Lack of policies and staff are the bars to e-business

Failure to introduce knowledge management policies and a lack of skilled staff are the main difficulties facing employers wanting to develop e-business, according to new research.

A survey by E-Business Review magazine found some employees involved in the development of e-business were reluctant to share knowledge. The study’s interim results show only 21 per cent of the 300 organisations questioned have a knowledge management system in place.

David Bicknell, managing editor of E-Business Review, said keeping skilled staff is also a major issue for companies developing e-business. In particular, there is a shortage of staff who have experienced development and implementation of e-business, while skills problems are also exacerbated by the speed at which the technology is moving.

He said, “Whether UK companies are slipping behind with e-business plans against their global rivals or whether it is nervousness and fear of the unknown, it is clear that UK plc lacks confidence about its preparations for the e-economy.

“Our research suggests that perhaps the main constraining factors are still the lack of skilled individuals and a general lack of knowledge.”

He added, “Until we have a genned-up, e-skilled workforce, the climate for moving forward with e-business in the UK will continue to grow.”

Nearly half those surveyed (46 per cent) said they are involved in or planning e-business. Of these, 84 per cent have their own web sites, but only 2 per cent use it to carry out transactions over the Web.

The survey also found that high-profile success stories created anxiety about being left behind, even though in many organisations e-business is openly regarded as a low priority.

By Helen Rowe

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