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B2B transactions to hit $8.5 trillion

Business-to-Business electronic commerce transactions will reach $8.5 trillion worldwide by 2005, according to Gartner Group, which is predicting a growth rate of 81% for the next five consecutive years.<br><br>

Business-to-Business electronic commerce transactions will reach $8.5 trillion worldwide by 2005, according to Gartner Group.

The adoption of e-commerce will be more gradual than previously anticipated, but Gartner estimates indicate a growth rate of 81% for the next five consecutive years. Gartner’s e-business research director, Lauren Shu, said economic slowdown, stock market corrections, computer integration issues and resistance to automated business processes are the reason for the steadier rate of adoption.

“Reality has set in that the transition to Internet commerce is a long and difficult period. [Reaching] the inflection point is probably not realistic in any time frame,” Shu added.

WEFA, an economic forecasting group, predicts the economic slowdown will cause a 16% reduction in e-commerce transactions by 2005. While Gartner argues the effects while not be so severe with companies resorting to cost-cutting and efficiency measures rather than reducing purchases.

“What we’re hearing from end-users is that changing human behaviour and displacing face-to-face interactions is disruptive, it takes a lot of time,” commented Shu, on the study conducted with technology users, software vendors and vertical industries.

The integration of buyers and suppliers will also be helped by the emergence of companies building e-marketplaces, though the impact will not be immediate.

These marketplaces “involve greater technological sophistication, tighter integration, more human change management. Their impact will probably not be significant until 2003,” Shu predicted.

Gartner’s forecast doesn’t include sales over electronic data interchange and private networks; it counts the full value of a good each time it changes hands in a transaction.

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