Headstart: e-business – Formulating a strategy.

Despite the turmoil in the e-business sector, 90% of UK corporates view e-business strategy as an essential ingredient to success in the so-called ‘internet economy’.

Recent research conducted on behalf of Metrius Europe – the networked economy business consultancy from KPMG Consulting – has revealed UK corporates have profited from a ‘wait and see’ policy before implementing their e-business strategy.

Many corporates have found the policy has begun to pay dividends. Recent turmoil has included plummeting share prices and the increased reluctance of venture capitalists to pump money into new economy businesses.

Meanwhile other companies have learned from the estimated 150 internet start-up crashes last year and recognise the importance of strong business models and defined revenue streams. Clive Pinder, CEO of Metrius Europe, said: ‘This research reinforces our belief that there is no new economy. Economic principles have not changed, but there has been a profound change in the way people, businesses, brands and resources relate to each other. This is the opportunity of the networked economy.’

The results aimed at senior managers also showed a lack of understanding at the most senior level of UK corporates as to how e-business systems can be integrated into existing business models. Additionally, UK corporates were also confused as to the best consultancy to approach as they perceived the consultancy market to be ‘fragmented’.

The study rated the US as a leader in the e-business consultancy market place, with the UK in second place and the rest of Europe in third.

Meanwhile 100% of corporate participants outsource or plan to outsource their e-business strategy and all participants agreed the decision to adopt e-business strategy no longer falls to the IT manager but rests firmly with the CEO and senior management. A further 90% regarded networked economy business consultancy services to be of importance to the future development of UK corporates, with 33% thinking it was vital.

Pinder added: ‘Despite the high-profile failures of the new entrant dotcoms, the falling values of companies on NASDAQ and the profits warning of major e-consultancies, there is no avoiding the necessity of an e-business strategy within UK companies. The successful businesses will be those that embrace internet technologies to drive efficiencies in their business and empower human networks.’

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