• Connectivity. Global connectivity of businesses and customers reduces old barriers in space and time and enables many new value constellations—networks of enterprises that work together for the same economic goal—that are much richer in form than the traditional (linear) value chain (see, for example, the recent debate in the Harvard Business Review1,2). 3
• Interactivity. A natural next step is that the customer and supplier can carry out e-business through real-time interaction. This enables a variety of new interactive business models.
• Context. Both connectivity and interactivity give rise to significant complexities. In e-business, widespread distribution and heterogeneity are the norm rather than the exception. So, we truly need information systems that can sense, understand, and act in the specific context in which e-business actors work.
• Techno-logic refers to whether the technology an e-business needs suffices in terms of functionality and commercial availability and to whether the enterprise has the required corporate technology competencies.
• Market logic asks whether you can expect customers to be interested and willing to pay for an e-business offering. Additionally, e-business is often innovative and therefore requires changes in customer behavior—and it is well known that adoption of innovations presents barriers to customer acceptance. 5
• Business logic considers the different roles of the various enterprises (suppliers and intermediaries) that together define the production and delivery chain's setup. You can break down the traditional industry value chain and reconfigure it in many networked ways—one of the new degrees of freedom in designing e-business—reducing economic transaction costs.
• Value adding offers linear combinations of product or service components to sell larger product bundles.
• Value extracting increases a given product's cost efficiency at a given price (known in industry as value engineering) through computerization or shifting labor to the customer.
• Value capturing exploits existing customer and sales data for improving marketing precision, personalization of offers, and so on.
• Value creating aims for network or community effects (beyond linear addition) by combining knowledge, labor, creativity, and connectivity between the customer and supplier.
Hans Akkermans is a professor of business informatics at the Free University Amsterdam and an international consultant in information and knowledge management. He regularly carries out evaluation and advisory assignments for the European Commission. His group at Free University Amsterdam coordinates OntoWeb, the European Union Thematic Network on Ontology and Semantic Web Technology for Knowledge Management and E-Commerce. He has published over 125 refereed international journal articles and conference papers in various fields of informatics, physics, engineering, and e-business and participates in many international cooperative industry-university projects. He has a bachelor's degree in astronomy, a cum laude MSc in physics, and a cum laude PhD in theoretical physics—all from the University of Groningen. He will be chair of the board of the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Information and Knowledge Systems in 2002. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com (c/o Elly Lammers).