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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Understanding the e-Business Requirements

Proper understanding of the e-Business requirements is crucial to a successful e-Business architecture and design. Several questions need to be addressed to determine the actual needs and goals of the e-Business. The following questions will give you some insight into your business, determine your customer-readiness, and help you determine the appropriate design for your e-Business:

  • What are your customer types? Customers aren't simply people you sell stuff to. You have to understand the types of customers who will be using your system because the way they use the system will be different:

    • Occasional users will use the system infrequently and not access the system with any regularity.

    • Regular users will regularly use the system on a predictable basis.

    • Loyal users will be the ones who love your products and services and would use your business regardless of what "extras" you provide.

  • What are the most important things to each of the types of customers?

  • What can you do to increase their loyalty to your products and services?

  • What are their biggest complaints about the current business process?

  • What do they like about the current business process?

  • How will your making the transition to an e-Business help the customers? What value will this shift add to already existing services? What savings will it provide to everyone? What additional convenience will the customers get?

  • What unique customer experience can you provide that customers might not get elsewhere? For example, do you provide frequent flier points, free delivery, and so on?

  • What are the various links in the Supply-Chain Management process? How can the weakest link be made stronger?

  • Who are the competitors? What are their biggest assets? What are their weaknesses?

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your current organization?

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