Board buy-in stands in the way of collaborative commerce

SAP research shows ‘isolationist’ CEOs could miss out on bottom line benefits

LondonOver half of IT and e-business directors believe collaboration is key to the survival of their business. But 85% of them can’t get buy-in at CEO or CFO level.

New research commissioned by SAP UK, and conducted by Total Romtec , has shed light on current perceptions of collaborative commerce.

The findings show that a third of businesses are engaged in some form of collaborative commerce – or have plans to do so in the immediate future.

However, when asked about the challenges they faced in implementing these collaborative initiatives, 37% cited a lack of interest at board level as a major obstacle, with the same percentage naming integration and data compatibility issues. What’s more, only 15% felt they had board buy-in even now.

The research also highlighted some of the perils of failing to collaborate effectively with partners. 18% of respondents said their company had lost customers as the direct result of a third party’s actions. This rose to 50% in the retail sector.

“It’s natural for companies to become more inward looking in a recession, but at a time when they’re scrutinising the bottom line, collaboration can offer a route to significant cost savings and better customer retention,” said Peter Robertshaw, director of marketing, innovation and thought leadership at SAP UK.

“For instance, being able to update a concerned customers on the delivery status of a product instead of directing them to the logistics company could prevent them going elsewhere. It should be an obvious step for companies to take but it seems that IT and e-business directors are struggling to get their views heard on this subject,” he added.