The majority of ebusiness initiatives will fail because they are not integrated to their organisations' back end systems.
Speaking at Meta Group's Metamorphosis 2000 conference in San Francisco this week, Dale Cutnick, president and chief executive of Meta, warned that sixty per cent of ebusiness initiatives will fail because they are not connected to their back offices.
He advised ebusinesses to tie their online initiatives with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions so they can use the details they collect on their customers, as well as for their customers to easily obtain relevant information stored behind the scenes.
Karen Rubenstrunk, analyst at Meta, said successful ebusinesses will be the ones that know how to use that information.
She drew the comparison between the information that her local supermarket has amassed from her regular visits, with the data Amazon.com collected from the one occasion she purchased a book. She has yet to receive personalised marketing from the supermarket but is regularly contacted by the online bookseller with specific offers.
She said: "Market valuation is the perception of how good you are at using the information you have on your customers."
As a result, companies will become customer management organisations rather than technologists or manufacturers. Peter Burris, senior vice president at Meta, gave the example of Vodafone's recent bid for Mannesmann. Vodafone is not buying the German operator for its technology but for its customer base. They are both customer service organisations, they do not make technology, he commented.
Market valuation will also be measured by successful branding of companies' ebusinesses and this is where integrated IT is crucial, he added.
"By 2003 IT infrastructure operations will be more important to e-branding than marketing," he stated.
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