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E-business changed the way business was being done over the years. It created more and more avenues and opportunities. E-business changed the competitive platform. While the old competitive barriers are diminishing it created new entry and competitive barriers. The hard competitive barriers are becoming weak while the soft competitive barriers became more and more prominent. It is believed that not even 50% of the potential of e-business is to be unleashed yet. This definitely indicates that e-business has lot more to offer. E-business has appealed the businesses and customers from all segments. E-business increased the connectivity among different businesses. The integration among departments, different businesses, and different sectors through e-business made it possible to offer variety of services to customers. The new technologies, high speed internet made the transactions possible. Improved integration and interoperability needs of next generation e-business systems are met by new e-business solution architectures. New technologies of data storage, distributed access and cloud computing allowed advantages like access of information. Trading knowledge, online information transaction, bidding for even small articles, integrated online solutions and many more business applications have become possible with the blessing of technologies.
While e-business has revolutionized global economy and information management, it also improved services and reach of businesses. There is high possibility that e-business will overtake the traditional way of doing business in coming years. New business, technology and organizational architectures have emerged and will emerged to support e-business.
Web 2.0, web 3.0 and other developments seem to revolutionize whole e-business spectrum. E-business is the journey of empowering business which has wheels of technology, strategies and processes. The robust, stable and adaptive framework is required to absorb new innovations. In this chapter we will discuss various environments that can provide opportunity for e-business to unleash its potential. While doing this we will also discuss about the constraints. E-business is adopted in many sectors – and can go beyond those sectors. The collaboration of business components, different sectors and technologies while creating new opportunities posed many new challenges. The focus still remains the strategic and technological aspects of e-business.
The legal issues, intellectual property related issues, security and regulatory issues will definitely focus of future e-business. While addressing the technical and social issues e-business related to strike the balance. It is a way of living, life style and way of doing business. Hence future e-business is holistic and more systemic where it is not a technology but it is life style and business style appealing to masses.
15.2 New technologies knocking on the door:
Technologies are evolving at a faster pace than social evolution. Last three centuries witnessed this technology change and last three decades experience the technology movement changing the lifestyle of every individual. The people reluctant to use debit card due to security concerns have started freely using credit cards, started paying electronically and online. Technologies evolved and that revolutionized the speed of Internet, downloads and communication. On line movie releases, online book releases are no longer remained a friction. The faster, cheaper and relatively more secured transactions fueled the growth of e-business. E-tourism, e-libraries grown by many folds in last five years. The new technologies like 3G, web 3.0, advanced processors and new frameworks promised the better business experience. The new technologies like cloud computing and 3G even helped to change the old paradigm of e-business like:
– One needs to own the infrastructure
– One needs to pay monthly
– There is nothing like on demand
The new paradigms like collaborative on-demand services, transaction based payments, sharing of space and information along with processor, memory have changed the business paradigm. The new paradigm and new technologies helped to develop new ways of management, strategic and implementation enabling to overcome hurdles in adoption and diffusion of e-business. So this is now prompting e-business not only to be looked as technology innovation but also as a business innovation. E-business readiness, environment readiness is increasing and with new technologies knocking at the door it is expected to grow e-business many folds. Technologies are drivers for this change and are also prepare platform to support new strategic and business concepts. It is expected that the availability of broad band to end user will increase further to 1000 million and that will develop a socially acceptable communication lifestyle. The new technology development in safeguarding sensitive information has created many business opportunities. The next generation technologies will improve privacy protection, strengthen security, provide personalized services and access controls and will change the face of the business and social transactions. The explosion of social networking and their possible integration with business and information transactions would help to create a collaborative and integrated e-business platform creating many business opportunities.
But this will definitely lead to many questions and challenges like systemic, social and ethical issues. It will pose the challenges like impact of different activities on other systems, social infrastructure. The new technologies knocking at the door can like new security frameworks can help to solve these problems.
15.3 Business with limited infrastructure:
The new technologies and on demand services, on demand storage, on demand infrastructure and even on demand information can allow to set a business with limited infrastructure. The integrated and collaborative approaches allow setting business with limited infrastructure. The processing power can be shared, memory and storage can be shared, and bandwidth can also be shared. This allow service provider to provide you infrastructure on demand – i.e. when you need (for specific time slots), how much you need (a small amount to huge one). Any way this may raise a few security concerns about information and business data. That can also be resolved by technology allowing you to have your private and controlled but shared and collaborative frameworks.
