Business Funds e-business

According to a new e-business study by Cutter Consortium, 59% of the respondents doing e-business say that the business funds e-business; 30% of the respondents have shared business-IT funding for e-business; and only 11% of the respondents doing e-business fund it exclusively through IT.

The results of the study, which will be published in the report "e-Business: Trends, Strategies and Technologies," also shows that e-business is a business initiative, not an IT initiative. For 49% of the respondents doing e-business, the business owns the e-business initiative, and business and IT share ownership in 32% of the shops. Only 19% of the respondents doing e-business say that e-business is owned by IT.

Cutter Consortium Senior Consultant Chris Pickering, the author of the study, observes, "IT is not the driver for e-business. The data even suggests that, in many cases, IT is subordinate to the business in e-business initiatives. This was driven home by respondents who included comments like ‘Our business unit outsourced our one e-business application without involving IS,’ and ‘IS is treated as a utility/cost center. IS is not embraced as part of the business planning process.’ In short, business is driving ahead with e-business whether IT is ready or not."

Pickering continues, "Of course, the message for IT is to get ready. In support of e-business, IT has two primary roles: consultant and infrastructure provider. As a consultant, IT must put on a business hat and bring its technology expertise to bear on business needs, weighing possible technology solutions against the business scorecard of cost, value and time-to-market."

"As an infrastructure provider, IT must design, implement and operate an e-business technology architecture that is capable, stable, reliable, secure and extensible. This means installing and supporting the computing platforms and networking infrastructure necessary to support the e-business strategy. Any additional IT roles (such as application development) are secondary to these two."

For more information, visit Cutter’s Web site at