Gartner offers IT tips to stretch e-commerce budget

Research firm recommends reducing in-house application development for basic e-commerce functions.

E-commerce teams within IT departments must do more with less, so they need to maximize their resources through shrewd and clever management, according to Gartner.

Although IT budgets are shrinking anywhere between 5 percent to 25 percent, IT e-commerce organizations are expected to sharpen the online shopping experiences of their companies' customers.

A big reason for the heightened expectations is that sites like YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Flickr and Facebook continue to push the envelope in terms of new features and the online experience in general, said Gene Alvarez, Gartner's vice president of e-commerce and CRM research.

"That's the real big challenge here for e-commerce organizations: The bar keeps rising despite the economy," he said. "Whether in business-to-consumer or business-to-business e-commerce, as customers are exposed to new capabilities, they expect those at all other Web sites."

Thus, in order to stretch their resources and meet management's expectations, e-commerce units can take various steps, including reducing the money they spend on developing in-house applications, Gartner said Monday.

In particular, IT departments shouldn't invest on creating their own applications for basic e-commerce functions, since those can be implemented at a lower cost through commercial "off the shelf" software.

Specifically in the case of rich Internet applications (RIAs), the custom development work should be limited to those applications that will generate high sales conversion rates.

"You waste money if you have developers supporting commodity capabilities," Alvarez said. A company's e-commerce developers should be focused on building the types of made-to-measure applications that will give the company an edge over its competition.

In addition, IT departments must make sure that their e-commerce groups are maximizing the use of technology tools and products the company already owns.

At the negotiation table, IT departments should be merciless when dealing with their e-commerce software vendors and aim to lower their 2009 license fees between 20 percent to 50 percent.

Finally, IT managers need to take stock of their e-commerce staff to see if there are employees elsewhere doing the same tasks, such as separate marketing people for online and offline operations, in which case the work can be consolidated and personnel reduced, according to Gartner.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Gartnere-commerce

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?