'Net Effect: Market Challenge, But Little Business Effect So Far, Say CEOs

By John S. McClenahen Compared with last year, the percentage of CEOs in the Americas, Europe, and Asia viewing the Internet as a major market challenge has more than doubled, to 38% from 15% reveals a survey of 506 CEOs conducted by Accenture LLP, formerly Andersen Consulting, and the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. Thee surveyed chief executives are in manufacturing, manufacturing-related services, and other service industries. However, a big gap seems to exist between CEO concern and the impact the 'Net is having so far on their businesses. Only 25% of the CEOs recently surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, New York, report that e-business "completely reshaped" or "significantly impacted" their companies last year. A majority, 53%, views the 'Net as having little impact -- and 22% say e-business had no impact at all. Some 871 CEOs in the Americas, Europe, and Asia participated in the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of manufacturers and service providers. Among manufacturers -- as among companies generally -- a majority of CEOs (54.2%) believes that electronic business had little impact on their companies in 2000. Nearly 28% claim there was no impact at all -- while a surprisingly low 17.7% relate that e-business "completely reshaped" or "significantly impacted" their companies last year.

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