Paint and surface coatings company Wattyl Ltd.’s ChiefInformation Officer John Croker has labeled a federal governmentstudy into B2B e-business projects as “dumb.”

The nine-month study, which was released Tuesday, said ITmanagers are a key barrier to the success of B2B e-businessprojects

This is because one of the main obstacles to e-business projectsuccess is engaging trading partners and getting them to connect tothe new system.

However, Croker said organizations involved in B2B trading wouldonly avoid IT if they want the project to fail.

“If you don’t want the system to work then avoid IT; I thinkthis suggestion is dumb,” Croker said.

“IT doesn’t hinder these projects, they make it happen and it iscritical to get IT involved from the very beginning rather thanlater.”

“We are actively involved in B2B trading and when we approachedpartners we always included IT because it is a team endeavor andtheir involvement is critical to ensuring things happen andtimelines are met,” he said.

To encourage adoption, the report recommends targeting businessand operational executives, not IT, because they were most likelyto put up barriers.

Commissioned by the Department of IT, Communications and theArts (DCITA), the report said to: “Package systems so ITinvolvement in the decision making process is minimized, oreliminated altogether, as a significant enabler.”

Undertaken by S2 Intelligence, the research involved 54organizations and 12 e-business systems covering building andconstruction, telecommunications, manufacturing, agriculture,business services, insurance and financial services.

Bruce McCabe, S2 Intelligence managing director, said that whileIT staff do raise legitimate issues such as security, in most ITprojects, they actually created more problems when it came to B2Btrading systems.

“The barriers are political, not technical and are around issuesof ownership. When technology is being developed by another companyand introduced to them they want to know where it came from ratherthan asking if it’s good for the business,” McCabe said.

“It is best to interact with operational or business staff toavoid resistance from IT.”

The research has been translated into a 56-point checklist formanagers implementing these systems and copies will be availablefor download in coming weeks at

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