Streamlining is a safe bet for a positive 2003
With profits under pressure, mass lay-offs and executives facing new challenges, many companies will be happy to see the end of 2002.
According to Streamlining, this is a time for readjustment; a time to move on as everybody - from investors to shareholders, analysts and employees - wants to see a plan for recovery.
Author Michael De Kare-Silver, an adviser on business and the new technology scene, has identified this key issue to help businesses confidently leap into the future - or at least 2003.
De Kare-Silver says Streamlining was triggered by a series of advertisements taken out by e-business software specialist Oracle proclaiming the firm had saved US$1 billion 'by e-enabling the business'.
'That's a big impact,' De Kare-Silver says in the book's preface.
'How come they're getting value out of their 'e-initiatives'? It's especially challenging since after the dotcom bomb, many have become sceptical, given up, or relegated this whole area down the agenda.
'And while some others have persisted, they haven't seen anything like the same returns.'
De Kare-Silver says streamlining provides companies with a solution path, while the book identifies ways to cut through a raft of issues and opportunities and builds on the learnings and techniques developed at Oracle and other firms.
'The key enabler . . . is new technology,' he says.
''E' need no longer be associated with hype and disappointment, with confusion and uncertainty, with false expectations and desires. 'E' can, and is, being reborn and rediscovered. Its revival comes in the context of performance improvement in the processes, tasks and activities inside the corporation.'
De Kare-Silver has identified four main parts of streamlining opportunity, while he also looks at seven companies leading the way on e-business transformation, such as Cisco, Oracle, Nestle and Microsoft.
Other chapters cover areas such as streamlining procurement and the supply chain, wireless interactivity and the Internet revolution in context.
Peppered with graphs and pictures, the book takes a positive look at how to transform a business and put the hardships of this year where they belong - in the past.
'Streamlining is a simple idea,' he says.
'It's not some rocket science. It's not complicated.
'It's what many businesses have been doing for many years as they try to improve competitiveness.'
And as 2003 nears, it is a case of out with the old and in with the new, as the saying goes. There is nothing to lose, especially considering the gloomy times of 2002.
Using New Technologies
By Michael De Kare-Silver
Published by Palgrave