CIO takes Canada

The results are in. Over the summer CIO Canada, in conjunction with the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Business, sent readers a survey in order to help us find out about your contemporary e-business practices. Six hundred and twenty seven people responded, and here’s what they had to say:

    In all, 88 per cent of respondents are engaged in some form of Web-based e-business.While 50 per cent agreed that their online initiatives are strategic, 50 per cent admitted that their organizations are not e-business leaders in their respective industries.Just over half of all respondents said their organizations regularly seek out new e-business ideas. Slightly less said their employers actively support IT management and staff when it comes to helping them learn about e-business. However, 40 per cent disagreed that their organizations offer the same level of support to non-IT staff.Roughly half of all respondents agreed that their business units, corporate management and corporate IT group need to be more active in the development of their e-business. As well, the majority of respondents disagree that their employers have organized their e-businesses effectively.For the most part, it’s the corporate group (61 per cent) that comes up with ideas for e-business applications, as opposed to individual business unit groups, and which oversees infrastructure. In 74 per cent of cases, a corporate group gives final approval to e-commerce initiatives, particularly one that is neither business nor IT.E-business back-office systems are most commonly developed and/or integrated by a corporate group (54 per cent), in 43 per cent of those cases, by an IT group.Who takes ultimate responsibility for a company’s e-business infrastructure? Sixty-five per cent of the time, it’s a corporate group, primarily IT groups. Less than two in 10 said it was a business unit group, or other external employees.The vast majority of companies that outsource portions of their e-business give that work (primarily application development, back-end integration and infrastructure-related matters) to Canadian firms.Two-thirds of respondents used existing staff or hired staff for their first e-business project.

The study talked mostly to IT professionals, with some involvement of corporate executives and other managers, in a wide array of industries. Respondents were evenly split between less than five years and more than five years in time spent on the job.

The poll is one piece of a larger, two-year project being undertaken by the University of Victoria, studying how North American business design the organizational infrastructure to implement their e-commerce initiatives.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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