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Lesson 4Perspectives
ObjectiveDescribe the objectives of e-business stakeholders.

Objectives of e-business Stakeholders

In the realm of e-business, stakeholder engagement is paramount. Each stakeholder possesses distinct objectives, and a thorough understanding of these is vital for an architect to advocate for an e-business design effectively. Here's an explanation of the primary objectives of key e-business stakeholders:
  1. Top Management and Board of Directors
    • Strategic Alignment The e-business initiative must align with the organization's overarching strategic goals and vision.
    • Return on Investment (ROI) They seek a tangible and favorable financial return on any investment related to e-business.
    • Reputation and Branding Ensuring that the e-business strategy enhances the organization's brand image and reputation.
  2. Investors and Shareholders
    • Financial Performance A focus on increased revenue, profitability, and market share, which boosts shareholder value.
    • Sustainability Interest in long-term growth and the company's ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
    • Transparency Expectations of clear communication regarding e-business strategies, risks, and outcomes.
  3. Customers
    • User Experience A seamless, intuitive, and efficient online interface.
    • Security Assurance that personal and financial information is protected.
    • Value Proposition Competitive pricing, quality, and unique offerings that distinguish the organization from competitors.
  4. Suppliers and Distributors
    • Integration Seamless integration of supply chain processes with the e-business platform.
    • Real-time Information Access to real-time data on orders, inventory, and demand forecasts.
    • Efficient Transactions Streamlined procurement processes and timely payments.
  5. Employees
    • Training and Development Opportunities to acquire skills necessary for the e-business transition.
    • Collaborative Tools Platforms that facilitate communication, collaboration, and productivity in an e-business environment.
    • Job Security Assurance that the shift to e-business will not result in significant job losses.
  6. Regulatory Authorities
    • Compliance Adherence to all relevant laws, regulations, and standards related to online business, data protection, and consumer rights.
    • Transparency Clear disclosure of business practices, especially concerning data handling and consumer interactions.
    • Ethical Practices Ensuring the organization operates ethically, especially in areas like data privacy and digital marketing.
  7. IT Department
    • Infrastructure Adequacy Ensuring that the existing IT infrastructure can support the e-business model.
    • Scalability The e-business solution should accommodate future growth and expansion.
    • Security Robust cybersecurity measures to protect against threats and vulnerabilities.
  8. Marketing and Sales Teams
    • Market Reach Leveraging the e-business model to tap into new markets or demographics.
    • Customer Insights Access to data analytics that offer insights into customer behavior and preferences.
    • Promotion Effective online marketing tools and strategies to promote products or services.
By comprehending the objectives of these e-business stakeholders, architects can tailor their pitches and designs to address specific concerns and aspirations. An inclusive approach that integrates the interests of all stakeholders ensures the successful adoption and implementation of e-business strategies.

The architect can best sell the e-business design to an organization by fully understanding and anticipating the concerns of individual stakeholders, groups of stakeholders, and the organization as a whole.

Understanding Objectives of e-business stakeholders

In identifying the likely concerns of stakeholders, it is best to start with the underlying company structure.

Stakeholders Greatest concern Questions to anticipate
The Management Board To ensure the ongoing and increasing profitability and viability of the enterprise What will the enterprise gain from the implementation? Can the implementation be achieved without negative impact on the business?
Operations and Customer Service To maintain or improve service levels at the lowest possible cost Will volumes increase or decrease in any part of the operation? How will customer service need to change to accommodate the solution?
Sales and Marketing To achieve a greater penetration of the targeted customer base and how to increase sales. How will this solution affect my customers? Will the image of the business be enhanced or damaged? How will branding be affected?
Finance To reduce unit costs What are the implementation and running costs of the e-business solution? What other costs will be affected and how?
Systems To provide and maintain reliable and adequate systems for all aspects of the enterprise Is the proposed solution viable from a systems' perspective? Do we have the necessary skills available to develop and run the solution?
Legal To ensure the enterprise operates within the law and does not expose itself to unnecessary risks What are the legal and regulatory requirements of operating in the virtual world? What new risks are introduced by the e-business solution?

Change Management

Stakeholder buy-in is critical to the success of an e-business. Although the task of convincing stakeholders can be formidable, the benefits of ensuring their buy-in can significantly affect the success of the project.
To successfully manage the change to e-business, the architect should:
  1. Involve a wide variety of representative stakeholders to map implementation issues to performance
  2. Conduct a broad-based internal survey of stakeholders that rates the importance of each issue
  3. Analyze the survey to identify consensus and disconnects in importance among subgroups of stakeholders
  4. Tie the importance ratings to specific phases of the implementation to identify where change interventions might be introduced for best impact
In the next lesson, we will outline the key issues and concerns that an architect must consider in order to address the concerns of the stakeholders.