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(Hamilton, Bermuda, July 22nd, 2004) – The Bermuda Government’s Department of E-Commerce has released research that shows e-business has a strong position in both the existing plans and future visions of Bermuda-based companies.

“For companies outside Bermuda who might be looking for a jurisdiction in which to establish an e-commerce presence, this is good news,” says Nigel Hickson, E-Commerce Consultant with the Department. “A strong local demand for the skills, the infrastructure, and the regulatory environment that supports e-commerce is good for international companies, whether they are already doing business in Bermuda or thinking of establishing here.”

In the next two to three years, one-third of Bermuda-based local and international businesses were thinking that e-commerce will have a considerable-to-overwhelming impact on their organisations. In fact, 81% are somewhat or very interested in learning more about e-business opportunities in Bermuda. And 95% of companies surveyed have e-mail with internet access, an increase of 3% over those surveyed in 2002.

The research, which was commissioned by the Department of E-Commerce and conducted by Bermuda research firm Research.bm, took place in February 2004. Its aim was to find information on the deployment of e-business techniques within the business community, and compare it to the results from a 2002 e-business survey. In addition to being a benchmarking exercise, the 2004 assessment sought to understand:

• current levels of e-business implementation;
• key motivators driving the adoption of e-business technologies;
• the impact of e-business technologies on organisations;
• impediments to the present and future deployment of e-business technologies in organisations; and
• awareness of the sources of information in the community, including the Government and consulting services.

Analysis of the resulting data will assist in developing the Bermuda Government’s E-Business Action Plan, as recommended in an E-Business Green Paper presented to Bermuda’s Parliament in December 2003. The information will assist in framing policy and developing strategies to promote e-business adoption throughout the community.

Other findings of the research include:
• 56% say e-business will moderately or overwhelmingly impact their organisation
• 54% use remote access devices (PDAs / laptops) for employees
• 54% use an intranet for sharing information within the company
• 34% use electronic payment techniques
• 58% use only broadband internet
• 28% said lack of customer demand was the most significant barrier to e-business
• Keeping up with the competition (35%) and improving internal efficiency (31%) were very influential in a company’s decision to integrate e-business tools
• 37% have experienced greater efficiency by adopting e-business tools
• 43% said that the quality of advice given by business organisations in Bermuda was excellent or good.

The Hon. Michael J. Scott, JP, MP, Minister of Telecommunications and E-Commerce says: “It is exciting to see how many Bermuda companies are using e-business within their organisations. This is excellent news for Bermuda and for those companies looking for a switched on location for their e-business platforms. We will use this data to help us develop the e-business action plan and in framing policies to better support Bermuda businesses in their e-business developments.”

Members of the public may obtain a copy of the report at the Government’s e-business web site www.bermuda-ebusiness.bm or from the Department of E-Commerce in the F.B. Perry Building, 40 Church Street, Hamilton.

Research.bm conducted the survey by phone with 500 randomly selected telecommunications decision makers from key Bermuda business sectors between February 2nd and 27th, 2004.
- ends –

Notes to Editors
The survey has a margin of error of +/-2.69% 19 times out of 20.

Media Contact: Elizabeth Tee/Erin Ferguson
Troncossi Public Relations
Telephone: 1-441-292-5838
Email: liz@troncossi.bm

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd July 2004