Saturday, December 24, 2005

Out on a limb - web predictions for 2006

No New Year's resolutions, just my thoughts on what's coming up on the web in the forthcoming year.

2006 will be the year for accessbility. I've been quietly saying that companies had better watch this space for nearly two years. In all that time, not one company took up our offer of a free accessibility audit of their website. Very soon, companies will have to start paying big time for such audits & the inevitable costly redesigns. Ignore this one at the peril of your profits.

2006 will also see online shopping go mainline for SMEs. My company is seeing increasing interest in online shops, even from one-man outfits who previously thought that their products we too specialist for such a venture. Critical mass has been reached to such an extent, that online shopping is no longer a news item. We hope we're well placed to service this trend with our implementation of the open source zen-cart shopping cart/store.

E-procurement (or online procurement) is another development that SMEs can no longer ignore. The pressure on local government, for example, to implement the Gershon cost cutting agenda means that councils and the like are keen to reduce back office costs. Processing purchases and sales can often cost more than the product itself - it can often cost about c.£45 to process a complete transaction. E-procurement promises to slash these costs to next to nothing, so all in local government are implementing e-procurement. This means only those suppliers geared up to handle e-transactions will be able to take a slice of local government action in the near future. Is your company e-enabled or can we help?
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