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Study: Senior Executives More Comfortable With The Web

Senior executives in the world's major markets are going online more often, and are becoming more comfortable using the Internet, according to an Andersen Consulting survey of more than 1,700 leaders of some of the world's largest companies and government organizations. The worldwide comparison of executive's use of the Web in 1998 vs 1997 also shows that geographical gaps in access have narrowed, driven by a large number of senior executives in countries such as Australia, Spain, and the UK becoming wired to the 'Net and venturing online more frequently. "This increased Web usage may spur the worldwide senior-level support that is required for the rapid expansion of global electronic commerce," says C. Rudy Puryear, global managing partner, electronic commerce. Globally, Internet access enjoyed by CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs increased slightly: 92% had Web access in 1998, compared with 90% in 1997, the study found. Of those with access, 83% went online at least once a week in 1998, compared with 71% in 1997. Half of all executives "feel comfortable" online, up from a third in 1997. While more Japanese senior executives are going online once a week (81% in 1998, up from 72% in 1997), they continue to be the least comfortable in using the Web and rarely shop for goods online; 15% of Japanese executives expressed comfort and familiarity in using the 'Net, and only 13% have shopped on the Web. In comparison, almost two-thirds of American executives have shopped for goods online, significantly higher than the global average of nearly 50%. Overall, Canadian corporate executives are the most connected to the Web, followed by executives in the U.S., the UK, Australia, France, and Spain. Japan and Germany have the lowest senior executive Web access, and are the only countries surveyed with executive Web access rates lower than 90% (72% and 82%, respectively). Compared to their peers around the world, German executives are least likely to go online (66% once a week in 1998.)

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