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Is Leveraging E-Business the Path to Success?

According to some, e-business represents a major paradigm shift in the business world that companies ignore at their own peril.

"If you don't end up being e-business driven, we believe you'll fail," said Intel Vice President William Swope. "What we've got here is a fundamental upheaval in corporate thinking."

Like Intel, many analysts view the current downturn as a necessary evil and sign of a healthy restructuring of worldwide economies and old-economy mind-sets. This transformation, they believe, requires a radical reorganization of corporate structure as businesses shift gears into e-mode.

According to research firm Gartner, companies making the shift will need to use short, repetitive planning processes. Gartner believes that utilising shorter cycles for e-business strategies will force companies to hone in on value-driven aspects of a particular e-project. Focusing purely on these areas will oblige businesses to stop wasting valuable resources that would normally be expended when tackling a project as a whole over a longer cycle.

"A true e-business is where an enterprise's 10 most critical revenue and cost-related business processes have been transformed into Internet-powered e-business processes," Gartner said.

Bearing in mind its rigorous definition, Gartner believes that only one company in each Global 2000 business sector will qualify as a true e-business by 2003. Between 2006 and 2008, however, it believes that the necessary transition to e-business will speed up dramatically as the ubiquitous reality of the new economy breaks through the 'stubborn' corporate mind-set.

Gartner remains steadfast in the belief that businesses "have to disrupt their organisation's culture" if they wish to take advantage of e-commerce.

The resultant rewards of a shift in thinking toward 'pure' e-business include "the ability to address specific, niche-market customer groups using highly customized campaigns."

Recently the research firm predicted that $6 trillion would be transacted electronically on a worldwide basis within the next 36 months.

"Think about the impact if even half the forecast is true," Swope said.

Together with Gartner, Intel believes that a propensity for calculated risk taking, collaboration, quick decision-making, and increased flexibility are some of the earmarks of true e-business converts.



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