How to Plan E-Business Initiatives in Established Companies

Many large and mature firms — which still form most of the economy — have difficulty analyzing the opportunities and difficulties created by the Internet. Here is a planning process, validated at several established companies, that puts e-business into perspective and helps make it manageable.

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Over the past decade, Internet and Web technologies have remade the business world. E-business has dramatically changed how companies’ business processes are implemented and enhanced, altered industry structures, and shifted the balance of power between corporations and their suppliers and customers (both downstream partners and consumers).

Companies in every industry have had to evaluate the opportunities and threats presented by e-business. Although many “pure-play” or “born-on-the-Web” organizations have come into being, the economy still consists mostly of companies that were created well before the advent of e-business. For large and mature corporations, responding to these trends has been difficult. Even so, most e-business research has focused on new companies. From our academic research and work with various established, global corporations, we have developed a planning process that puts e-business into perspective and helps make it manageable. (See “About the Research.”)

About the Research »



1. G.M. Marakas, “Systems Analysis & Design: An Active Approach” (Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2004).

2. D. Besanko, D. Dranove and M. Shanley, “Economics of Strategy” (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999).

3. I. Jacobson, M. Griss and P. Jonsson, “Software Reuse: Architecture, Process and Organization for Business Success” (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1997).

4. M.C. Filibeli, O. Ozkasap and M.R. Civanlar, “Embedded Web Server-Based Home Appliance Networks,” Journal of Network and Computer Applications 30, no. 2 (April 2007): 499–514.

5. E. Brynjolfsson, Y. Hu and M.D. Smith, “From Niches to Riches: Anatomy of the Long Tail,” MIT Sloan Management Review 47, no. 4 (summer 2006): 67–71.

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