IDC: Australian technology lag is a good thing

Australia is still nine to 15 months behind the US in the technology race, but an IDC analyst says that could be a blessing in disguise.

IDC analyst Graham Penn said the US would continue to use Australia as a test market for technology initiatives in 2000.

"Things can be tried out here safely before they are rolled out in the US," he said.

Consequently, Australian technology companies would benefit from the experience of US-funded initiatives, resulting in new Australian products that would be locally competitive with the US product, he said.

"There are many examples of US dominance not necessarily translating to dominance here because people (here) have been able to adjust their strategies along the way to achieve a higher position than the equivalent US service," Penn said.

Penn also said Australian Internet companies could learn from the restructuring of many US "bricks and clicks" companies expected this year.

According to IDC's annual Predictions report for 2000, this year will see the "death" of pure ".com" companies. The report said it would become clear to dominant US companies that a strong presence would be needed both online non-online.

"We won't follow slavishly exactly what's previously happened in the US because we'll learn," Penn said.

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Byron Kaye

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