Business guru Tom Peters sees e-business shakeout

Over 85 per cent of the companies trying to restructure their business around e-commerce are going to blow it, said legendary business guru Tom Peters on Tuesday.

Speaking at the e-Link 2000 conference in Las Vegas and sponsored by CommerceOne Inc., the author of “In Search of Excellence” and the “Reinventing of Work” series said that most companies would fail in their efforts because they lack the intestinal fortitude necessary to accomplish their goals.

“E-commerce is not a technology play,” said Peters. “It’s a relationship, partnering, communication, and organizational play, made possible by technology.”

Peters said the real issue is whether companies have the guts to engage in creative destruction.

“It’s all about nerve,” said Peters. “E-commerce will work to the extent that you alter every relationship in your organization. So the real issue is: ‘Do you have the nerve to do this?’ Growth is a function of the nerve to destroy.”

Peters predicted that over the next 10 years the business world would undergo a “white collar revolution” where 90 per cent of white collar jobs will be destroyed or altered beyond recognition.

“If you don’t get every business process on the Web in 48 months, you stand a good chance of dying,” said Peters. “And you cannot do business-to-business e-commerce in a six level organization. It has to be a flat organization.”

Peters said the key to e-commerce success is the ability to establish meaningful partnerships, which most companies are unable to do.

“You need to insanely share proprietary data with your partners,” said Peters. “Unfortunately, I don’t know one Fortune 500 company in 200 that is capable of doing that.”