Hosting is hot as ASP market takes off

The worldwide ASP (application service provider) hosting market will grow at 62.3 per cent annually to reach a total value of $US2.5 billion by 2004, up from $US380 million in 2000, according to a study released recently by market analyst Gartner Group. Hosting will account for about 10 per cent of a total ASP market of $US25.3 billion in 2004, according to Gartner estimates.

ASPs depend on reliable and high-performance networks to deliver their service to customers, and this puts the Internet hosting players, whose core strength is network infrastructure, in a strong position to play a leading role in this market, ASP hosting provides many challenges and risks, but for many the carriers the possible rewards in this segment outweigh the risks involved, Gartner analysts explained.

Bluetooth needs security from device vendorsGartner Group calls it the Supranet: the wireless connection of data and transactions between the hard-wire Internet, wireless devices such as phones and handheld devices, and the "papernet" - the physical world of business cards, legal documents and tangible objects. The three dimensions and the upcoming seamless connection of the dimensions will deliver a whole host of new technologies, and one of the first integral technologies tied to the Supranet, is Bluetooth.

According to Gartner, by 2004 70 per cent of new cell phones and 40 per cent of new personal digital assistants will use wireless technology for direct access to Web content and enterprise networks. Gartner says that Bluetooth is set to become a defining force in portable devices, but products using Bluetooth must develop with security in mind.

B2B online trade to turnover trillions

Business-to-business (B2B) commerce will experience astounding growth over the next five years, rising to $US6300 billion in 2005 from $US336 billion this year, according to a study from Jupiter Research. Jupiter predicts that online supply chains will dominate the B2B commerce landscape and advises businesses to boldly adopt new models for buying and selling as online B2B commerce swells from three per cent to 42 per cent of total B2B domestic trade over the next five years.

"The online trading tidal wave is about to sweep across US business, and the companies that don't invest now will end up struggling to keep their heads about water," a Jupiter analyst claimed. "We expect unified, online supply chains to become the norm, and companies that don't invest aggressively to build or participate will be unable to complete effectively."

Web is not quite as dull as that Dome

The Internet has gone from revolution-in-the-making to over-promoted fad and now is just boring, according to a survey released recently in the United Kingdom. The survey was conducted for Internet service provider MSN and found that people are being turned off by what they see as Internet hype. One-fifth of those questioned said they were sick of hearing exaggerated claims about the way Internet will change their lives, and were bored by tales of the get-rich-quick lifestyles of young dot-com millionaires.

Although respondents thought the Net was boring, the survey revealed that it was not the dullest thing imaginable. That description was reserved for the Millenium Dome.

The survey questioned 1000 people to find out how attitudes to the net were changing. It revealed that 21 per cent of those responding, were now getting bored by publicity for anything to do with the Internet. The majority of those surveyed -- 62 per cent -- thought that the phrase dot-com was wearing thin, and 66 per cent did not want to hear any more stories about 20-something millionaires who have made their money with the Web.

Net retailers are easy theft targets

Online retailers in the U.K. are easy pickings for credit card thefts, according to a survey published by Experian Information Solutions. Lack of online fraud detection systems and a police force that is unequipped to handle the new technology are two reasons why those engaging in credit card fraud are easily stealing information from UK Web sites, an Experian spokesman said. According to two-thirds of the survey respondents, it took more than a month before online credit card crime was detected. Furthermore, in 40 per cent of cases, the criminal had struck the same site more than once before disappearing, Experian found. A whopping nine of every 10 online credit card criminals get away with their illegal activity and, to add insult to injury, put very little effort into covering up their tracks, the survey revealed.

Business leaders concerned about performanceThough winners in e-business, the quarterbacks of America's fastest growing companies are uneasy at the prospect of looking at their game replays - concerned that early on they didn't adequately explore all the varied options, risks, uncertainties, interdependencies and related issues. Anxious about possible shortcomings, they will be compensating with a sophisticated new e-business attacking plan for next year. A host of needed improvements have been identified, led by better marketing and business planning according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' latest Trendsetter Barometer.

E-Business has been a winner for the 74 per cent of America's fastest growing companies that have already embraced it. This includes the 42 per cent transacting direct sales over the Net, who expect to generate 12 per cent of this year's revenues online; and the additional 32 per cent that will achieve almost 17 per cent of their revenue from showcasing their wares online, and completing the final sale offline.

But, even with this high level of participation and revenue coming in, discomfort is rife. When they look back at the portfolio of enabling projects and processes for their e-business, 69 per cent of Trendsetter CEOs cited important concerns. Overall, their greatest heartburn, mentioned by 43 per cent, lies in not fully exploring the options available at the time of launch. Next in importance is a concern about not having fully delved into the related risks and uncertainties, mentioned by 34 per cent. This is followed by not having a good way of valuing e-business projects (31 per cent); not adequately addressing the needs of their customers (26 per cent); and not monitoring their e-business enabling portfolio adequately or often enough (25 per cent). In each instance, those with concerns in service businesses outnumber their counterparts in the product sector.

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