A time for nifty footwork from ISPs

Opinion

A time for nifty footwork from ISPs



Toby Poston

It has been a busy month for Internet service providers. In reaction to a move made by their rivals, BT and Freeserve, two of the largest ISPs in the UK, had to make radical changes to their pricing structures virtually overnight. There was no question of them adopting a wait-and-see attitude - their share prices were dropping like stones and thousands of customers were a few mouse clicks away from changing their allegiance. Welcome to the world of e-business.

What we're all finding out is that this is no place for slouches. It's an environment where you have to be prepared not only to come up with and implement your online strategy at warp speed, but also to hack it apart and re-do it at a moment's notice. Doing that is going to need a lot of co-operation and shared goodwill between different parts of an organisation.

This is an area we explore this month - taking a close look at one of the insurance sector's leading e-business exponents, Legal & General. E-business director Margaret Smith says that a crucial factor in the success of it's e-business strategy so far is the bridge built between the firm's marketing and IT departments.

But, there is no use getting cross departmental buy-in to your new online strategy if the whole thing is doomed to failure from the start.

E-Business Review has spoken to four e-business experts and asked them to predict the winning and losing Internet strategies for 2000. But, as BT would say, remember that things can change overnight.

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This was first published in April 2000

 

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