Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Management methodology for the development of e-business road maps

The e-business road mapping methodology is a methodical approach for the development of a well-founded e-business strategy, which is the basis for the implementation of IT-supported, more effective, and efficient business processes in a single or extended enterprise. E-business road mapping is a planning process, driven by the needs of tomorrow¿s markets. It identifies, selects and develops strategic alternatives to satisfy future service, product and operational needs. It brings together a team of experts to develop a framework for organising and presenting the information to make the right decision. It provides a way to leverage investments and the information needed to make trade-offs among different alternatives. The methodology uses a Reference Process Model (RPM) for the strategy planning process as a living content base of state of the art management knowledge. The methodology includes numerous standard methods and instruments. The application of the methodology is expected to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the e-business strategy planning process in SMEs.

The innovative aspects of this approach are the systemisation and formalisation of the e-business strategy development process in a RPM, open for individual use and case specific customisation, and the application and combination of the road mapping method with the Stage-GateTM idea.

The target customer group (1) for the methodology is the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) and more concrete the enterprise management and specialist departments in the enterprise. Customer group1 is expected to apply the methodology for themselves, directly for its own purposes. Beside this, a further customer group (2) for the methodology are business consultants who do strategy consultancy for SMEs within the scope of e-business implementation. Customer group 2 will apply the methodology as a service for SMEs, i.e. customer group 1, if they are not willing or capable of doing it.

The result of using the methodology is an e-business road map as an extended look at the future of e-business in the single or extended enterprise. The e-business road map is the representation of an enterprise¿s strategic e-business scenarios over time. The methodical preparation of e-business implementation is expected to result in a more efficient e-business strategy planning process and more effective e-business implementation process (prevention of false investments, faster ROI). This will contribute to the sustainable and competitive growth of a single enterprise or extended enterprise.

In dynamic markets, where the demands of customers are changing fast, enterprises must keep an effective position over rapidly evolving technological innovations and active business transactions. In the last few years, e-business evolved from website to a major subject within the framework of the strategic positioning of an enterprise. A winning e-business strategy, as an element of the corporate strategy, is actually the main factor of a successful business nowadays. Although SMEs have realised that e-business is of strategic importance, they often shrink from taking action due to the lack of a well-founded strategy. Many times, e-business is treated as equivalent only to selling over the Internet. But this narrow way of looking at e-business not only misjudges the opportunities that are offered to the old economy, but also underestimates lurking dangers. E-business is an issue that SMEs must not escape, so as not to fall behind sooner or later. Thoughts on this issue must come from an intrinsic comprehension of e-business use that spreads from the potential use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the whole value chain. But at the same, the know-how for developing e-business strategy turns out to be insufficient in many SMEs. As far as e-business is concerned, companies must be aware of the external opportunities and threats, as well as their internal strengths and weaknesses. In order to justify long-term targeted investments in e-business, a fundamental e-business strategy is needed. Exactly at this point, e-volution comes up with its project.
Barriers to overcome are the dissemination and acceptance of the methodology by the industry. A management methodology is an abstract thing and there is no direct monetary result of using it. The acceptance of the methodology will depend on its content and quality (methods, instruments, best practices) and on the dissemination and exploitation concept (e.g. management paper, training concept).

Informations connexes

Reported by

Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg / Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft, Fabrikautomatisierung und Fabrikbetrieb (IAF)
Postfach 4120
39106 Magdeburg