The diffusion race of e-commerce applications and solutions in the German industry seems to be concluded. This applies more or less for large firms, but especially for SMEs in the analyzed industry sectors. Independent of firm size, more than one third of all firms responded that the implementation of e-commerce contributed substantially to improve existing operational processes and to expand markets. E-commerce readiness, and due to its relative efficient usage, is observable not only in large firms. The “digital divide” or “digital gap” between large firms and SMEs has disappeared. Increasingly, SMEs may often benefit more from e-commerce applications than large firms. Although e-commerce technologies may be available theoretically in all industries and firms, efficient usage depends directly on the consistent implementation of more sophisticated solutions, such as on-line procurement or Internet-based supply chain management. Firms with defined strategic IT-related goals are more often efficient than firms without such goals
Beck, Roman; Wigand, Rolf T.; and Koenig, Wolfgang, "Beyond the Electronic Commerce Diffusion Rate: Efficiency Prevails" (2003). ECIS 2003 Proceedings. 15.