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U.K. backs e-business "advice" guide

Britain backs an e-business guide that aims to show CEOs how they can benefit from Internet-based applications. IBM and Oracle were among the guide's contributors.

Britain has given its backing to an e-business guide that aims to show chief executives how they can benefit from Internet-based applications.

The document, "Succeeding in the Networked Economy: The CEO Framework for E-Business," claims to show how top executives can use new technology within their organizations. It has been created by BuyIT, a nonprofit body whose members include IT companies and institutions, and several government departments.

By supporting the guide, which was launched at a Department of Trade and Industry event Thursday, the government is trying to encourage U.K. companies to take e-business seriously and to start implementing it.

"We need the leadership within both small and large organizations to be confident that they are steering their people on a course that is appropriate and achievable," said Patricia Hewitt, secretary of state at the DTI.

IBM and Oracle both contributed e-business advice to the guide, which identifies four key areas that corporate leaders must come to grips with. This includes using technology to build better relationships and to communicate better with employees, shareholders and partners. It also handles the topic of changing the culture of a company through successful e-business practices.

Douglas Alexander, minister for e-commerce and competitiveness, welcomed the guide.

"This framework will help chief executives identify the key issues in understanding the e-business landscape, and provides a basis from which they can derive an informed, initial e-strategy," he said. "The intent is to challenge thinking, and provoke action. The successful integration of "e" into businesses can only enhance the productivity and competitiveness of U.K. industry to the benefit and prosperity of us all."

Graeme Wearden reported from London.