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An examination of e-business adoption by South African companies.

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Globally, companies are adopting electronic business to sustain their competitive advantage and to link this with their core competencies. The world, as described by Gartner, is currently in a "Trough of Disillusionment" - an area of pessimism where the perceived value of e-business are thought of not delivering sustainable value. However, challenges and opportunities exist to change this perception. This dissertation makes a case for e-business adoption by laying out the value of e-business and discussing the components that make up e-business. Evidence exits linking e-business and competitive advantage and the degree of e-business adoption is producing shifts in the competitive landscape, thereby becoming a integral part of business activities across the world. Literature research is presented, making a case for adoption of e-business and its role in sustainable competitive advantage. The case therefore can also be made for South African companies and their e-readiness can be determined. The dissertation then proceed to examine the adoption of e-business by South African companies, looking at their readiness and making conclusions based in various criteria such as market segmentation, company size and so forth. Qualitative and quantitative research is presented in the form of secondary data from reputable sources and is discussed as and when presented. Evidence of IT contribution to competitive advantage is presented and the concept of the Intelligent Enterprise is introduced. International e-commerce trends is discussed along with Gartner's Net Liberalised Organisations (NLO) and the specific components making up e-business, such as supply chain management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, infrastructure, intermediation and customer relationship management, are examined in order to determine adoption levels in these technologies and business enablers. The dissertation goes onto examine South African B2B adoption trends focusing on e-commerce enabling technologies and components as a function of company size. Implementations, solutions and obstacles are presented and discussed. An Examination of E-Business Adoption by South African Companies. Closer examination of corporate IT trends for certain industry segments is evaluated with the primary focus on enterprise software application implementation phases. This is an exhaustive look at implementation of tools ranging from CRM through to portal technologies and network security. Next the penetration levels of enterprise applications for various vertical industries are looked into, as well as the degree of penetration propensity as a gauge of trends. Obstacles to e-business, Internet connectivity and the effects of IT budgets on adoption are examined. Future trends are discussed during these chapters. Internet based B2B exchanges and offerings (both vertical and functional or hub exchanges) have been researched in various industry sectors. These are presented and conclusions drawn as to the positioning of these exchanges in the South African marketplace. Finally, recommendations, trends, conclusions and future predictions are presented along with the challenges that the marketplace (both small and large company size segments), is facing.


Thesis (MBA)-University of Natal, Durban, 2002.


Theses--Business administration., Electronic commerce--South Africa.