i2 chief blames company heads for Europe's e-lag



The leader of e-marketplace software company i2 has blamed a lack of leadership in large companies for the 12-month lag between Europe and the US on the...



The leader of e-marketplace software company i2 has blamed a lack of leadership in large companies for the 12-month lag between Europe and the US on the development of business-to-business marketplaces.

And IT departments have also come under fire for being too insular.

The US-Europe lag is said by experts to be caused by a combination of factors, including a lack of a single, border-free market that exists in the US. For example, to reach 70% of Europeans means having to speak at least five languages.

Other factors include European governments' clumsy efforts to support e-business, rather than approaching it from a hands-off US approach. Germany plans to issue green cards to workers from the Indian sub-continent to fill skills shortages but will only let them stay three years, and they cannot take their families with them.

But Sanjiv Sidhu of i2 warned that a lack of vision from the top was also partly to blame for not seeing the opportunity to fundamentally restructure their companies.

And he claimed that for organisations looking to create electronic marketplaces, IT departments continue to see IT as a function within the company's four walls, rather than a tool for the business. "Companies need to be looking in their rear view value mirrors," he said.

Sidhu suggested there were four watchwords by which e-business performance could be measured:

  • forward mobility - are you going faster than your competitors?

  • speed and quality of decision-making

  • organisation of content

  • transparency - the number of questions from a customer or supplier in visiting your site. The better the transparency, the better the site.

  • Read more on Business applications

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