CD-ROMs not just fun

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 March, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 March, 1995, 12:00am

EVERY home PC user who has played Myst and designer who has accessed an enormous font library knows the value of CD-ROMs and would now never think of owning a PC without one.

But in the business market CD-ROMs have been relatively slow to gain popularity, probably because most budget-setters in big corporations find it difficult to justify wide-spread CD-ROM installation.

But a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found the uptake of CD-ROM technology in the business sector is likely to increase to the point where more than 70 per cent of large multi-national companies will have the technology in place by 1996.

The EIU surveyed 400 customers of the Economist magazine group and also found that by next year more than 90 per cent of libraries and 80 per cent of government institutions will have adopted CD-ROM.

The results of the survey coincided with the release in February of several new CD-ROM products designed to provide information on key countries and markets.

The Country Forecasts on Disc series gives long-term economic, political and business outlooks, including quantitative and qualitative analysis for the Americas, Asia-Pacific region, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Country Forecasts on Disc is updated every month and includes information and statistics from January 1993 to the present day.

Recently, the EIU also released Country Reports on Disc, another CD-ROM series which contains archive and current analysis of economic, political and business environments in 196 countries.

The series is also updated every month with information from January 1993 to the present.

In the near future, EIU plans to release International Business Newsletters on Disc, which promises to provide eight specialised newsletters. They also plan to produce country-oriented hypertext offerings which will allow users to click on words or graphics to immediately access related information.

In keeping with this move into the realm of multimedia, the unit has also updated its Regional Business Intelligence series, which was originally released in 1994. Each CD-ROM database focuses on a specific geographic area.