If you were to ask any Internet business owner about how well organized their operations are, they’ll more than likely say, Possibly not.
In fact, many organizations throw up an expensive website using all the latest bells and whistles, only to find it a generally unsatisfying experience. Apart from the technical versus sales and marketing issues of the website itself, many organizations, both in terms of appropriate behaviors, as well as of effective organizational designs has been sadly neglected by many established site owners.
You may have a business site with dedicated Web staff, yet it is poorly integrated within your parent organization and tasked with non-defined roles.
A simple question needs to be asked, Do you have a networking group directed by a chief Web officer and composed of dedicated staff for each business function? If not, then depending upon your organizations’ size and abilities, you’ll need to implement such a group or outsource those functions.
Typically, many conventional site owners have acquired organizational habits that are not well aligned to the needs of internet marketing. It should be noted there are various undesirable traits or behaviors found in many organizations that must be guarded against.
You might find that increasing complexity in your company has resulted in inflexibility and slow decision making processes. There is also a tendency towards internal conflict and stratification, as well as a leadership that would tend to emphasize capital investment as a solution to all problems.
The movement towards networking with a specific group, which characterizes a typical consumer goods business, will carry with it limited coordination among your departments and divisions resulting in a weakened sense of market trends and increased dissatisfaction.
These features are in direct conflict with what you should know about the cultural characteristics of pure successful ecommerce businesses. An Internet business is predominantly a flat organization with quick decision making, where risk taking is encouraged and failure is merely an education.
Employees may tend to work long hours at the office by choice and are very self disciplined. Typically, such companies use guiding principles rather than procedures and tend to lead by example. When these two types of cultural environments are brought together, unexpected and perhaps dysfunctional behaviors must be expected to emerge.
Given the cultural and organizational differences between new and old ecommerce businesses, the way in which you, as an established site owner should set up and manage Internet operations, is therefore extremely important.
One factor to consider, is that small Internet businesses are more flexible organizationally. You should consider that ecommerce has provided greater electronic quality for smaller businesses in relation to their larger competitors.
You will need an increased willingness to seek appropriate alliances and partnerships, plus consider organizational designs, company spin-offs, etc., that will provide convergence to the integrated business model required to overcome these mismatches in culture and outlook.
The many advantages derived from the Internet must be exploited both within and between existing sectors of your offline business. With the ways in which networked organizations are evolving, it should be realized that only those retaining an Internet culture, in a parallel or networking group style of operation, closely identifies with the ecommerce aspects of a business’overall objectives will become more successful.