Embracing ecommerce and Internet technologies is the greatest challenge the bigger IT vendors are facing today, according to senior industry officials.
At Dataquest's Predicts 99 conference in Paris today, an industry panel told analysts that the changes taking place in the IT industry as a result of the rapid growth in Internet use are causing headaches for strategic planning.
Jean Paul Figer, chief technology officer at Cap Gemini, commented: "One of our greatest challenges is how to spread knowledge of the Internet everywhere in the company and to reskill people, not in how to use the Internet, but how to use the ideas behind the Internet."
Thomas Rambold, chief technology officer at Siemens, added, "It's the challenge of having the ability for change and the sensibility that there are changes taking place. We have to be careful and evaluate these changes in a timely manner."
He added, "WAP and ecommerce will change everything we do in the company. We have done a very intensive analysis over the last 12 months and this will massively change many processes."
Philippe Gluntz, president and chief executive officer of ADP Europe, said: "All our business processes will have to be redesigned and reengineered."
Dataquest senior analyst Dean Eyers commented: "It's enlightening to see some of the dinosaurs of the IT industry waking up and realising they have to play in this industry."
He warned the panel that unless they take action, they could lose business to many other smaller and more innovative companies in the Internet and ecommerce arena.
"Partnering with other 'dinosaur' organisations on Internet strategies, like some of you have done, is rather like roaring in packs," he said.
Roger Fulton, Dataquest analyst and also chairing the panel added, "It does seem that very large organisations have a problem of speed of change. A lot of startup companies are exploiting the Web, it's a different business model altogether."
"The issue for big companies is how to exploit this change in a slow moving organisation. They will have to either acquire these companies or make third party investments in them," he concluded.
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