Internet Way: A Unifying Theory Term Paper

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[. . .] Then there is the extra personnel needed to run the thing. There is a huge outlay of equipment and no guarantee of success.

A decision such as this would make any manager lose sleep. The Internet offers many new possibilities and opportunities for increased income and advertising. Most managers do not want to pass up these opportunities, but they would like to pass up the cost and risk. "The Internet Way" is a viable solution to this problem. The Internet is not being used to its potential by many businesses and redesigning their existing business to an Internet based one could solve many problems. The Internet Way is the solutions to many managerial dilemmas and will allow more to transition into the world of e-business with only a fraction of the expense usually associated with this move.

Statement of the Problem

Do you want to strategically implement e-commerce software without extensive projects or ridiculous expenses? Sound impossible? This seemingly Herculean task can be reduced to a manageable and straightforward effort using a simple approach: "The Internet Way."

As the market for e-commerce services expands, firms are struggling to Web-enable their core business systems. At the same time, they must integrate internal operations with external product offerings. E-commerce strategists must also link internal technologies and processes to suppliers and customers. There are five questions that stem from these efforts:

1. How can we minimize the scope of these projects to decrease risk and increase success?

2. How can we justify their costs?

3. How will our customers be affected?

4. How will cross-functional teams and products work together successfully?

5. How can I train my team on the new technologies?

Most technologists and business leaders realize that e-commerce will change our world. Unfortunately, the technical implementers are forced to respond to ad hoc business needs, formulating a technology strategy by default. Having a strategy is one of the most critical factors in achieving success with projects, sites and implementations, particularly on the Internet.

The primary reason for business failure is the lack of a good business plan. Likewise, the key reason for the failure of an IT project is this same lack of planning. The planning for this type of endeavor must consider many factors. IT must consider the companies present needs as well as its future needs. It must develop a phased implementation plan that causes the least amount of disruption to the daily operations of the business. The plan must attempt to anticipate any problems are areas of concern and develop a method for dealing with them in the case of a failure. Without considering these failures almost any project is doomed to failure, wasting both time and money. The key to any Business Process Design or IT project is to first develop a good plan and then see that it followed.

The Internet Way Method

The Internet Way will work for those who have established Web-enabled strategies, and those who have just begun to chart their course. You don't have to pay an expensive consulting firm to guide you. It involves planning and research, but for the most part remains a painless solution to make the leap to becoming a fully web-enabled enterprise.

The Internet Way is a commitment that every project team must make in looking for ways to leverage or use Internet-based offerings. While this may sound impossible, it can be achieved if you creatively look at all your core vendors, their applications and the commitment those vendors have to e-commerce. From there, you'll investigate new or existing technologies to see how they leverage Internet offerings or functions. The global marketplace shouldn't be forgotten. If you communicate with external clients using Internet protocols, why wouldn't you use them internally as well? The benefits are vast, but how can you do it while managing risk and your budget? There are four essential areas that will get you on your way.

Upgrade. Almost every vendor has a technology-based offering that is -- or will be -- using Internet technology. Upgrades don't have to have limited benefits; you can leverage the upgrade efforts, expenses and justification to introduce Web-based technology. For example: Hewlett-Packard Co. recently released a new operating system for its Unix platform HP-UX 11i. (Guess what the 'i' stands for?) Through this upgrade, HP-UX 11i provides an Apache Web Server, Java JPI, a Java Runtime Environment and other perks. This is the perfect time to expose your teams to Internet-based technologies. And consider them for new projects. This way, a necessary implementation can be used to your advantage.

Implement. As we improve our technology, and as business lines become more dynamic, we must unify and enhance applications. These integrated offerings can be delivered to a user through a Web browser. You can connect with external and internal data sources while bridging between various applications, unifying through the graphical user Web interface. Using external components that can be purchased, rather than developed, can improve your delivery times and decrease risk. Also, users are becoming more familiar with using the Internet, something you and your organization can use to your advantage. These benefits can decrease your time to market for technology deployments (internally and externally), minimize end-user training and unify your IT workforce through technology. As more Internet technologies are implemented within the organization, the need for specialized resources decreases, since they will all start to use HTML, Web servers, Web services and other technologies and components.

Deployment. Your internal Web applications should be exploited by using them for external processing. The long-term implications are extraordinary. For example: At Academic Management Services, an application was created for the call center that's used for outbound counseling efforts. Since the application was developed using Internet technology, some of its functions and pages are used to enhance the public Web site (www.tuitionpay.com).Eventually, this will allow a call center representative to see the same thing as a Web user is seeing by sharing a user session. Second, our call center can be distributed across geographic regions while using a specific, secure Web site. There are many other features that can be introduced -- like load balancing and redundancy -- that will allow for applications to be modified during the day without a service outage to your users.

Collaborate. Whether it's people or projects, adopting a cross-functional collaborative strategy will greatly improve communication, processes and results. As your upgrades, initiatives and deployments continue, you'll benefit not only from the spread of the technologies, but also from improved delivery times and having users who are more familiar with surfing the Internet. With all this synergy, in a planned long-term strategy, the IT staff will have more to work with and will improve their skills.

Findings: "The Internet Way" is a straightforward philosophy that will have a positive impact to the technology staff and the organization overall. Its implementation can be gradual and planned, reducing risk while introducing new technology.

Academic Management Services (https://secure.tuitionpay.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/TuitionPay) is an innovative idea that allows students and families to pay for college tuition online. They can arrange easy monthly payments or use traditional loan resources. This is an excellent example of a process that used to involve many trips to the bank, or perhaps many trips to the bank to accomplish this task, not to mention those long lines at college administration buildings. Now they can manage their account online and perform many of the otherwise inconvenient tasks in the convenience of their own home. AMS is just one example of businesses that are gravitating toward web-enabled services such as banking, obtaining mortgages, loans and other consumer services. These services have a wide degree of consumer support and are expected to continue to be increasing in demand in the future. Often these services can be attached to a call center enabling ht user to chat live with a customer representative.

The primary area of concentration for this dissertation will be to explore how the Internet Way can be applied to a variety of end-use applications. It will concentrate on how this philosophy can be used to enhance almost any web-based business. Within this thesis, it will be proved and illustrated that the "Internet Way" can be applied to almost every type of system, from client/server to mainframe, and can streamline operations. And it will make the implementers a hero/heroine to their users.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to explore the feasibility of applying the Internet Way philosophy to many different types of businesses. The method had been developed and must now be analyzed to determine its applicability and suitability to t variety of circumstances. This will be accomplished through case analysis and an in-depth look at how the Internet Way would be implemented in a variety of circumstances.

The Internet Way is more than a method and set of written instructions, it is a philosophy and an entirely different way of looking at the implementation of web-enabled services. This study… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Internet Way: A Unifying Theory.  (2003, February 28).  Retrieved February 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/internet-way-unifying-theory/2498437

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"Internet Way: A Unifying Theory."  Essaytown.com.  February 28, 2003.  Accessed February 22, 2019.
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