E-Business Scepticism Reigns in Southeast Asia

While the Internet has accelerated the pace of change and revolutionized the way that business is transacted, many organizations in Southeast Asia are still cautious and sceptical of the benefits that can be realized.

According to the study, Executive Guide to Enterprise E-Business Infrastructure in South Asia, by research organization Input Inc., 58 percent of senior IT executives surveyed felt that the Internet would not bring significant changes to their organization and the way it operates within the next 12 months.

And of those, 77 percent do not expect any significant impact even three years down the road.

"This mindset is a big problem," said Reid Rasmussen, Asia-Pacific managing director of Input. "Senior executives are taking a wait-and-see approach because nothing is happening immediately."He cautioned however, that Internet enabling is complex and difficult, and cannot be done overnight.

"People feel that they have time, and that IT should be tried and tested before being implemented," Rasmussen added. "But e-business is a global issue, and Asia cannot afford to trail the United States."The study also found that 23 percent do not have e-mail systems in place for their employees, and 30 percent do not have a Web site.

"This is remarkably high given that the survey involved larger organizations," said Rasmussen.

Three key concerns were identified as organizations look to build and develop their e-business infrastructure:-- security, especially regarding transactions-- uncertainty as to the impact e-business will have-- the lack of budget to get the required resources to implement a system.

The study urged organizations to immediately develop and implement an e-business strategy, look at third-party vendors that are able to provide the necessary skills, and integrate e-business into their overall business strategy. A total of 240 senior executives from organizations in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand were surveyed for the study.

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