When a company decides to move to an e-business state, there are many considerations. The first is in regards to brand identity. The company must evaluate how their brand and identity will transfer into the online realm. They can either keep the existing brand, or they can create a new brand for their online presence.
In the past, businesses have found that creating a new identity can cause confusion, as client do not know that the two businesses are linked Thus, if managed well, the better solution seems to be to stick to the same brand for both the current and e-business model.
If, however, the business decides to come up with a new name for their online store, then they must decide: will it be a name related to the business, or a name that they will bring their own meaning: marketing to? An example of a name related to the site is www.net-a-porter.com, a site that sells prêt-a-porter designer goods. An example of a site that’s name is not related to what it sells is www.amazon.com, a site that sells books.
Once the business has decided what to name themselves, they come to advertising their new online presence. If they have decided to keep the same name, then they will begin by telling their current clientele about their addition of an e-business, and they can add the details about the online site into their current advertising campaigns.
If, however, the company has decided to go with a new name, then they will need to raise awareness about the new name. This will be done in two phases – launch and maintenance. In the launch, they will need to get their name out in the public. This can include different types: online, radio and TV marketing. Once awareness is created about the brand name, they will have to maintain that awareness. This is done through many ways, such as advertising (print, online, radio, TV). Another way to keep your name in public awareness is through Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. This means that you will put certain words in your site, which will ensure that it pops up at the top of the list in search engines. You can also pay some search engines to put your site on top, advertise your website, and use Meta tags within the site.
Because there are differences in the way e-businesses are handled, starting an e-business must be treated like starting a new business, even if you already have an existing business in place. You must evaluate readiness – do you have the infrastructure and staff capabilities to handle e-business? In order to determine this gap, the gap between the existing capabilities you have already and what you need to start the e-business, you much conduct some analysis.
The best way to condense the strategy to formulate an e-business is: 1 – identify current state strategies and goals, 2 – analyze the environment (competition), 3 – identify opportunities and threats in the environment, 4 – analyze existing resources and capabilities, 5 – identify the organizations strengths and weaknesses, 6 – formulate strategies, 7 – implement strategies, 8 –evaluate results. Through following these steps, you will be able to identify and rectify any gaps in terms of infrastructure and personnel before you start your e-business.
First, look at the current state, or the current processes used, in the existing company. You can conduct at SWOT analysis on the current state to begin with. What strengths do you have that will help you migrate to an e-business, such as a strong existing client base? What weaknesses must be resolved in order to move towards an e-business, such as the need for more employees? An opportunity for you is to open an e-business. But you will face threats as well, such as competition online.
You will have to organize your transition from current to future state. Planning properly allows you to allocate more resources (infrastructure, personnel) to the e-business. Also, you can identify changes that you will face and decide how to react; avoid completing similar or overlapping tasks by planning properly; and develop objectives and benchmarks against which you measure your performance.
The 3 levels of e-business architectural model must be looked at in order to determine what is needed for setting up your site.
There are three levels in the e-business architectural model – enterprise, functional, and operational. These can also be called web, application, and database.
In the lowest tier of the model, we deal with the database, accounting software, storage, etc. These are the technologies that are put in place to manage the site and contribute to its day to day running.
The next layer, application, is called middleware. It moves information
from your site’s transaction layer into the internet.
The third layer is the web layer, which is your e-business’s web servers.
This is what people see and interact through when they visit your site. This is also known as the enterprise level, where we focus on customer and supply collaboration.
In terms of the company’s relationship with its customers, we must focus specifically on marketing, sales, our Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and the fulfillment of customer contracts. In the supply collaboration part of the enterprise level, we deal with interaction between the company and its suppliers. We would focus here on the supply chain, procurement, and integrated product development.
All three of these levels must be compatible with each other and work together seamlessly to ensure success for your site.
So how do you know if your company is ready? You should have a project management to get the project’s actives done within the right time frame, within the budget, and as specified. In order to assess this, you need to decide what your objectives are and what you will do to achieve them. Within the dates, you compare what you come up with the initial objectives. You assess performance, and go back and make changes in the project in line with the initial objectives. Once this is completed, hopefully within the specified time, your e-business is ready to go!