23 May 2002 | Robin Parker
Businesses are rejecting the "quick-win" approach to e-commerce in favour of a pragmatic long-term approach, according to a new study.
More than a quarter of the 50 companies polled in the Conspectus survey by Prime Marketing Publications expect to make a return on investment in software in three to five years.
The pan-industry report claims that firms have overcome both an initial wave of e-commerce hype and subsequent pessimism to develop a mature attitude about precisely what they want from business-to-business software.
After realising some initial benefits, 62 per cent of firms were "more positive" about e-commerce than last year.
While two-thirds of companies still do less than a tenth of their business online, a third expect this figure to grow within two years.
Take-up of e-procurement applications is also expected to grow from half to three-quarters of businesses.
Pat Sweet, a research analyst and the author of the report, said firms are now fully aware of the benefits of e-commerce and were in a position to exploit them.
"Organisations are continuing to fund e-commerce initiatives, but have become much more hard-headed about what they want to achieve."
However, security fears, coupled with the cost of re-aligning business processes, were identified as a significant challenge by about two-thirds of firms.