E-Commerce Focus: Don't do DIY - Datamonitor

While SMEs scramble to install e-commerce software systems, industry analyst Datamonitor warns against DIY solutions.

In its report, e-commerce software, Datamonitor suggests the UK will continue to appease its ravenous appetite for Internet connectivity and concedes that for many larger organisations setting up an e-commerce system is a relatively small expense - particularly if the hardware infrastructure is already in place. But Martin Gollogly - Senior Analyst at Datamonitor warns SMEs to avoid trying to set up systems on their own. "SMEs generally have low IT skill levels and should therefor look to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host a server," he says. "If they do it themselves they have to tackle a very steep learning curve and unless they're doing software publishing or similar, where expertise is already present, they'll require massive skill levels." He adds: "Even if they did try to catch up using their own staff they may miss the boat."

Gollogly believes smaller organisations should look to ISPs to set up e-commerce systems to avoid complex relationships between designers, trusted third parties and banks. "If a small company wants to try and set up its own e-commerce system it can expect to spend a lot of time and money getting it right."

Getting it right, says Gollogly. Is also the responsibility of the organisations that promote the use of the Internet as a place to spend money. He says it is imperative that organisations planning marketing campaigns to promote the Internet concentrate on dispelling consumers' security fears which could seriously affect the growth of e-commerce. "The larger companies will innevitably take on that responsibility," he says "and as a result it will be much more difficult for the smaller software firms to make themselves known. They simply don't have the marketing budget."