E-business changing work outlook

James Renwick,Special to The China Post

A new study released by Intel yesterday shows the growing influence of e-business on the inner-workings of Taiwan firms.

Out of a total of 98 e-business decision makers or influencers sampled from a broad spectrum of industries, 52 percent of respondents said that their sales and marketing departments were likely be affected the most by e-business over the next two years. According to Intel Asia Pacific executive Ketan Sampat, currently, more than 85 percent of orders from Intel are made over the Internet, with almost all of its customers using the Internet to communicate with the company at some point during transactions. On how e-business has changed relationships within the workplace and in work practices, 87 percent of respondents said that it had improved customer and supplier relations. Another 73 percent said that e-business had improved cross-department collaboration. With most medium and large firms relying on electronic forms of communication and the Internet for conducting parts of their business, disaster recovery plans are an essential part of their computer systems.

When asked whether the Sept. 11th attacks on the United States and the subsequent political events had increased the priority of having a disaster recover plan, 75 percent of respondents said that it was now more of a priority, while 28 percent said that it had increased the priority significantly. Seventeen percent said that it hadn’t changed their ideas at all.

On what trends would push them into accelerating an e-business platform over the next 3 years, 68 percent of respondents said that cost was the main issue. Fifty-nine percent said that the increasing flexibility of e-business infrastructure would make a difference and 58 percent labeled the decreasing cost of bandwidth as a factor. Nevertheless, 79 percent of firms said that they were confident they would be able to afford the e-business IT investments needed to stay competitive in 2002. Four percent said that they would definitely could not afford to build an adequate e-business platform. Intel entrusted Asia Market Intelligence (AMI) to research the influence of e-business on working practices and business procedures in mainland China, South Korea, India and Taiwan. In all, 509 firms took part in the February study.