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E-Business Enablers.

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The executive guide to eCommerce: strategy, technology, relationships, and beyond. No matter how large or small your enterprise, you need a coherent strategy for incorporating eCommerce into your business model. In Exploring eCommerce, Global eBusiness, and eSocieties, two of IBM's top eCommerce experts address every critical business, competitive, and technological challenge you face in defining and implementing your optimal eCommerce strategy. Discover how your company can leverage the key enablers of eCommerce-and take full advantage of the dramatic changes the Internet is driving throughout society. Coverage includes:
  • eBusiness value chain management: improving your key customer and supplier relationships
  • eBusiness intelligence: new techniques for anticipating your customers' needs and desires
  • eCommerce, eSocieties, eGovernments, and the extended eBusiness enterprise
  • Design quality: quantifying your site's usability, "stickiness," and value

In this chapter from Fellenstein and Wood’s book, Exploring E-commerce, Global E-Business, and E-society (1999, Prentice Hall PTR) , the authors discuss the catalysts behind the rate of e-business growth, the evolution of the e-business model, and the market leaders and industries to keep an eye on.

The growth in the number of businesses moving toward enabling e-commerce technologies to conduct e-businesses on the Internet will accelerate exponentially during the next few years. Research firms are predicting that business-to-businesses e-commerce growth will skyrocket. As seen in Figure 10.1, during 1998 only $43 billion of online e-commerce was conducted by businesses. Recent forecasts from some of these same research firms predict that in the United States alone business-to-business e-commerce will reach unprecedented levels: $1.3 trillion by 2003. That figure represents about 9.4 percent of the total business sales projected for that year. The migration of other industries toward e-commerce will vary, with the computing industry reaching 20 percent and other industries (like heavy-duty equipment) reaching less than 2 percent. The results of applying e-commerce solutions will change the tactics of many companies, especially in terms of supply chain management. This startling e-commerce growth will accelerate to high speed between 2002 and 2003, growing at a projected annual rate of 99 percent.


What is the catalyst behind this astounding e-commerce and e-business growth rate? In fact, many industries are moving toward the e-business life-cycle continuum at an alarming rate. Industries are crossing over business chasms by linking their customers, business partners, suppliers, decision makers, and other key employees together to conduct various forms of collaboration and e-business (see Figure 10.2). This is being achieved through the utilization of Internet, intranet, and extranet technologies. During the coming years, more industrial and business enterprises will move toward e-commerce solutions, primarily because of the enhanced business value they will yield, once carefully crafted into one or more innovative e-business solutions. What once was more suggestive of a corporate strategy will become a key component of their core business operations management. This is a catalyst. Global networking

Industrial equipment Heavy industries Construction Aerospace and defense Pharmaceutical and medical Consumer goods Food and agriculture Shipping and warehousing Paper and office products Utilities Petrochemicals Motor vehicles Computing and electronics infrastructures now exist to support such advanced e-commerce models as auctions, bidding, contracting, service deliveries, product deliveries, hosting e-business content, and more. Solutions are really limited only by one's way of thinking: an idea-share of a sort. This of intellectual capital (for the moment), and not yet intellectual property.

Figure 10.1 Almost every industry has established some form of Internet e-business presence.

Figure 10.2 The "chasm" seems to be the most difficult area for businesses to traverse in their movement toward a successful e-business transformation.

The enablement of e-business services is rapidly reaching the stage where information technology competitors are focused on supporting e-commerce, rather than the more traditional methods of computing technologies (see Figure 10.3). In line with

Figure 10.3 The e-business transformation has very distinct levels of change that tend to result in improved revenue streams, new e-business service lines, and more effective business practices. this, mainstream hardware and software suppliers (for example, Microsoft, IBM, Netscape, Oracle, Compaq, Dell, Cisco, Novell, and others) are developing and introducing advanced e-commerce application environments and machine platforms.

The e-business transformation effect will spark a hyper-growth catalyst that will lead to unprecedented levels of innovation in e-commerce solutions using the Internet. There is, perhaps, an e-commerce threshold that symbolizes the dynamics of e-business-that is, a radical change from rudimentary supply chain relationships, toward an environment with much broader and deeper market dynamics (see Figure 10.4). The effect of e-business is somewhat analogous to the chain reaction of a shock wave; it sets off what appears to be an endless chain reaction of businesses embracing e-commerce and adding their own innovative solutions to the chain. In a sense, e-businesses acts as a vortex staging other e-business opportunities that, in turn, leverage other e-business solutions.

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