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Chapter 4. Thinking e-Business Design: M... > Step 2: Reverse the Value Chain

Step 2: Reverse the Value Chain

The greatest challenge in e-business is linking emerging technology to a company's new business design. Were it just a matter of linking emerging technologies to existing markets or vice versa, management's challenge would be relatively easy. But when both current technology and markets are changing and are doing so dynamically, this linking becomes a delicate process indeed. As new technologies emerge, they affect customer needs by raising expectations of the possible, and these changing customer needs influence a company's business design, requiring it to change as well. As a new business design is implemented, it alters the way a company's processes work. As a result, process requirements change, influencing the next generation of technology.

Technology alone cannot make a business design dynamic, but it can make a dynamic design a real dynamo. As new technologies and customer needs emerge, managers find creating new business designs difficult, for two reasons. First, most have been trained to concentrate on improving products, increasing market share, and growing revenues. Second, in the e-business world, the distinction between products and services often blurs. Therefore, success depends on creating new "product offerings" in which customers see the additional value.


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