The Internet will greatly alter the structure and operation of all industries. For the management of any existing business the central question is not whether the Internet will be relevant to your business, but rather what will we need to do to profit from that change ( The Internet ). The Internet is evolving many aspects of business and it creates many new business opportunities. It is developing what is called the New Business Environment, because it changes the way products are developed, distributed, marketed, sold, and serviced ( Business on the ).
In theory, doing business over the Internet with consumers should be ideal however, many people are not comfortable with it yet. It will take a little while before most people are completely at ease and order products. First off, the Internet will provide many capabilities that will be very beneficial to a business. Some of the benefits include E-mail, Mailing Lists, UseNet, Telnet, FTP, Gopher, and of course the World Wide Web. All of these are a way to keep you informed and in touch with business associates and customers anywhere in the world ( What can the ).
With an Intranet in place youve got an infrastructure for group applications, you dont need to install software on everyones PC, they can just use their Web browser and while the main costs are in employee time, the cost of software has dropped significantly ( Put Your Own ). The effects of the Internet will take a decade or more to generally replace existing patterns of business. The Internet and its strategic impact are not technological issues, they are business ones ( The Internet ). Executives are likely to carry responsibility for whether their organization ultimately prospers or perishes in an Internet impacted world.
The particular impact will differ between industries, so you need to identify the likely form of impact it will have on your industry and adopt appropriate strategies. A few threats are when using the Internet, competitors become relatively more effective, e. g. reducing costs, improving service and increasing sales impact. Also, some important customers or suppliers may have migrated exclusively to the Internet and are inaccessible in any other way. Some firms redefine the industry in a very fundamental way that threatens all existing competitors ( The Internet ).
With the advent of the Internet, it has dramatically improved operational and sales effectiveness in numerous different applications. A few such areas are, on-line stockbrokers: such as E*Trade and Ceres, on-line travel agents, banks and other financial services: such as on-line banking systems, and insurance and fund management. Right now, there are many companies whose outreach is global such as Amazon. com and CD Now, soon all of the above areas will be global ( Daring ). Another area of the business environment that will be significantly changed due to the Internet are small firms, especially ones who wish to export.
The Internet can relatively easily give small firms access to international markets, and engage in electric commerce ( Cragg ). However, not much is known about the use of the Internet by small firms, mainly because it is such a new method. An example of such an idea was taken advantage of by Elizabeth Botham & Sons Bakery. The bakery is located in a small town called Whitby in North Yorkshire and business is tough because it is geographically restricting and it is based in a very seasonable town. In order to do business and keep their staff hired year around the manager, Mike Jarman turned to the Internet.
He found a company called Octagon Ltd. , which helped him get started. Since going on the Web in 1995, the company has had over 25,000 potential customers visit the site and receives a dozen hefty orders a week ( Yorkshire Bakery ). The Web is a great distribution tool, the information you place on your Web site can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Web can save you time and money in information distribution over traditional mail and printing methods ( Daring ). Rather than reading a static advertisement, your customers can go directly to their areas of interest and see an intriguing web page.
They can get detailed information on your staff and services, browse your product lines, and get up to date information on what is happening in your company. One of the benefits of a web site is that your customer can respond to you directly ( Shaw ). Even though the Internet has many benefits, there is still a few drawbacks to this technology. First of all, communicating with clients and customers via E-mail only goes so far. It is pretty difficult to market a product over a computer, basically whatever a customer sees they get. Also, empowerment is being transferred from sellers to buyers.
The Internet is decreasing the importance of a merchants locale and information about competing products is readily available ( Business on ). Customers cannot be swayed by a salesperson over the Internet. A benefit as well as a side effect of the Internet, is it is knocking down market entry barriers, the Internet has no borders and the companys market is global. A small company can be just as easily found on the Internet as a large one. The biggest problem that the Internet is going to have to overcome is the fact that people are still very skeptical about making purchases over the Internet.
You could get scammed and not even know it. This will change eventually when people can be comfortable with the services that it provides, but this will take some time. With the incorporation of the Internet, business have undergone many changes in the past few years. They have become more in touch with many overseas companys and even companys here in the US. Many industries have realized that if they dont adjust and incorporate the Internet in some way, they may not be around for much longer.
Businesses are going to be on the Internet because it represents an additional and inexpensive resource for finding customers because they can market directly with less advertising and a smaller work force ( Dearth ). The bottom line is that the Internet needs to focus on growing existing accounts, extending to new markets and new customers, providing better customer service, and providing a higher level of customer satisfaction. Even though this may take some time, it is going to eventually happen and I think that most people who take a chance will be very satisfied with the outcomes.