Report: E-Business Still Just A Promise For Many Companies



While the promise of E-business may be shaking up the business world, for many larger companies, a promise is all it still is, according to a new report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In a survey of 83 companies, the majority with annual revenue of more than $1 billion, 79% of the respondents said that E-business accounts for less than 5% of their revenue, according to Ed Berryman, sponsor of the report and director of E-business solutions for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"What we found, and we looked at some rather large firms, is that they have yet to really partake of the benefit that we have heard about in the news so much," Berryman says. "It isn't so much that they aren't aware of it. Evidence shows they have executive-level sponsorship with over half of the initiatives. But they haven't done a lot with it."

PricewaterhouseCoopers found that only 28% of the respondents are able to process transactions online and that 60% do not yet have extranets linking operations with key suppliers and financial partners. In addition, only a quarter of the respondents have moved beyond basic Web "brochureware" in implementing E-business. The report also found that fewer than one of six companies considers themselves an innovator in E-business and that a number of them have no means of measuring success.

The report also confirmed many analysts' predictions regarding Y2K personnel. "We all wondered whether, post-Y2K, there would be resources freed up from millennium efforts to focus on E-business, and we are seeing that is the case," Berryman says.

The survey was conducted over three months and involved companies in manufacturing, financial services, transportation, retail, energy, communications, and other industries. Most of the responses were provided by executive-level personnel, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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