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Arthur D. Little Experts Say E-Commerce Now On CEO Agenda

Electronic Commerce is no longer solely in the province of the CIO and has moved up to the CEO's agenda, according to Arthur D. Little, the strategic consulting firm based in Cambridge, MA.

"Electronic commerce is changing the rules of the game," said Stuart Lipoff, vice president, communications and information technology at Arthur D. Little. "Initially, EC was a Chief Information Officer challenge. The mandate was to leverage the technology to support the business strategy, creating efficiencies, and lowering costs."

"Electronic commerce is changing the fundamental drivers of business," said Michael Taylor, managing director, electronic commerce, at Arthur D. Little. Now, e-commerce "is not about being online or having a Web site. It is about business. And business involves the chief executive officer."

Arthur D. Little said it believes e-commerce now covers the entire value chain, from attracting customers to providing information, and conducting and processing transactions, right through to providing customer service.

"Executives that focus on purchase transactions to determine the effectiveness of their EC strategies are wearing blinders. They're missing significant opportunities to create value for their organizations," Lipoff said.

Leadership strategies for electronic commerce were the focus of Business OnLine '98, a symposium presented by Giga Information Group, Arthur D. Little, and CommerceNet concluding today in San Francisco.

Little meanwhile has launched an online survey as part of a special report on e-commerce to investigate the change in business attitudes and strategies over the past year.

The company is using a similar online survey from 1997 to benchmark this year's results. "Last year most respondents indicated that their company Web site was used for marketing purposes or to provide information," Lipoff said. "This year's survey will determine if companies have changed their business strategies to reflect innovative uses of e-commerce technology."