The internet doesn’t represent a new way of doing business but an old one, says businessman and lecturer Chris de Klerk.
“It’s taking us back to doing business on a personal, barter basis, because email, for example, creates a personal relationship.”
He says with the advent of networked markets, “the market knows more than companies do about their products”.
South Africa-born de Klerk, who spoke around the country last week about networking and organisations, claims business experience in the Middle East and with companies including Siemens.
Poor e-sales figures don’t tell the whole story, de Klerk says, as many people who buy at bricks and mortar shops do their research and product comparisons online.
He cites research from the Gartner Group which says the applications service provider industry will reach $US25.3 billion by 2004 and that the five biggest priorities for companies are wireless internet capability, security and privacy, CRM, disaster recovery and web services.
He caused amusement among an Auckland audience when he quoted from The Cluetrain Manifesto, a book on networked markets, the following passage: “Companies typically install intranets top-down to distribute HR policies and other corporate information workers are doing their best to ignore.”