Study: Companies Lack Comprehensive E-Business Plans



While just about every company claims a commitment to a strong E-commerce strategy, relatively few businesses are working with a comprehensive plan and the funding to back it up, according to the results of a survey released today by the consulting firm KPMG.

The study, conducted for KPMG by Benchmarking Partners, queried executives responsible for E-commerce in 48 companies--most with $1 billion or more in revenue--across automotive, aerospace, chemical, consumer, industrial, retail, transportation, and utilities industries. According to the findings, corporate E-business strategies tend to be tactical and housed within a department, rather than strategic across the enterprise--even though a majority of the leaders of these companies claim E-commerce is crucial to their ongoing success.

While nearly two-thirds of those surveyed pointed to E-commerce as one of their most important initiatives, only one-fourth have a centralized decision-maker for E-commerce. The reason? According to KPMG, it's because of a shift in what drives E-commerce. At one time, it belonged to technology; now, it is being driven by revenue goals and customer needs--therefore, sales and marketing people are joining the technology experts in defining E-commerce.

Less than half the companies interviewed have an executive with an E-commerce title; of those, only 40% own the E-commerce budget. Typically, their involvement is with the look and feel of Web sites as well as developing standards for tools and processes--but there was relatively little involvement at a strategic level.

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