e-business Technologies  «Prev  Next»

Lesson 2 E-business today
Objective Importance of understanding technology roots of e-Business.

The Technological Roots of ebusiness

As an e-commerce architect, understanding the technological roots of ebusiness is essential to grasp the evolution and inherent possibilities within the domain. ebusiness, or electronic business, transcends beyond mere e-commerce, encapsulating all forms of business processes and services that utilize internet-based information and communication technologies (ICT). The technological lineage of ebusiness is diverse and multifaceted, involving several key developments and innovations that have collectively laid the foundation for modern ebusiness operations and opportunities.
  1. The Internet: The inception of the Internet is arguably the most pivotal development in the genesis of ebusiness. The global connectivity it affords has been instrumental in eliminating geographical barriers, enabling instantaneous communication, data exchange, and online transactions, making ebusiness a feasible and attractive model.
  2. World Wide Web: The advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) further catalyzed the growth of ebusiness by providing a platform for the creation and accessibility of websites and online services. The WWW facilitated the proliferation of online marketplaces, portals, and platforms, serving as the bedrock for modern e-commerce and ebusiness operations.
  3. EDI Systems: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems are another significant technological root of ebusiness. By allowing organizations to exchange essential business information and documents in a standardized electronic format, EDI systems have streamlined and automated various business processes, driving efficiencies and facilitating seamless B2B interactions.
  4. Secure Payment Technologies: The evolution and standardization of secure online payment technologies have been paramount in fostering consumer trust and promoting e-commerce. Technologies such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for encrypted communication, and the development of various online payment systems and gateways, have facilitated safe and reliable online transactions, propelling the growth of e-business.
  5. Database Management Systems: Sophisticated Database Management Systems (DBMS) play a crucial role in e-business by enabling the efficient storage, retrieval, and management of large volumes of business and customer data. Effective data management is fundamental to various e-business processes, including inventory management, customer relationship management, and personalized marketing.
  6. Mobile Technology: The surge in mobile technology and the widespread adoption of smartphones and mobile applications have significantly expanded the e-business landscape. Mobile platforms have introduced new avenues for customer engagement, e-commerce transactions, and business operations, rendering them essential elements in the modern e-business ecosystem.
  7. Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is a recent yet transformative technological advancement for e-business. It allows businesses to leverage scalable, on-demand computing resources, software, and services via the internet, enhancing operational agility, cost-efficiency, and innovation capabilities.

In summation, the technological roots of e-business span various crucial developments, including the inception of the Internet and WWW, the establishment of EDI systems and secure payment technologies, advancements in database management systems, the explosion of mobile technology, and the advent of cloud computing. Together, these technological milestones have sculpted the landscape of e-business, enabling a world of possibilities for commerce, collaboration, and innovation in the digital domain.

Describe the importance of understanding the technology roots of e-Business. Every e-Business we see today has technological roots and business roots. Look at Amazon.com.
Question: Did the founders come up with the idea of selling books?
Question: Did they invent the web browser?
Answer: No!
What they did was capitalize on the web and say, "Hey, how can I utilize these new technologies to make money?"
Actually, a better statement might be, "How do I get the money to incorporate existing technologies to create a place where people will go to spend money?"
Taking a closer look at Amazon.com, almost every customer benefit/functionality you find on Amazon's Web site existed before the day Amazon.com was even conceived, and there are metaphors for each.

Apply, Filter, Sort

Before Online Reviews

Question: Before Amazon came along, how did we know a book was good?
Answer: Word of mouth, formal book reviews in newspapers or magazines, and browsing our favorite bookstore sections for enticing covers.
  • Business Metaphors: Amazon instantiates these business functions through browser functionality such as the reader reviewer, author review, and "Featured in Media" sections of its portal site. This is the business/customer metaphor, but what is the technology metaphor of Amazon.com?
  • Technology metaphors: For book reviews in particular, technology metaphor is based on the electronic bulletin boards/newsgroups developed in the early days of the Internet. Prior to the electronic bulletin board, we used physical bulletin board, magnets on a fridge, and the famous sticky note.

Business and Technology Metaphors Explained

This module is about both technology-oriented metaphors and business-oriented metaphors. Business metaphors are relatively straightforward, as it is simply taking business practices and putting them on the Web. Technology metaphors and their relationship to business requires an understanding of Internet technology evolution. Note, technology metaphors push technology forward and support an evolution. Technologies emerge, merge, get thrown out, acquired, etc. Understanding the evolution and relationships between technologies and business models should help you better understand not only what is possible, but how the possible can be achieved.