The study shows that 51% of the companies surveyed said B2B exchanges, whether private, public or consortia, had either "mostly" or "absolutely" failed to meet their expectations. A mere 9% said their experience had "mostly" met expectations, and only 2% said it had "absolutely" done so.
The report, B2B Exchanges: future hopes, current doubts, surveyed 57 US firms across a range of industries, a third of which were in the financial services sector.
Andrew Bartels, vice-president for e-business applications and strategy at Giga Group, said many had expected that the technology would be mature from the start and easier to use than it actually was.
"There was the expectation that the technology would be more available and would allow people to get online and be operational fairly quickly, that you could connect to one point and from there you could link to all of your partners and suppliers rather than having to connect one by one," he said.
These beliefs had not been met because linking to an exchange was not about "plug-and-play", he said. More importantly, unless a company's partners and suppliers were hooked up to these exchanges, it was unlikely that they had reaped the expected benefits.
"This statistics point to an increasing realisation that is not just a question of hooking up to an exchange. Unless a significant percentage of your partners participate, it isn't going to help much."
Firms also needed to have a better understanding of what benefits could be reaped from the different types of exchanges: public, private and consortia. "Companies need a way of assessing which channel is the right one to use - with some, you will link through either a public exchange, a private exchange, or others might want to continue working through existing electronic channels, such as EDI," Bartels said.