UK firms fear for internal harmony

Fear of rocking the boat internally is making many UK companies nervous about their e-business strategy, claims chip maker Intel.

Following a survey of 400 senior executives across Europe, the processing giant said UK firms are the most worried about the effect new ways of doing business will have on inter-departmental harmony.

Potential internal conflict, and managing the different objectives of various departments, was cited as a major hurdle to implementing e-business systems by 44% of UK companies – a significantly higher figure than in the rest of Europe.

Intel’s research also suggests the stranglehold once exercised by IT departments over the development of e-business strategies has vanished. Two thirds of UK respondents said other areas of their business – most notably sales – were at the forefront of influencing policy.

Faith in the potential of e-business among company leaders remains generally undiminished, despite the well-publicised difficulties of the ‘new economy’. Eight out of 10 said they were still enthusiastic for further developments, as long as the various barriers could be overcome.

Intel commissioned the survey to coincide with its launch of 20 testing centres in seven European countries. The company’s E-business Labs will offer customers facilities to ‘test drive’ technology in a neutral environment, and fine-tune it as necessary before unleashing it onto their actual systems.