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Today's Internet Presence
E-business is a term used to denote online business transactions done on the Internet. In today’s fast-paced business environment, more and more people are developing a preference to buy and sell goods or services on the Internet from the comfort of their offices and homes rather than physically going out to shop.
E-business has come of age. Market analysts broadly classify e-business as: business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C). It is the B2C type of business that predominantly takes place on the Internet. Customers choosing to buy online are able to gather all details from the Internet about the product or services they are obtaining, including the comparative price particulars and other terms.
Today's Internet consumer, t hen, is well informed about the product before he places his order on the Internet. Typically payment is effected either by an electronic funds transfer or by means of a credit card. The entire process of purchasing goods or services online becomes impersonal, and the suppliers and customers never get to see one another.
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Unique Features of e-Business Project Planning
Running e-business projects shares many similarities with traditional methods of the usual software development projects. However, it's a fact that there are a couple of striking distinctions between e-business projects and other conventionally engineered projects.
When it comes to e-business, the opportunity to physically handle any tangible product is not there. The e-business manager must make the transaction attractive both to his supplier and to his customer. Designing and constructing an e-business website is quite complicated as many links and operating devices will have to be provided.
More importantly, an e-business project calls for high flexibility and a capacity for coping with diverse operating situations. This can be a challenge despite the fact that the basic characteristic of any software is flexibility to work with all types of components, hardware, and organizational architectures.
Keep in mind that unlike the conventional project management requirements, an e-business project is subject to frequent modifications. Quite a few of these alterations may have far-reaching implications.
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The staff associated with an e-business project must recognize that risk factors are all the more inescapable when implementing an e-business project.
In an ever expanding market, most suppliers will have to continually combat obsolescence, particularly with regard to high-tech products. There are also external influences such as economic downturns, market recessions, political instability, unpredictable government interference, and trade agreements. All these factors can seriously affect any e-project development.
E-business web management invariably will have to comply with certain restrictions when it comes to features and performance as all technologies may not be accessible by all platforms.
Organizational restructuring including present day trends for acquisitions and mergers provide a way to enlarge business operations and can compulsively impact the requirements and specifications of an e-business website.
The security of stored data of any e-business website--or more precisely, the web server--is critically important. As a matter of fact, it is not enough if security considerations are confined only to the stored data; it must go beyond to protect all online business transactions to avoid theft of sensitive information. Security concerns have traditionally occupied center stage in e-business sites. Most corporations have evolved a healthy system whereby an Internet site for external trading is isolated from a company's internal Intranet site for gathering and storing sensitive company data.
The challenges of competition require adjustments from the traditional management methods. It's normal that several websites will be offering very similar or identical products and services. Customers are the ultimate deciders of the success or failure of an e-business website, so the manager has to develop strategies to attract the customer to his product or service.
Market stagnancy or market saturation is another situation one must reckon with. It is true that the availability of large-scale business opportunities has little or no bearing on the number of service providers in the market. Market analysts agree that the number of new trading establishments is growing at a rapid pace, whereas the growth of online trading transactions needs to pick up a lot more. What is required is availability of a wider range of products and services so that business opportunities can be proportionately expanded.
Finally, for e-business to succeed, the system has to be user-friendly and reliable and available to the customer 24/7 globally. E-business trading has spread its wings far and wide. The savvy manager puts firm alternative arrangements in place in order to counter system failures.