The Internet is changing the way we do business. That’s the inescapable conclusion of many organizations seeking to use technology to gain a competitive advantage in an ever more Internet-based business environment. Increasingly, the Web is seen as a compelling way for businesses to communicate with their customers, their employees, and their trading partners.
Of course, technology has always had an impact on the way businesses operate. Few companies don’t use software applications to automate and enhance their core business processes, and most organizations with more than a handful of employees use a computer network for file and print services and applications. What makes the Internet such a major business issue is the way it removes boundaries and makes previously unimaginable levels of communication and cooperation possible. When businesses use the Internet, financial transactions can take place in a fraction of a second and customers can shop around for the best deal without leaving their chairs. If companies are to survive, let alone prosper, in the Internet marketplace, they need to examine what they do and how they do it very closely and identify ways to make their business processes adaptable to the Web.