B2B is on the Air

Study: 25 percent of B2B transactions wireless by 2003

Stamford, CT  September 13, 2001  According to a recent study by META Group, wireless and mobile transactions will account for nearly 20 percent of B2B transaction volume and 25 percent of business-to-consumer traffic by 2003.

"This year's study reveals that budget expenditures for wireless initiatives still represent a low percentage of overall [information technology] budgets," said report author Jack Gold, vice president in META Group's Web & Collaboration Strategies (WCS) advisory service. "Few companies are investing in wireless technologies for technology's sake. Rather, investments are being driven by specific enterprise projects that can be enabled by wireless and pervasive computing solutions."

Other key findings from the study, titled Wireless Adoption, Trends, and Issues, include:

§         Business-critical applications are driving wireless initiatives. In addition, most companies are looking for extensions to existing application infrastructure, versus a "build-up" of disparate application systems

§         Wireless planning processes are common in enterprises currently. Study results indicate that lines of business (LOBs) typically drive the demand and justification for wireless, while information technology (IT) leads the implementation process. However, LOBs do exert significant influence over choices made by the IT experts

§         Organizations with heavy use of pervasive devices by employees are more aggressive in implementing leading-edge wireless/mobile infrastructure components. This follows findings that the first priority of implementation is for business-to-employee (B2E) applications, because these applications deliver the most immediate productivity return for organizations

§         Users want suppliers to deliver business value  not just technology. Many companies require education on the pros and cons of the technology, as well as proven supplier track records and expertise in their respective industries. Customers also expect suppliers to take responsibility for ensuring their products and services work as promised in actual implementations

§         Pervasive device preferences will be in great flux during the next two to three years, with no single dominant form factor. Suppliers must be prepared to support many form factors, including more feature-based smart phones, PDA devices, and notebooks.

"We expect the ultimate recovery of the economy to re-ignite interest in wireless technologies," added Gold. "In the meantime, the next couple of years will be a 'go slow' time for most organizations, as pilots are deployed, rather than full production systems that enable a large number of users."