Keith Krach has high expectations for the Internet economy.
“This is the second Industrial Revolution,” said the CEO and chairman of the board of Ariba, to members of the World Trade Center of Cleveland at the annual conference in May. “It’s not only a technology shift, it’s also a business model shift and a cultural shift.”
The revamping of the conventional business model is readily evident. Through the Internet, companies can access global economies of scale, develop process efficiencies and do business at a real-time pace. It’s truly a win-win situation for everyone involved, Krach says.
But you’d better do it fast.
“It’s not the big that’s going to eat the small,” he says, “it’s the fast that’s going to eat the slow. It’s all about speed.”
This change in business models has led to another shift that should not be ignored — the cultural shift.
That shift can be seen in a variety of ways. Long-held notions of hierarchical structures are quickly being reshaped into structures of employee empowerment. Equity of the few is transforming into equity of the many. Business students today leave school with a diploma in one hand and a business plan in the other. They’re ready to start the next dot-com and aren’t afraid to let everybody know it.
Krach should know. The Rocky River native co-founded Ariba in 1996 and the company now boasts a market capitalization in excess of $16 billion. Ariba provides business-to-business solutions for more than one-fifth of the Fortune 100 companies. It develops comprehensive and open commerce platforms to build B2B marketplaces, manage corporate purchasing and electronically enable suppliers and commerce service providers on the Internet.
Ariba is perfectly positioned to view and take advantage of the changes brought on by the new economy. In an effort to capitalize on the cultural shift, Krach and his management team created a playbook for the future of the company.
Here is a glimpse inside its pages.