SAFECO: Leveraging the Web in a Knowledge-Based Service Industry

SAFECO: Leveraging the Web in a Knowledge-Based Service Industry

Debabroto Chatterjee, Leonard M. Jessup
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-592-9.ch016
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The Internet and World Wide Web present significant business opportunities and threats, particularly for business organizations that are knowledge-based and/or that offer primarily information-based services. For these types of firms, the Web offers opportunities that range from exchanging information with partner organizations, the delivery of existing services to customers, and the creation of new services. The potential threats include choosing the wrong strategies for adopting Web technologies, poor implementation of Web technologies, entering late into the realm of electronic commerce and thus losing market share, or worse, ignoring the use of the Web altogether and potentially being replaced by more nimble rivals. The majority of large organizations in a variety of industries have slowly, cautiously begun deploying Web technologies. This is perhaps not surprising considering the implementation challenges and risks posed by this new technological innovation. It is not yet clear how large organizations, particularly those that are knowledge-based and provide primarily information-based services, should strategize about, adopt, and implement Web technologies. The purpose of this study is to understand how SAFECO, a large corporation in the insurance and financial services industry, is strategizing for and implementing technologies to exploit the Web. SAFECO was recently ranked as one of the leading innovative users of the Web technology in its industry. This further legitimizes the selection of the company as an appropriate case study site.

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