Future Watch

Giga Information Group issues new report on key trends for 2001

September 15, 2000 -- Giga has identified six key e-business trends that clients should consider in preparing their strategic plans for 2001:

(1) Multiple business-to-business electronic channel order management  companies will exchange orders and responses with other companies through a variety of e-channels, including bilaterally through system-to-system integration via electronic data exchange (EDI), through extranets and through Internet e-marketplaces and transaction hubs. Companies will need to determine which e-channel to use for which customer or supplier.

(2) Supply chain vs. demand chain management  Intercompany interactions will expand beyond orders and responses to include less structured transactions such as collaborative planning, forecasting, problem resolution and common-customer service or marketing. The issue is whether this will be done up the value chain through supply chain management solutions, or down the value chain through customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

(3) The re-emergence of one-to-many buy-side and sell-side solutions  e-marketplaces have arisen because of the limitations of one-to-many e-commerce solutions. However, companies will still need to have multi-e-channel buy-side and sell-side solutions to interface with the multiple electronic channels they deal with.

(4) Multichannel business-to-consumer (B2C) sales and service through people in stores, with people over the telephone or electronically over the Internet. Businesses will interact with customers through all these channels.

(5) The persistence of p (people) business  growing use of electronic channels for routine transactions will increase the role of people in value-added transactions like product sales, CRM or vendor relationship management. The IT challenge will be to enable people with the right technology.

(6) Re-engineering of (primarily) internal processes such as risk management, HR, finance, product development or production through internal use of Internet technologies. The question is whether existing ERP solutions based on backward-looking best practice processes will prevail, or be replaced by new approaches offered by ERP vendors or knowledge management vendors that build new processes based on the forward-looking ideas of people.