Fifty percent of high-level executives see digital marketplaces as a critical means of competitive positioning for the next year -- and two-thirds have or plan to implement an e-procurement system -- shows a recent Arthur Andersen survey. Forty-five percent of respondents said their firm now offers products or services in one or more digital marketplaces established by other companies, an increase from 31% in a previous survey six months ago. And, 66% said their firm procures and buys products or services via digital marketplaces -- up from 48% six months ago. The greatest challenges facing digital marketplaces are upfront investment, long-term viability, and training, said respondents. Six months ago, the greatest challenge cited was compatibility of infrastructure. Arthur Andersen, a global professional services firm, is headquartered in Chicago.