Embarking on the eBusiness Journey.

There are companies still today who are reluctant to embark on the eBusiness journey, why is this? It is my belief that eBusiness is perceived as an expensive and frightening experience, also that everybody wants to sell a solution without really educating the company in how it can transform the business, thus making considerable savings in time and money. Technology and Business processes have changed considerably in the last decade, making implementations and change much simpler to undertake.

However, it is important to understand the business environment that you are operating under. With this in mind there are at least seven questions that should be asked in any business prior to embarking on the eBusiness journey. Answering these questions will allow the business to either embark on the journey (or not).

Question 1. Do I understand my Business today?

How is my business conducted? Is it difficult to connect with my Suppliers? Where am I spending money and on what? Do I have Administrative Burdens in the way I conduct business today? What is stopping me from moving forward? Have I got an optimized organizational structure?

Question 2. Am I ready to change the way I do Business?

Has the business got the appetite for change? Do I have change management agents in my Business? Do I have an organization that resists change?

Question 3. Do I have a strategy in place for using eBusiness?

What are my Pain points? Do I want to be a business Shaper or a business Adopter? Does the Business understand eBusiness? Am I involved in any eBusiness forums?

Question 4. What are my competitors doing?

Who has embraced eBusiness and why? Can I benchmark my business with others? What etools do they employ?

Question 5. Do I have to build my own applications?

Do I have an Infrastructure that will enable me to implement eBusiness? Are my systems bespoke? Is ICT considered an overhead in my business?

Question 6. What are my strengths and weaknesses?

Is there time liberation in the Business? Is there systems proliferation? Am I firefighting in my business? Do I empower my employees?

Question 7. Do I have well defined processes in place?

Are my processes visible end to end? Are controls in place but are too rigid? Do I have standards in place? Have I got good content? Are there to many levels of authority?

I strongly believe that every company should ask these questions of itself not only to assist it in overcoming the perceived fears of eBusiness but also to evaluate itself in the business environment today. It may result in no actual change taking place as the practices and processes are fit for purpose in the business environment that the company operates under. However, without analysis who will ever know!

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