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Conclusion

Market volatility makes understanding—let alone predicting strategic movements—very difficult. Practicing managers, consultants, investors, and students all face the problems associated with analyzing a dynamic market environment. As the environment changes, it becomes important to ask the following fundamental questions:

  • Do we understand the emerging business models?

  • Are we investing in the right business opportunities?

  • Are we attacking these opportunities using the right business model?

  • Are these opportunities ever going to be profitable?

In today's environment more than ever, managers of "old economy" companies need the right tools to support and improve their effectiveness when making major strategic moves, allocating scarce resources, and managing risk. Why? Because the large "old economy" companies from consumer products to industrial manufacturing have begun to see relatively small pieces of their markets taken away by new, Web-enabled firms. As a result, they're waking up to the e-business threat (and opportunity) and have started to push toward more efficient digital strategies based on optimizing customer experiences, integrating their value chains, and accelerating information flow.

Clearly, we're in the early stages of a revolution that's changing the business landscape. As with any revolution, there will be moments of extreme optimism when the potential reveals itself; there will also be moments of extreme pessimism when skepticism rules. However, one thing is certain. E-business is creating new opportunities for companies willing to adapt. For other companies, this same revolution represents a destabilizing threat to the status quo of "business as usual."

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