Internet adoption in medium sized organizations signal the future for the majority of Canadian businesses. According to IDC, small organizations, which form the largest segment of all Canadian business tend to follow the IT adoption patterns of medium businesses, which in turn tend to follow the early

IT adoption rates of large firms.

In this trickle-down effect mid-size companies act as the bridge between the trend-setters and the majority of businesses in Canada. The Internet and ebusiness adoption and use among medium sized organizations signals what can be expected in the small business market over the next several years.

Over 80 per cent of medium sized business in Canada are connected to the Internet and slightly less then that have Web sites. Those firms that are engaged in selling on-line surprisingly see half of their sales from new customers.

Despite this encouraging sales trend, less than 20 per cent of all businesses in this segment are selling goods and services on-line and a slightly smaller per cent plan to do so in the near future. This conservative approach to adopting ebusiness within Canadian organizations equates to the majority of small and many mid-sized firms remaining stagnant in a ‘wait and see’ mode.

The trending pace of these firms is vital information to IT suppliers and manufacturers looking for new customers. As the number of large enterprises will remain relatively static in the near future, IT-related product and service providers look to the small and medium business segments for growth opportunity.

Canadian organizations will benefit from recognizing the potential business value to be had through use of the Internet and ebusiness. Engaging in ebusiness in Canada, small and medium sized organizations have the same competitive advantages and stand to benefit in much the same way as their larger counter-parts, in Canada and worldwide. As mid-sized firms continue to expand their adoption and use of the Internet the effect is likely to be felt throughout the Canadian business market as a whole.

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