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Word Count: 1,170
IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS The Internet is the most significant development in Information Technology since the invention of the personal computer In business today the Internet is changing the fundamentals of how we conduct international business In the few short years of its existence the Internet has shown that despite security concerns and slow access speeds it can deliver on the long sought after goal of electronic commerce The main reasons for its stunning and rapid success are its ease of use low cost and extensive worldwide coverage No other system as ever comes close to delivering on these fundamentals There is now ample evidence that the Internet works and works very well in generating new business for companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries and business sectors Forrester research estimates that Internet commerce is in a period of hyper growth and will likely reach US 328 billion by the year 2002 a staggering increase over the current level of US8 billion Another IT research company IDC estimates that as Internet assisted sales could account for 2 of total world GDP by 2002 and as much as 5 for developed countries While these percentages are impressive in themselves it is the rapid growth that is attracting most attention to this new business tool Contrary to initial expectations business-to-business sales are far more significant than private consumer sales This follows the trends in hardcopy-based catalogue sales which are also dominated by the business-to-business sector The main products currently selling on the Internet are computer software and hardware office supplies consulting and research services Companies world-wide have recognized the business potential of the Internet and are getting connected to this network of networks by the millions Ernst and Young estimates that 95 of banks plan to use the Internet for information dissemination and 86 will have Internet-based transactions by 1999 Approximately 50 of US businesses
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