Study: Manufacturers Top Internet Spenders

At $23 billion in 1998, discrete manufacturers will lead spending for Internet products, services, and internal staff, according to a study by International Data Corp., an information technology market research and consulting firm in Framingham, Mass.

The investments will be applied to Internet, intranet, and extranet applications, creating a total U.S. Internet economy of $124 billion considering all segments studied. Next among the top five industries will be communications/media, and banking, each with $15 billion; services with $10.9 billion; process manufacturing at $10 billion; and retail at $8.4 billion. Laggards among the 18 industry groups tracked were government and education with less than $2 billion in spending.

IDC forecasts the U.S. Internet economy -- the combination of spending to build Web businesses and applications and the revenue from products and services sold over the Internet -- to grow from $124 billion in 1998 to $518 billion in 2002. While technology deployment represents the lion's share, significant spending also is occurring for marketing, professional services, content creation, and education and training.

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