RealTime IT News

The Forrester Through the Trees

[Toronto, ONTARIO] If you thought famed director Stanley Kubrick's vision of the year 2001 was a tad wild, you'll be shocked to learn of the odyssey today's tech-savvy analysts are predicting for the year 2005.

According to Stuart D. Woodring, vice president of Research for Emerging Internet Economies at Forrester Research Inc., "By 2005, transacting business online will feel as natural as picking up the phone to call a supplier or hopping into a cab to visit a customer."

It would seem awfully far-fetched, if not for the findings of a new report from Forrester Research, an independent Internet research firm. According to the study, $272-billion (CDN) of the total $1.54-trillion (CDN) in B2B trade conducted in Canada will be transacted online in 2005, representing 18 percent of all B2B transactions.

On a provincial basis, Ontario and Quebec will emerge as online leaders, accounting for $193-billion (CDN) of total transactions. And more than 92 percent of Canada's online B2B trade will occur in four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. Second only to Michigan in North American automotive manufacturing, Ontario will see $69-billion (CDN) of motor vehicle trade shift online by 2005. Twenty-nine percent of Quebec's total online B2B trade will flow through its computing and electronics supply chains. Alberta's online petrochemical trade will hit $23-billion (CDN) by 2005, and adoption of online B2B trade by electronics and automotive firms will account for 45 percent of British Columbia's 2005 online B2B trade.

Thanks to Canada's strong relationship with the U.S. auto industry, the nation's automotive supply chain will sell $91-billion (CDN) online, with petrochemicals generating $46-billion (CDN). By 2005, 40 percent of Canadian computing and electronics trade will venture online, followed by maintenance, repair, and operations supply chains, which will account for 24 percent of trade in paper and office products. Shipping and warehousing firms will help drive $13-billion (CDN) in online trade by 2005, while food and agriculture face slow adoption with only $12-billion (CDN).

Nevertheless, just as Stanley Kubrick's predictions often missed the mark, the Forrester report shows that only 16 percent of Canadian companies currently have a clear B2B strategy - all of which makes the future open to interpretation.