Around nine out of ten companies in the US (93%) and UK (86%) are now using the internet for activities such as CRM, marketing, order fulfilment and sales, according to research by Taylor Nelson Sofres Information Technology.
By contrast 60% in Japan and only 36% in France are using the internet as a marketing channel or customer service mechanism. And similar results are found for internet usage across key internal business functions such as employee schedule management, knowledge management, supply chain management and training, with companies in Denmark, France, Japan and Singapore reporting fewer internal uses of internet applications (using 2 or 3) than their UK and US counterparts (having an average of five internet applications in daily use). These applications included CRM, e-mail, knowledge management, employee schedule management, marketing, order fulfilment, selling, supply chain management, training, and wireless internet access.
These findings suggest that the US and UK have developed a more comprehensive use of the internet for a wider range of applications by investing more heavily in e-solutions in recent years.
Chandra Chaterji, Senior Vice President, Taylor Nelson Sofres Information Technology said that their findings show that some markets (the UK and US) have clearly been much faster than others in realising the potential of the internet for business applications other than email. "Nonetheless," he comments, "there seems to be a realisation in markets like Japan, France and elsewhere that investment in e-solutions has lagged behind, and there is a need to start exploring the full potential of online applications."