Steps to Nirvana offers "e-business for the rest of us"
not just for Internet start-ups, but for upstart traditional
businesses too, according to a new book co-authored by Mohanbir
Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune Professor of Electronic Commerce
and Technology. The Seven Steps to Nirvana: Strategic Insights
into eBusiness Transformation (McGraw-Hill) defines "nirvana"
as enlightenment and applies the concept to the corporate
and co-author, DiamondCluster International research fellow
Jeff Zabin, present a systematic approach for exploiting the
new possibilities of e-business by interweaving such elements
as technology, strategy, processes, infrastructure and organizational
issues. "I felt that there was an urgent need for an
e-business book that spoke to mainstream businesses, and placed
customers at the front and center of e-business strategy,"
points out that the book is targeted to senior managers in
traditional established businesses who want to use e-business
as a tool to optimize their core business and to grow their
companies by leveraging assets, capabilities and relationships.
The text is meant to be a compass for senior executives as
they embark on the journey of e-business transformation. "This
book is e-business for the 'rest of us,' and e-business with
customers as the anchor for initiatives," Sawhney notes.
metaphysical overtones in the title? "We talk about e-business
as a journey," explains Sawhney. "Nirvana stands
for personal transformation, self-development."
this book different from other recent books focusing on e-business
is that it sees electronic business as a means to an end,
not an end in itself. "We show how e-business can be
used to create value for customers and shareholders,"
says Sawhney. "The book focuses on real people in real
businesses in mundane sectors of the economy. There are no
superheroes here. Just regular people in regular businesses
trying to make change happen in large companies."
employ frameworks and concepts over case studies and war stories,
in the hope that these insights will stand the test of time.
The book attempts to bring clarity to a wide range of strategic
business issues, including how to find opportunities to leverage
the core business, and how to fund e-business and manage project
portfolios. "I wrote this as more than an e-business
book; I wrote this as a strategy book," says Sawhney.
"At its heart, it's more a book about marketing and strategy
than it is about technology."
also have incorporated metaphors, stories and fables to make
the book more readable and to explain concepts that might
otherwise seem abstruse. Perhaps most refreshing, Sawhney
says he and his co-author have taken pains to "eschew
the breathless hype of 'New Economy' books" to instead
offer readers a more practical guide rather than "a view
of the trenches from 30,000 feet."