IT managers are split down the middle as to whether recent fatalities among dotcom start-up operations provide an opportunity for conventional business to steal a lead.
The difference of opinion is typified by those who argue that conventional business will always come out on top anyway and those who view e-commerce as a new business life-form, with different rules.
The first view is typified by the IT manager who believes the collapse of embryonic dotcoms was inevitable.
"The dotcoms did not have the logistics, management or systems to survive. The established companies have waited, piloted their Internet systems and are now ready to move with a bricks-and-mortar Internet solution that will provide the consumer with the best of all worlds," one IT manager said.
The opposite point of view regards the lead as having been stolen by companies bright enough to exploit opportunities.
"These are more likely to be realistically-funded e-companies with a good product that can be sold over the Internet," said another IT manager.
The overall perspective seems to be that the dotcom downturn has levelled the e-commerce playing field with the new restrictions on access to capital for many of the dotcoms speeding up that process.
This was first published in May 2000