From e-Business Strategies for Virtual Organizations

where we knock down the walls that separate us from each other on the inside, and from our key constituencies on the outside.
(Jack Welch, CEO, GE)

5.1 Introduction

Driven by such phenomena as the World Wide Web, mass customization, compressed product life cycles, new distribution channels and new forms of integrated organizations, the most fundamental elements of doing business are changing and a totally new business environment is emerging. This environment variously described as the electronic business community (EBC), electronic economy, electronic market, electronic marketplace or marketspace and the virtual market is characterized by rapid exchange of information within a virtual network of customers and suppliers working together to create value added processes. The virtual market (Figure 5.1) brings with it new forms of IT-enabled intermediation, virtual supply chains, increasing knowledge intensity and information-based business architecture strategies. This new business paradigm goes beyond e-business and can be described more effectively as i-business where core business processes may need to be rethought and redesigned, new organizational forms and interorganizational forms may need to be developed and where the emphasis will be on collaboration rather than competition within the virtual market.


Figure 5.1: Virtual market

i-business is defined as a business with the following core elements:

  • internetworked market;

  • internet-enabled supply chain;

  • interorganizational systems;

  • integrated organizational systems;

  • intelligent knowledge-based decision systems;

  • information-based business architecture strategy.

The first three of these concepts are explored in depth and we return to the other three components later in Chapters 7, 8 and 9.

5.2

Copyright Janice Burn, Peter Marshall and Martin Burnett 2002 under license agreement with Books24x7

Products & Services
Application Service Providers
Application service providers (ASP) or software as a service providers (SaaS) are companies that provide software or other computer-based services over the Internet from a data center. ASP is sometimes known as software on demand.
Business Consulting Services
Business consulting services include high-level business endeavors such as strategic planning, market positioning consulting, business plan development, enterprise architecture, and information infrastructure planning and development.
Online Communities
Online communities consist of users with similar interests and requirements who communicate electronically to discuss ideas and ask or answer questions.
Engineering Consulting Services
Engineering consulting firms provide engineering services and expertise to companies in need of a specialized skill-set.  Professionals in this category work with clients to define solutions to problems or to help determine and recommend the best course of action for a given initiative.
Document Management Software
Document management software (DM) enables organizations to create, capture, store, index, and retrieve information digitally.

Topics of Interest

Utopia: 'The ideal state is small and the inhabitants few' (Lao Zi) 6.1 Introduction SMEs (sometimes referred to in this chapter as small firms) are defined in this chapter as firms with fewer than...

Chapter List Chapter 8: Defining the Virtual Organization Chapter 9: Interorganizational Innovations through Interorganizational Information Systems Chapter 10: Structure, Strategy and Success...

6.3 Strategic Framework for Managing a Global SME Business Figure 6.1 describes the broad framework for managing a global e-business strategy within an SME context. Readers will note that this builds...

The Art of War: 'Know your enemy and know yourself, one can go through one hundred battles without danger. Know not the other, yet know yourself, the chance of victory is only half.' (Sun Zi) 7.1...

The mystery of Tao: 'That which cannot be seen is formless'. (The sayings of Lao Zi) 3.1 Introduction Virtual organizations obviously have a need for business models, which are different from the...