corporate Concerns: Internet Market Makers," is available for purchase from IDC. Additional information can also be obtained at http://www.idcresearch.com/.

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