History and Evolution of e-business and the Impact on Solutions
In order to understand the importance of eBusiness today, it is important that you know where and how it originated.
Our timeline explaining the history of eBusiness begins in the 1970's and ends with current practice. We have identified four key stages on that timeline:
Of course, the history of eBusiness is not as simple as that.
The series of images below will explain in detail the technological changes that brought about these marked shifts in business history.
Beginning in the 1970s government and business sectors began to make better use of the computer technology.
But ebusiness becomes a global phenomenon only in the later 1970s ad 1980s. Companies began to apply electronic messaging technologies such as EDI and S.W.I.F.T.
These messaging tools streamlined processes by reducing paperwork, facilitating communication, and perfecting payment.
EDI and Swift did not reach all companies. Before the late 1990s, the systems required for electronic transactions were proprietary, complex, and exorbitant. Only large companies and organizations could realize a financial return on these initiatives.
Small companies processed transactions electronically to do business with larger companies, but they often invested just enough not get locked out.
While companies were adopting methods for ebusiness, another technology emerged. Online services targeted educational, technical, and other special interest communities by offering news, email and chat capabilities gained popularity.
Many of these special interest communities used a common communication backbone, known as TCP/IP. TCP/IP enabled communities to readily access each other's online information, giving rise to the Internet as we know it.
Until 1995, the Internet served largely special interest groups. Other online services, like AOL, targeted the general consumer gained in popularity.
In 1995, the browser and its key associated protocol, known as HTTP, were commercialized. Corporations saw that the web offered a new channel for doing business, the home page.
Initially, companies built home pages to serve as online corporate brochure. The first Web home pages, however, only provided outbound information about a company.
But during the late 1990s, the technologies needed to transact business on the Web matured, and companies began to initiate commercial transactions.
The dot com appeared. Dot-coms use the Web as their primary channel for product distribution and they impacted only established consumer markets but also the string of business processes behind all consumer purchases called the supply chain.
So the first eBusiness revolution of the Web involved B2C. Today, however, there is an even more widespread eBusiness revolution in the area of B2B.
The popularization of the browser brought together the academic- and government-oriented internet and the large islands of proprietary online services.
Despite its academic, governmental, and technical roots, corporations quickly saw that the web offered a new channel for doing business, namely the home page
Initially, companies built home pages to serve as an online corporate brochure. Today, over 90% of companies headquartered in highly developed nations have a corporate home page on the Web.
The home page, however, was merely the first step in adopting the Web for corporate use. The first home page only provided outbound information about a company and did not provide transaction capabilities.
Little by little, during the late 1990s, the technologies needed to transact business on the Web matured, and companies began to take risks.
In particular, a new type of company, the "dot coms" appeared. Dot-coms such as Amazon.com used the Web as their primary channel for product distribution, and they directly attacked well-established markets and players. The business community grew aware that practically all markets were vulnerable to the entry of dot-coms.
The dot-coms did not merely impact consumer markets. Behind every consumer purchase are processes that are required to develop and deliver the product to the end-buyer.
Before there is one final B2C, a long list of complex business-to-business transactions occurs. The first eBusiness revolution of the Web involved B2C. Today however, there is an even more widespread ebusiness revolution in the area of B2B.
The organization is facing market changes and the organization changes according to the markets.
The objectives for the e-business development emerge from these changes and because the change is continuous, it brings new requirements for the e-business system.
In addition, the history and legacy structures of the organization cause conflicts in the development when combined with the need for change.
These fluctuating objectives and emerging conflicts bring certain consequences to the e-business system architecture development in the organization. The formation and description of this causal model can be classified as selective coding.
In summary, eBusiness has been in the making for the past 30 years. After starting as a niche solution for certain businesses and communities, eBusiness today is an expanding force accounting for a steadily increasing share of commercial transactions. Its full potential remains in the future. Now you know how eBusiness came to be as important as it is. The next lesson is about the direction in which eBusiness moving.