Dispatches: Net gains

Last month I referred to the reasons readers of Australian Reseller News gave for using the Internet. Mostly their responses involved better communications with customers and distributors. ComputerWorld readers -- with representatives from the end-user and consultant community -- nominated customer support, costs and research at the top of the bill.

While these responses don't necessarily represent the winners of the competition that collected this information, they are my personal favourites.

Technical support

Systems architect in a state bank:

"Easier access to product, technical information and support. Self help and access when you need it."

Customised information

From a year 2000 specialist in the Department of Defence:

"It gives me instant access to information around the world, including best practice, pitfalls and opinions relevant to my principal task -- the year 2000 audit."

Competitive advantage

From a Sydney-based consultant at Computer Science Corp:

"I can estimate the size of a platform in a few hours instead of weeks with fast access to manufacturers, specifications, decreasing our tendering costs dramatically."

Everything had changed -- information updatesFrom a sales consultant in Mackay, Qld: "I now receive daily morning news, personal mail, reminders, product updates, pricing sheets, leads, driver downloads, spec sheets, internal mail, and company profiles that I used to obtain by phone."


From a principal engineer at Telstra:

"I used to go to libraries or bookshops and spend hours searching for information for my projects. But now all information relating to my work can be obtained from the Internet."

My world gets smaller everyday

From a network manager at a coal mine in NSW:

"The Internet has increased the speed of information flowing through organisations, to the point where geography is no longer a barrier. The tyranny of distance has been conquered."

Crisis, what crisis?

From an IT headhunter at a recruitment agency:

"Increasing use of the Internet by candidates with their own Web pages. These can be browsed. Our home page posts jobs, and responses are received without waiting for media deadlines."

One salient note to end with -- in all likelihood by the time you read this article the electronic circulation of two of our key titles will have surpassed their paper circulations for the first time. The dam wall is cracking. Watch this space for more details.

Andrew Birmingham is the CIO of IDG Communications and is a former editor-in-chief of ComputerWorld andrew_birmingham@idg.com.au

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