Emergence of ‘true’ global eBusinesses at least five years away

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Despite many companies’ claims to be eBusiness today, Gartner says that by 2003, at a minimum one company in each Global 2,000 sector will be a “true” eBusiness. Between 2006 and 2008, more than 50% of the Global 2,000 enterprises will qualify as true eBusinesses.

A true eBusiness is where an enterprise’s 10 most critical revenue and cost-related business processes have been transformed into Internet-powered eBusiness processes.

These findings were presented during Gartner Spring Symposium/ITxpo 2001 in Denver.

Gartner analysts said the most successful eBusiness transformation projects will go from concept to completion of the first phase within nine months. In this time frame, major initiatives start delivering value sooner and incrementally build their full objectives. By 2002, almost all Global 2,000 companies with effective eBusiness strategies will use rapid, repetitive planning processes.

“Recurring, fixed-duration cycles deliver additional benefits,” said Jeff Schulman, Gartner vice president. “Their visible time pressure and urgency help identify and overcome bureaucratic delays and red tape. The fixed duration forces the organization to zero in on the key elements of value that need to be delivered soonest.

“Because each cycle requires less resources than the initiative as a whole, approvals and funding can be linked into the cycle review process to reduce risk and accelerate the approval process.”

While committees are a popular mechanism currently employed by companies to implement eBusiness, Gartner analysts said eBusiness czars will be put into place by enterprises that are committed and striving to aggressively adopt eBusiness. These czars will have direct access to the CEO to enable swift decision-making, to act as a symbol of eBusiness commitment and to integrate eBusiness with the overall enterprise strategy. Once they have done so, they will move on.

“Global 2,000 enterprises must culturally disrupt their organizations to capitalize on the opportunities in the digital economy,” said Schulman. “New enterprise cultures will embrace flexibility, risk-taking, collaboration and swift decision-making. At all levels, avoiding those that do not embrace the new values is necessary.”

The Internet is an effective medium for servicing the smaller, targeted market segments that result as organizations become more customer-centric, moving from mass-market, mass-production approaches to niche-market, mass-customization strategies. Gartner analysts said the eBusiness plans yielding the greatest business value will be those that promote noncentralized, market-by-market initiatives. New opportunities are best perceived by those who work at a market’s customer or trading touch points; they understand customer/partner needs and current channel and process weaknesses.

About Gartner, Inc.
Gartner is a research and advisory firm that helps more than 10,000 clients understand technology and drive business growth. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and consists of 4,600 associates, including 1,400 research analysts and consultants, in more than 80 locations worldwide.

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