Isle of Man eBusiness News

The Isle of Man is working hard at making itself a Centre of Excellence when it comes to setting up a platform for doing eBusiness in a global marketplace. Check out the latest eBusiness news upate which talks about:

  • Innovations in Music Licensing
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Launch
  • PDMS relocating to Douglas and how the Isle of Man is a great environment for building your company
  • Spacecraft unveiling by Excalibur Alamaz

4 comments

  1. Sadly the Isle of Man won’t be a really great place for online ebusiness until the price of internet bandwidth and the price of server colocation comes down here. It’s still far too expensive.

    While ADSL is now cheap, the bandwidth you need for business (i.e. comes with decent upstream speeds and an SLA) remains at an extortionate price compared to the rest of the developed world. Things have improved (five years ago when the only choice was Manx Telecom, bandwidth here was a full order of magnitude more expensive than in the UK) but it’s still too expensive for many businesses to even consider us, especially when you then have to add on the cost of air fares or the Steam Racket if personnel need to travel at all.

    Just like getting manufacturing over here is a non-starter due to the high prices of the Steam Racket Company, getting online business over here (except certain types of business that other jurisdictions look down on, like gambling or tax dodging…sorry, tax avoidance) is not going to fly until something is done to get the bandwidth prices competitive with the United States. To really foster innovation, we need cheap, ubiquitous bandwidth.

  2. While I agree that bandwidth here is a tad more expensive than a new company would like it to be, you really have to look at the complete picture. I think you’ll find that bandwidth and hosting costs are a very tiny proportion of the cost of doing business.

    These costs, together with travel costs, cost of staff (which to me is more relevant than the first 2), cost of capital etc are all factored into the business plan that an entrepreneur should be putting together, to weight against benefits of the location, and against potential profits.

    The efforts of the eBusiness Division in Government have helped create an environment where a number of benefits exist to counter those costs. They help provide networking opportunities, information about local incentives and I believe there’s even a business incubator on Island. The legislation and taxation structures are certainly favourable to this sort of enterprise.

    btw, here’s a link to more about eBusiness in the Isle of Man

  3. In that case, are we really talking about ebusiness? When I think of ebusiness, I think of companies who are conducting the sort of business that wasn’t possible before the advent of broadband, things like the iTunes Music Store, Netflix on demand etc. – companies that need few people, don’t need masses of “floor space” but do use tremendous amounts of internet bandwidth.

    Other businesses aren’t really “e business”, i.e. replacing phone operators with web servers does not make for an e-business, it’s just mail order done more efficiently. (And the 2000 or so “internet bubble” was just that – at least the companies that are still around like Amazon, mail order done via the internet instead of sending an order form in the post or phoning someone up. These kind of businesses – well, we’re probably not the best suited for that either. We have very high land prices and very high staff prices compared to, say, India or even Scotland. Our bandwidth is also much more expensive than India’s too. So except for specialist types of business (read: more finance) I still don’t think it’ll fly in terms of “real e-business”, the type with low staff numbers who use a lot of bandwidth.

    Sure it’s a good thing if we attract more “traditional businesses” that have moved to using the internet as their primary communication media. But in that case, there is a severe case of “buzzword abuse” going on!

  4. Hmm, not sure I agree with your last comment. When I think eBusiness, streaming media certainly isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I’m more inclined to think Amazon type businesses, grown to replace traditional bricks and mortar organisations, just still requiring operational and logistic networks in place to service customer wants.

    I guess if you really look at the word, anything that can be done electronically will probably qualify as eBusiness!

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