Page 3: The new economy
It has become fashionable to talk about the new economy; e.g. the modern day economy based on the transformational power of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). In the UK, the second half of 1999 was characterised by the arrival of .com companies in a big way. Investors rushed to put their money into companies like lastminute.com which uses the medium of the Internet to bring together last minute buyers and sellers of items as diverse as theatre tickets and package holidays.
By Spring 2000 the investing city’s and the public’s honeymoon with the .coms was over, as people realised that only a relatively small number of these companies would succeed in a competitive world. The real revolution was actually taking place in the old economy. Long-established companies like banks, insurance companies, car manufacturers and retailers were using e-business to develop new links with their customers.
Research carried out by IBM shows that Internet access in Europe will increasingly be via a range of devices and not limited to the PC. Mobile applications are becoming a major driver and enabler of e-business in Europe, which according to some observers is as much as two years ahead of the US on digital mobile technology. IBM customers in Europe are therefore seeking support in building the best possible links with their own customers drawing on IBM’s extensive experience in this field. The key question being asked by IBM’s business customers is: 'How can we best communicate and meet the requirements of our customers, employees, vendors and suppliers using the latest e-business technology?'