The report, Nil by Mouth, examines the adoption of electronic systems in business communications and urges board-level executives to take a lead in changing their own, and by extension their organisations’, view of technology. The speed of take-up for e-mail has been incredible, with 75% of business communications now using electronic media. Whereas the telephone took 25 years to accumulate 50 million users, and the radio 38 years, the Internet gained the same number in just five years. Recommended courses of action for the board include getting hands-on experience of technology; accepting that traditional modes of business and job functions will change; preparing middle management for a different role (since electronic communications often render them superfluous and employees can be empowered); focusing on training while realising that many of the tools of electronic commerce will be familiar to experienced computer users; and taking responsibility for the successful development of new systems. IT Strategy: E-commerce, p 45.
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