UK plc writes next e-business chapter

According to the findings of a CBI/KPMG Consulting e-business survey, 93% of UK companies have included e-business in their corporate strategies, while nearly all of them expect e-business to have some impact on their activities in the next few years.

The study, entitled The Quiet Revolution, revealed that 76% of companies generate just 5% of their revenue from e-business, but predicted this would double to 10% of revenue for 58% of companies in the next two to three years.

And while some sectors like telecommunications, utilities and retail are currently leading the way in e-business, overall growth in e-business activities is not restricted to certain geographical regions or business sizes.

Commenting on these findings, Nigel Hickson, head of e-business at the CBI said there was tremendous degree of optimism surrounding e-business, adding: ‘E-business is here to stay.’

Hickson said that despite the demise in the sector, established companies would make use of the internet for a variety of activities, including knowledge management, customer relationship management, supply chain management and e-procurement.

One in five companies, identified as ‘e-pioneers’ by the survey, are already using the internet for complex business transforming aspects of e-business including CRM and supply chain management, the survey concluded.

Almost half, called ‘e-followers’, are exploiting the internet for marketing and knowledge sharing, while 36% are e-laggers – having yet to evolve their business beyond basic IT services like e-mail and internet access.

Digby Jones, director general of the CBI, said ‘E-business was the only way to keep Britain competitive. He said the exploitation of e-commerce and the -global business language of English would safeguard Britain’s prime position in the world economy.

He added the onus was on the government to set up a network of services to assist e-business ventures.

‘Government must consult widely with business and ‘regulate lightly’ where necessary,’ Jones said.


Accountancy Age’s e-business special report

Related reading