Business: Internet's Increasing Impact Dissertation

Pages: 45 (17664 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 28  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

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Dissertation on Business: Internet's Increasing Impact Assignment

The internet has impacted nearly every form of daily life. This includes everything from the way that people interact with each other socially (through social networking), to how they purchase various goods and services. As a result, a shift has occurred in the way that consumers are utilizing this new technology to perform a variety of tasks. Evidence of this shift can be seen, by looking no further than the increasing number of wireless devices that are being used by consumers on a regular basis. In a recent study conducted by Pew Research, they found that nearly 59% of all U.S. adults were accessing the internet through either: wifi connections or some type of mobile device (such as smart phones). ("PEW Wireless Internet Usage Rising," 2010) This is significant, because it underscores how the internet is continuing to be used for a variety of different purposes. For businesses, this means that they must evolve to the changes that are taking place, by establishing their own presence. In the case of many SMEs, they must begin to use a number of different tools and tactics, to be able to successfully adapt to these changes. However, given the rapid pace of what is taking place, means that many organizations may not fully understand the overall scope of challenges they could face, when implementing and running this aspect of the business. In this study, we will examine the challenges that a furniture-based SME faces, with implementing a strategy of using: B2C solutions to compliment its B2B and traditional retail stores. To determine the various issues that this organization will face requires: identifying / addressing operational considerations and identifying / addressing prerequisites for profitability. This will be accomplished, by looking at the different issues that are common with most organizations implementing these changes. Where, an examinations will be conducted looking at the issues of: integrating the legacy system, compatibility, resistance to change, costs of integrating the two systems, the cost of labor, additional resource requirements, security issues, building trust, previous experience of established retailers and the online marketplace. Once this takes place, it will provide the greatest insights, as to what challenges the SME will face going forward and strategies; that can be used to mitigate these effects.

Aims and Objectives

Over the last several years, the internet has had profound impact upon the way consumers shop and business transactions are conducted. Where, the increasing number of people using the internet for a variety of activities has created a cultural shift. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than worldwide internet usage between 2000 and 2010. As the total number of internet users would increase from 360 million people (in 2000) to 1.96 billion (as of June 2010). ("Internet Usage Statistics," 2010) This is significant, because it shows how the internet is quickly become the place, that people will use to interact with each in a number of different ways. One area where this can be seen is with business to commerce (B2C) transactions. Simply put, B2C is when a retail business will sell various products to consumers who are purchasing them through their website (often called e-commerce). A good example of the overall growth potential of B2C can be seen by looking no further than a survey conducted by Forrester Research, which found that online sales will grow for $175 billion in 2007 to $355 billion in 2012. ("E-Commerce Growth," 2010) The reason why such a shift has been occurring is: because many consumers prefer the larger selection and the lower prices that they can find online. As a result, this has lead to a shift in the way many small and medium enterprises are operating (SMEs). The office furniture company that is being examined has a good start into the area of B2C. This is because of their success in the B2B arena (selling their products to other businesses). Now that they have established their presence in the area of B2B, they are ready to aggressively start using B2C, as a way to help increase sales. However, to avoid some of the common mistakes made by other companies that have entered the e-commerce too quickly; requires looking at various operational considerations and challenges they have faced. This will be accomplished by examining a variety of different issues to include: integrating the legacy system, compatibility, resistance to change, costs of integrating the two systems, the cost of labor, additional resource requirements, security issues, building trust, previous experience of established retailers and the online marketplace. At which point, these variables will be compared with the different objectives of the study to include: identifying operational considerations, advising the company about possible operational issues, identifying key requirements for profitability and advising on issues that are necessary for profitability. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to the overall challenges that will be faced by the SME, when it begins using e-commerce as a part of it business model.

Literature Review, Analysis and Discussion

Literature Review

In the literature review we will examine various operational considerations and profitability issues that could have an impact upon the furniture company that is being examined. There will be particular emphasis placed on the issues of: integrating the legacy system, compatibility, resistance to change, costs of integrating the two systems, the cost of labor, additional resource requirements, security issues, building trust, previous experience of established retailers and the online marketplace. These different elements will provide an overview as to what possible challenges the furniture company could have to deal with, when implementing its B2C strategy.

To determine this we looked at a number of pieces of information on e-commerce. The article by Carrol (2009) discusses the current issues that face all businesses when they are going into the area of e-commerce to include: security, trust, privacy and easy access. Security is the largest issue that faces the company, as the information that is stored on the company's servers could be used for purposes including: identify theft and lost / stolen information. This information is important, because it can be used to highlight how security is a major issue that must be considered as part of all operational considerations. Where, the most successful entities will make this one of their top priorities for both B2C and B2B services that they are providing. As a result, this will help to provide insights as to a number of possible challenges that must be accounted for at all times.

The information from this source is useful, because it highlights various issues as to what possible challenges and threats, an organization must be prepared for when implementing their strategy. Where, they will have to address all of the concerns of the customer and build trust in the products / services they offer. In the case of the company we are examining, this will help to highlight what possible challenges they could face when implementing the B2C model. That being said, the initial success they had in the B2B arena could be used with this information, to help form a strategy to address these possible issues.

The information from: Khosrowpour (2004) discuses the impact that security issues can have on an organization. Where, they will constantly face the threat of cyber attack, in an effort to gain access to customer data files containing sensitive information. That being said, technology has evolved to the point, where many organizations can adapt to the changing nature of the threats that they will face. This is accomplished by establishing a detailed security protocol that would contain the elements of: providing total protection, assessing for possible threats, having a continuity plan, utilizing a variety of technologies, strategically placing the people where they can be effective and creating a flexible strategy. Providing to total protection is when a business will use all of the different elements, to protect against the overall level of threats. This would include: everything from forming the basic strategy to effectively monitoring what is occurring. Assessing for possible threats is when you are looking for both internal and external vulnerabilities that could utilized to: gain access to sensitive information. A continuity plan is when you are detailing the overall security threat the organization is currently facing to include the elements of: fire, intentional destruction of hardware, loss of e-commerce security personnel, loss of technology, loss of utilities, theft of hardware / software, loss of vendors and loss of communication. Utilizing different technologies is when you are analyzing the total amount of security systems that are in place such as: secure socket layers (SSLs) and Secure Electronic Transactions (SET). Strategically placing people where they can be most effective, means that you are educating everyone about the possible threats that could be faced. Then, have everyone serve in a capacity of monitoring for suspicious activity. At which point, they can forward this information onto IT personnel, who can effectively counter any possible security threat. Creating a flexible strategy is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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