SmartAdvice: Make Sure E-Business Bids Make Sense And Offer Value
Don't jump on the E-commerce bandwagon just because, The Advisory Council says--look for the business value. Also, Web services make building links with partners easier; and customer Web portals can work even in high-touch businesses.
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Question A: What are the key factors in the business optimization of an E-commerce initiative?
Our advice: The rise and apparent demise of the Internet economy has left us with invaluable lessons in its aftermath. Perhaps the most important one is: It's all about the business.
E-business is the art and science of creating business value through the Internet. At every step of an E-business initiative's life cycle, one must evaluate its ability to create business value.
Identifying And Selecting
A company's business model is its formula for success. Hence, assuming that this formula is correct, everything that follows must conform to it, and this includes E-business initiatives.
Consider only those E-business initiatives that provide clear and, if possible, quantifiable business benefits. These benefits should be sustainable and in line with the company's business model.
Every initiative should address these key questions:
If an initiative doesn't adequately address these issues, in the least it requires more analysis, and, possibly, it shouldn't be pursued.
Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:
Many initiatives will pass the criteria outlined in the previous phase. However, only a few deserve to be funded. To be funded, an initiative should address these key questions:
One should always:
Build And Deploy
A lot of good work often goes to waste in this phase. To deliver on a great promise one must plan its implementation to the last detail. Time and money saved in planning is lost exponentially in implementation.
Implementation planning should address this key question: How will all the pieces of my organization work together during and after this implementation?
A company's processes, organization, and infrastructure must work in harmony with the new initiative or it will fail.
Monitor And Adjust
Nothing goes exactly as planned. Hence, one must monitor and make course corrections as necessary. One should also try to document lessons learned so mistakes aren't repeated, and best practices incorporated in future endeavors.
One should address these key questions:
Getting business value from an E-business initiative is a matter of acting as if your own money is on the line. The fundamental rules of business still apply.