An E-Business strategy allows a typical business to take advantage of Internet technology to improve communications and increase productivity. An E-Business utilizes digital media such as email, data conferencing, e-commerce, and B2B to streamline business operations. These are made possible through a network infrastructure like Local Area Networks (LANs), Wireless communication, and the Internet.
Customer relationship can be improved due to fast response time and efficient business transactions. Through email, businesses can communicate with their customers instantaneously. This is important for sales, support, and marketing activities. E-commerce websites can also be utilized to sell products and perform business transactions in real-time. Customers can do their shopping online, pay electronically, and have their products delivered the next day. This reduces cost drastically because there are no more physical overheads such as shops, printed brochures and human cashiers.
Collaboration with business partners is also strengthened through B2B exchanges. Using this technology, companies can partner with each other buy cheaper products placed directly from suppliers. At the same time, they can integrate and synchronize their individual business operations. One company might handle product design, while others manage procurement, shipping, and marketing. This translates directly to reduced cost and improved business efficiency.
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E-Business can also increase a company's internal productivity. Using Local Area Networks (LANs) and Intranet, employees can share information faster and more efficient than traditional phone or paper communication. Various services such as email, file transfer, directory services, and knowledge management systems can increase productivity and reduce manual work. Wireless networking can also allow executives to be connected anywhere and anytime, so they can manage their business more effectively.
A company can transform to become an E-Business by adopting Internet technology along with certain business considerations and decisions. The main strategy should be aligned with the main goal to reduce cost and increase the company's productivity. The importance of the transition should always be highlighted, emphasizing these two benefits.
The reason for this is because most people are resistant to change, especially those related to technology. They view these as a threat to their jobs, to the status quo, and to internal politics. Studies will have to be made that will show the return on investment (ROI) and how it will improve the business as a whole. A transition plan should also be made so that the adoption of the technology would be much easier and not drastic. User education and training is also an important aspect because it helps people understand the benefits they can get from the E-Business.
Considerable investments will also have to be made in IT consulting, hardware, and software. IT companies and consultants will be hired for the the initial setup of the system, and training for the users who will comprise the IT department. This department would then have the expertise to continue the transition and implement technology-related changes. Computer hardware such as personal computers and network cables will be purchased and changes in the office layout will be implemented. New guidelines and protocols should be also created in order to maintain system integrity and security. The company will be exposed to new threats such as unauthorized access, viruses, worms, hackers, and spam. Because of this, security procedures such as Intrusion Detection and Disaster Recovery should be implemented. Computer and network policies should also be in place so that these risks will be minimized.
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