Headlines: February 27th, 2001

A survey of almost 1000 UK companies published today by the Confederation of British Industry and KPMG Consulting shows that British business is set to fully embrace the Internet revolution over the next two to three years. According to the report, ‘The Quiet Revolution’, 58% of companies expect to derive at least 10% of their revenue directly from e-business within the next two to three years. This demonstrates that the e-government targets for service delivery are broadly in line with the private sector intentions.The Quiet Revolution dispels the notion that the Internet revolution has ground to a halt. The rise and fall of the dotcoms may have dominated the first wave but the second is now being led by traditional organisations across the UK of all sizes in every sector, with all companies expected to step up their e-business activity over the next two to three years.

Customer resistance is considered by those yet to embark upon advanced e-business as the main barrier to e-business growth. The e-pioneers in the banking/insurance sector also consider customer co-operation as the main obstacle. The key to successful e-business evidently lies in converting customers to the Internet culture. The report concludes that the benefits of Internet usage should be demonstrated to customers. This raises the question whether public bodies are putting sufficient effort into promoting on line services with their customers

Internal resistance is seen as the main barrier by E-pioneers in the professional services, travel and transport sectors. This highlights an ongoing challenge companies face when they engage in e-business. Internal resistance is a topic seldom mentioned in the public sector, but there is no reason to believe that the level of resistance varies between the sectors.

The report urges companies to share best practices in overcoming barriers.