A quarter of ecommerce ventures fail because of the lack of understanding and support at a senior level, according to a new report.
The survey, ?Business on the Web? by Cambridge Intelligence Unit (CIU), showed that among Europe?s largest corporations, almost a quarter of ecommerce projects are abandoned before completion.
Of the companies that are operating Web trading systems, 25 per cent of their IT directors admitted their systems were not up to scratch. The most common reason was non-existent support from senior management.
Lack of investment did not seem an issue, though whether it was money well spent could well be. Around 18 per cent of companies with unsuccessful systems had set aside more than #2 million for the projects.
Carl Potter, managing consultant at CIU and the report?s main author, believes too often senior managers delegate responsibility for an ecommerce venture to a more Web-savvy but less authoritative employee.
?Through delegating responsibility they are not giving the project due care and consideration,? said Potter. ?They have to look beyond the technology to consider the wider business perspective.?
Tim Giles, also a managing consultant at CIU who contributed to the report, added: ?It is inadequate project management.?
The survey also revealed few companies understood why the initial project failed, suggesting a lack of understanding of the complexities of ecommerce compared to just building a Web site.
?Companies are being lulled into a false sense of security by vendors that as a browser-based system, it is simple,? said Potter. ?You just can?t build a world class ecommerce system out of a box.?
The research delved further to discover that those organisations with unsuccessful ecommerce solutions tended to build more standalone systems and had fewer plans to integrate this with the rest of the business.
Of the companies that abandoned their first ecommerce project, 33 per cent of the second attempts were rated as unsuccessful by the marketing directors, while only 23 per cent of IT directors agreed.
This difference of opinion highlights a lack of communication between the IT and marketing directors as the measurement for success. ?But it is not surprising,? said Giles. ?It shows the gulf between the business and IT sides of many companies.?
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