OPINION – LEADER – E-business should matter.

It’s been a bad month for the image of UK plc. The fuel crisis has tarnished its reputation – not irreparably, but it will take months to recover its shine.

And this week brings further bad news, this time from CIMA. The launch of the institute’s Global Business Management Week should be a cause for celebration.

But in truth the findings of a worldwide survey launched to coincide with the GBM Week make truly depressing reading.

Just 3% of the 400 top global executives said they thought shareholder demands were among their three most important factors for future success.

Yes, just 3%. A somewhat worrying statistic.

But that figure is positively encouraging when compared to the other finding that just 1% of companies identify customer focus as a key issue for business planning.

Can anything matter more to a modern business than that? It’s hard to see how.

The bad news does not stop there. Equally troubling was the finding that only 6% of the executives polled recognised e-business as the single most crucial factor to affect the future of business.

They, like everyone else, should read our e-business supplements which begin this week.

CIMA, to its credit, was ‘concerned’ by the findings. Perhaps the only encouraging thing to come from the survey is that it is not a UK-specific problem but a global one.

In truth that’s scant consolation. And it hardly bodes well for a great new service age in the new millennium.

Related reading