15.4 From e-paper to E-gadgets:
The traditional gadgets with no communication abilities are replaced by e-gadgets – those are intelligent and have communication abilities. These communication abilities of e-gadgets help the growth of e-business. These gadgets allow different transactions, they can communicate among themselves and build knowledge and information base. E-paper are the range of display and other electronic technologies those are designed to give feel of real paper and gives the experience similar to actual paper reading. Stable images, wider viewing angle and no blinking helps to make e-paper reading much more comfortable compared to images on regular computer screens. E-papers, e-gadgets change the overall transaction experience of users involved in e-business. Similarly advanced gadgets, connectivity, integration allows the communication among different stakeholders. The overall ease of communication and ability to transact electronically expected to evolve the business communication to next level.
15.5 Changing the way business is done:
From the years together the way business used to be done has evolved. Initially from the simple exchange of useful amenities the business began and created value for every trader in the village. As this type of exchange was not possible always and hence there was need of common currency. This introduced different coins. These coins were different for different kingdoms and there was no way to exchange across the small kingdoms. Slowly there was standardization and security embedded in currency. This evolved to common currencies, conversion rates and later to some standard currencies like Euro that can be traded across countries. The user experience and business growth have been the driving factor for evolution of business.
Electronic technology evolved the traditional businesses. The information availability, advanced communication means and technologies like credit cards made it possible to transact remotely and without actual currency exchange. In coming years the further evolution of technology can address the issues in transaction experience and security concerns in these transaction. Next level of integration between the traditional and modern ways of business will change the way business is done. The more intelligent and user friendly gadgets will not only help users but also to businessmen.
15.6 Getting ready for new technologies:
No innovation is possible unless society, environment and business is ready for new technology or for that innovation. It demands the understanding of technology and utilities by users and further users can see value and minimal risk in new technologies. There are some other factors like individual should able to identify himself with the technology use, he should be acquainted to technology and can see the value in it. Society gets ready for new technology based on infrastructure, availability and positioning of technology.
15.7 Challenges and New Trends:
The communication and the ability to communicate has been strength of human being. These communications can create social and emotional bonding. Every evolution and change in e-business has introduced new means to communicate and transact. These new means to transact also introduce new challenges. The concepts and paradigms of personalization and parameters of security changed. Though the law is catching up with the online business world – still there are many challenges like dealing with intellectual property related issues, regulatory policies, taxation policies and most importantly restriction of information access and censorship. These issues not only create business implication but many times lead to social unrest. Many ethical issues and business issues create complications those can lead to long term negative social and business impacts. The electronic acceptance of agreement still has numerous issues and IT acts needs to be technology aware to deal with them. While legal system is stretched between social issues and business issues with reference to new business technology – e-business definitely has potential to provide better mechanism for financial transactions. As per Narayan Murthy – “Technology will solve many social issues and irregularities in days to come”
15.8 Ethical and regulatory issues:
The protection of intellectual property through security mechanisms and through legal infrastructure remains the challenge in front of E-business. Ethical and regulatory issues and technology and legal infrastructure to solve these issues will remain point of focus and dominate the further evolution in e-business. As the dependency of users and businesses on e-business infrastructure ââ‚¬” the various attacks and anti-competitive activities will increase. In this case user needs technological and legal protection. The social and environmental impact of technology and use of e-business need to be understood. Even the management of electronic waste and other waste material, impacts of huge data centers on environment are a few more issues those will be focused as part of ethical practices. The cautious approach towards selection of technology and testing them and applying them with ethical and regulatory issues in mind can help in building sustainable e-business.
E-business is neither technology nor management it is a paradigm of doing the business. It changed the paradigm and assumptions with witch the business used to be done. It revolutionized the transaction processes and created more avenues for transaction. It even created platforms for new social networking, knowledge acquisition and infrastructure use. E-business changed life, business and assumption. Every change comes with opportunities and challenges. Along with business opportunities and value created for user – e-business has posed many security related, society related, ethical and transactional challenges. The next generation technologies and future e-businesses are focused on user experience and technological parameters have to go much beyond that to address these concerns. E-business is business and social paradigm with huge opportunities and many challenges and unanswered question. The quest for the business excellence will drive the technology growth and penetration of e-business across the globe in coming years.
Concept review Questions:
1. Discuss challenges in e-business implementation
2. Discuss role of new technology in driving next generation e-business
3. Discuss e-business as a business and transaction paradigm
Critical thinking exercise:
1. List five important technologies in e-business and impact
2. Discuss social networking and e-business
3. Discuss three pressing ethical issues in e-business
1. List the growth of e-business and penetration in five developing and five developed countries with reasons
2. Draw a conceptual next generation e-business framework
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