In recent years, information and communication technology (ICT) was at the heart of transforming business processes in a way that encourages higher productivity and product innovation. It has altered the way everyone does business. Small and large businesses are attracted to the Internet by virtue of its transcendence of geographic and political boundaries. By hosting a home page from your local address, your marketing material can be accessed around the world in seconds (Stuart, 1996). The ease of global access to commerce was previously unheard of.
The introduction of technology is not always met with glee. Technology can sometimes play a major role in running the business and formulating business strategies. A lot of businesses invest heavily on technology thinking that technology alone can be a good source of competitive advantage. While it may be true on the organizational level, it may not always hold true in a global scale.
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The importance of the Internet has been made much of repeatedly, and there are those that opine that paying attention to its use further affirms the value of e-commerce as a medium, something that needs to be accessible to everybody (Lahore, p. 13).
The overall effect of ICT on the entire business community is measured in terms of productivity growths and savings amounting to billions of dollars. Studying the effects of ICT on business is quite complex and very broad. At the centre of technology in trade and commerce is the Internet. The Internet has become a new niche where people are better informed of improved products and services in the least possible time.
According to Madoff (1995, p. 44), one survey found that electronic exchange was the most attractive area for potential use among organisations included in the study. Some of the topics included in electronic exchange were electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic databases, email, and electronic imaging and document exchange.
Business processes have evolved in time but the essence of doing business remains the same. Businesses processes have quietly adapted tone socio-economic and political environments. Most importantly, these different business processes have adapted to a new socio-technical environment where it constantly exceeds expectations and foresights.
We do business in a lot of ways. The products of business innovations are the products of human imaginations. Technological breakthroughs came about because of human ingenuity and inventiveness. When we feel the need to purchase a product or service, we look for them in newspaper or television advertisements. Sales people entice us to try new products and services by physically showing to us the different features of their products.
Before we purchase them, there is usually some form of negotiations with regards to the terms of delivery, guarantees, quantity, the price, and other issues.
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