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Gartner Says True eProcurement within Companies, More than 5 Years Away

Press release from the issuing company

DENVER--May 8, 2001--Despite many companies' claims to be e-business today, Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) says by 2003, at a minimum one company in each Global 2,000 sector will be a "true" e-business. Between 2006 and 2008, more than 50 percent of the Global 2,000 enterprises will qualify as true e-businesses. A true e-business is where an enterprise's 10 most critical revenue and cost-related business processes have been transformed into Internet-powered e-business processes. These findings were presented today during Gartner Spring Symposium/ITxpo 2001, which is taking place through May 10 in Denver. Gartner analysts said the most successful e-business transformation projects will go from concept to completion of the first phase within nine months. In this timeframe, major initiatives start delivering value sooner and incrementally build their full objectives. By 2002, almost all Global 2,000 companies with effective e-business strategies will use rapid, repetitive planning processes. "Recurring, fixed-duration cycles deliver additional benefits. Their visible time pressure and urgency help identify and overcome bureaucratic delays and red tape," said Jeff Schulman, Gartner vice president. "The fixed duration forces the organization to zero in on the key elements of value that need to be delivered soonest. Because each cycle requires less resources than the initiative as a whole, approvals and funding can be linked into the cycle review process to reduce risk and accelerate the approval process." While committees are a popular mechanism currently employed by companies to implement e-business, Gartner analysts said e-business czars will be put into place by enterprises that are committed and striving to aggressively adopt e-business. These czars will have direct access to the CEO to enable swift decision-making, to act as a symbol of e-business commitment and to integrate e-business with the overall enterprise strategy. Once they have done so, they will move on. "Global 2,000 enterprises must culturally disrupt their organizations to capitalize on the opportunities in the digital economy. New enterprise cultures will embrace flexibility, risk-taking, collaboration and swift decision-making. At all levels, avoiding those that do not embrace the new values is necessary," said Schulman. The Internet is an effective medium for servicing the smaller, targeted market segments that result as organizations become more customer-centric, moving from mass-market, mass-production approaches to niche-market, mass-customization strategies. Gartner analysts said the e-business plans yielding the greatest business value will be those that promote noncentralized, market-by-market initiatives. New opportunities are best perceived by those who work at a market's customer or trading touch points; they understand customer/partner needs and current channel and process weaknesses.

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