Hundreds of public and private sector organisations entered, spanning every type of project from e-procurement to knowledge management.
Earlier this week, the shortlisted entries, 48 of the finest Internet-based initiatives from across the UK, converged on Computer Weekly's offices to present to our panel of judges. The consistent quality across all categories was a tribute to the take-up of e-business in the UK. But the tone of this year's judging day, and the language used, was in stark contrast to 2000.
A year ago, the perception remained that e-business meant harvesting vast profits from previously untapped markets. The heads at this year's judging day were older and wiser. Breathless excitement has given way to more measured talk of working with the lines of business to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Now that the cyberspace land grab has ceased, organisations are exploring e-business in a manner that best suits their needs, and - like John Lewis, which announced only last week that it is moving into the e-commerce space - in their own sweet time.
E-business is a tool, not a revolution. Thus, with the current political climate leaving many disinclined to fly to meetings, videoconferencing is on hand to provide an alternative. And, with the economic downturn squeezing training budgets, e-learning technologies offer a low-cost means of maintaining your skill set.
Next time someone suggests the e-business tidal wave has dissipated, tell them you know better.
This was first published in October 2001