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.

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