THIS is not a good time to be a technophobe. Experts say the Internet and other new forms of technology are about to radically transform even the most traditional industries as companies adapt to very different methods of doing business. Old-style marketing and distribution channels used by companies are being completely cast aside as the Internet connects with customers in a totally different way. Consider, for example, the rapid penetration of book retailing and other markets by on-line vendor Amazon.com. As Murray Hancock, founder of Internet business publication Fourleaf.com, said: 'The Internet is turning entire industries upside down. It is breaking down traditional marketing and distribution structures, and not just in Internet-based companies. 'A lot of mainstream businesses are coming to realise that they cannot afford to rely on their existing business structure. 'Once upon a time, a manufacturing business would have half a dozen distributors, each of which had a fixed distribution re-seller structure, and that was it. 'But now everybody can choose to experiment with lots of different marketing channels and the traditional structure is being undermined by new marketing and distribution models.' As a result, said Mr Hancock, a growing number of companies are turning to partnerships, projects and joint ventures with other companies as a way of surviving the new business environment. That in turn has created an entirely new office environment as employees spend increasing amounts of their working day with people from outside their company rather than within. He said: 'The boundaries between businesses are blurring, and alliances between businesses have become a much more important part of the development and growth process.' David McCron, director of London-based BRC Consultancy, which advises companies on the use of Web technology and solutions, said new technology was enabling companies to become more efficient by using their resources more effectively. He says: 'Web technology is changing the way that organisations work. It has made possible the avoidance of duplication of work across a company. 'In the past, two similar projects could be undertaken in two different countries simultaneously without anybody knowing about it, whereas the better communication made possible by the Internet makes duplication identifiable much more easily.' The advent of the Internet is also imposing new requirements on employees, who are having to learn new skills. Giles Simons, a director with London-based head-hunters Firth Ross Martin Associates, said employees were increasingly expected to be able to use the Internet and e-commerce tools.