In My Opinion

The Internet Economy generated an estimated $301.4 billion in U.S. revenues in 1998.

I continue to be amazed that some top executives of midsize and large companies still question what benefits are being derived from their information technology investments.

Since the theme of this year-end issue of CIO is "Decoding the Past. Inventing the Future," I thought it would be appropriate to provide some facts you can use to help demonstrate the power of IT and its role in the economy. Consider the following trends as you contemplate the value of your company's IT efforts.

Information technology industries have been growing at more than double the rate of the overall economy. They now represent 8.2 percent of GDP, up from 4.9 percent in 1985.

IT industries by themselves have driven more than one-quarter of total real economic growth on average (not including any indirect effects) over each of the last five years.

The Internet Economy, which consists of products and services ranging from electronic commerce to Internet infrastructure technology, generated an estimated $301.4 billion in U.S. revenues in 1998.

The average revenue per Internet Economy worker is about $250,000, or about 65 percent higher than their Industrial Age counterparts.

U.S. businesses will spend over $200 billion on Internet technology deployment by 2002, comprising 20 percent of technology spending, according to International Data Corp.

Without information technology, overall inflation would have been 3.1 percent in 1997, more than a full percentage point higher than the 2 percent it was.

Business-to-business e-commerce will rise to $1.3 trillion by 2003, according to Forrester Research Inc.

Those are just a few factoids you can use to point out to your friends, family and management that IT is where it's at. Have a happy and healthy holiday season. As always, I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Joseph L. Levy President and CEO, IDG Communications Inc.

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