RealTime IT News

Survey: Australian IT Managers Pessimistic About Net

A survey of delegates to a conference in Queensland last weekend showed that Australia still lags the US in confidence about electronic commerce, and about the speed and secuirty of the Internet.

John McCarthy, group director of research of Forrester Research, conducted the survey after his keynote speech on transactive content at the Open Systems Forum, the annual networking conference held by systems integrator Com Tech at Coolum, Queensland.

The survey included around 180 customers of Com Tech, comprising network managers and CIOs from some of Australia's largest enterprises. They responded that lack of co-ordination between departments was the biggest challenge in implementing an Internet commerce strategy, with 41 percent of the vote.

Lack of management support was next at 23 percent, followed by funding woes (13), shortfalls in customer demand (12) and technology hurdles (11). On the question of the perceptions of the Internet's speed, 69 percent of delegates responded that it was too slow, 24 said it was "just OK", and eight percent maintained it was fast enough or very fast.

This differs markedly from a similar survey conducted by Forrester at a forum held in Chicago earlier this year, in which only 33 percent disparaged the Net as too slow, 51 percent said it was OK, and 16 percent called it fast.

This division was echoed in a question about security. 73 percent of Australian delegates said the Net was not secure, 26 percent said it was secure enough, and only one of the 174 polled said it was very secure. In contrast, only 40 percent of the Chicago attendees said the Net was not secure, with 55 percent declaring it safe and five percent going so far as to say it was very secure.

One bright point was that 65 percent of Com Tech respondents said they would be spending more than half a million Australian dollars (US$292,000) on Internet initiatives in 2000, more than doubling the figure of 31 percent for the current year.