Don't Bank on Internet Success

By Heller, Robert | Management Today, April 2000 | Go to article overview

Don't Bank on Internet Success


Heller, Robert, Management Today


A new rule of business seems to be that only those online will survive. But there is more to e-commerce then just pouring money into your company web site

The lunatic, irresponsible internet gold rush so deplored by sane, respectable captains of industry has developed an equally irrational second phase, led this time, not by teenage scramblers, but by the captains themselves.

Over just two days in late February, the Financial Times announced that United News & Media was expected to separate and float its UK internet assets; Reed Elsevier unveiled [pounds]600 million of internet investments; Siemens set out ambitious targets fonts e-businesses; and the Prudential revealed plans for an Egg-float that would value the baby bank at [pounds]2.8 billion.

The Pru's short-term prize (if not the target) was to rescue its faltering share price. At Reuters, too, the mere announcement of a strategy produced a sharp upturn in market value. Rivals are in hot pursuit. In financial services, say, Barclays, Abbey National and Halifax are all apparently hopeful that their fledgling internet strategies can scramble Egg's prospects.

All this poses three questions, which should trouble the sleep of the managements concerned. First, is their internet strategy correct? Second, can their customers execute that strategy successfully? Third, are too many e-bankers, e-retailers and so on, chasing too few e-customers?

It is perfectly clear that most new car purchases will be made via the web sooner rather than later, for example. There is no reason to suppose, however, that car sales in total will increase, or that the car manufacturers will preserve their retail market shares against the assault of internet newcomers. Whatever steps General Motors, Ford and the other megaliths take in cyberspace, the operation will be purely defensive. They cannot protect their profit margins against predators who are not lumbered by fixed assets or fixed mindsets.

The great gains available to the giants are not external, but internal. The vast web sites that the US auto-makers are assembling will cut costs and raise efficiencies - and thus compensate somewhat for the competitive squeeze. The financial services companies could take note, Too often, their customer-facing services are visibly execrable: just try dealing with a bank account at Hove through a call centre located in the Midlands. The many systems of the banks are still expensively unable to speak to each other and, sadly, because the fast and fertile web-based improvements that might be possible internally rarely merit front-page coverage, they rarely merit much boardroom attention either. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Don't Bank on Internet Success
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.