I’m starting up a new contract next week with Suncorp, working on strategic development of their e-commerce initiatives. The financial services sector is an interesting target for e-commerce solutions because the cost of sustaining financial transactions online can be extremely high for business users, and is perceived generally as a high-risk proposition for general consumers.
So how do we overcome this resistance to adopt?
There are a series of strategies that can be considered and these form the basis of internet marketing research and development, and there’s issues of connectivity and e-readiness that can be resolved, but there’s also emergence of e-business information services that are often ignored in prioritising e-commerce processes. The most valuable assets to businesses today are time and information. Time is saved when people have better access to information, and understanding of the issues at hand.
And contrary to the views of some of my academic colleagues, I believe standard theory and facts don’t make the best resources for achieving understanding. I believe conversations form the basis of true business exchanges that promote understanding. This concept has been explored widely in literature over the past 5 years (see The Cluetrain Manifesto), and blogs and other social software tools have clearly made in-roads into proving the theory, but it’s still regarded generally as a concept quite divorced from e-commerce. This, in spite of the fact that information management and processing still remains the most profitable and logical aspect of e-commerce. And as a business, when you have your data managed properly, the natural progression to having your financial matters handled in a manner that is compliant with existing information systems is a logical next step.
In any case, I look forward to the challenge!
And for those of you out there who haven’t heard from me lately, it’s mainly because I have been tied up with negotiating this contract. Will do my best to get back to you all this weekend.