Part 4: Other EC Models and Applications
REFERENCES FOR ONLINE FILE W8.6
Dragoon, A. “End User Development: Something Wiki This Way Comes.” CIO Magazine, April 2005.
jot.com (accessed January 2008).
Online File W8.7 Nontechnological Success Factors
The rosy scenario for the future of EC is based partially on the following nontechnological factors and trends. Internet Usage
The number of Internet users is increasing rapidly. With the integration of computers and television, Internet access via mobile devices, increased availability of access kiosks, increased publicity about the Internet, and availability of inexpensive computers (such as the simputer, short for “simple computer” and the $100 machine, [see Kanellos 2005]), the number of Internet surfers will continue to increase. As younger people (who have grown up with computers) grow older, usage will increase even faster. There is no question that sooner or later there will be a billion people surfing the Internet. Estimates are that by 2020, the number of worldwide Internet users will be 800 million, including more than half of the U.S. population.
Opportunities for Buying
The number of products and services available online is increasing rapidly with improved trading mechanisms, search engines, online shopping aids, intermediary services, presentations in multiple languages, and the willingness of more sell- ers and buyers to give EC a try. It is logical to expect significantly more purchasing opportunities.
With about 2 billion people using cell phones in 2007, the ease with which one can connect from them to the Internet, and the introduction of 3G and WiMax capabilities, it is clear that m-commerce will play a major role in EC. Forrester Research predicts that as many as 50 percent of these wireless users will be online by 2007. The fact that one does not need a computer to go online will bring more people to the Web. M-commerce, as discussed in Chapter 9, has special capabilities that will result in new applications, as well as in more people using traditional applications.
The buyers’ advantages described in Chapter 1 are likely to increase. Prices will go down, and the purchasing process will be streamlined. Many innovative options will be available, and electronic shopping may even become a social trend. Also, for many organizations, e-procurement is becoming an attractive EC initiative.
Increased Security and Trust
One of the major inhibitors of growth of B2C and B2B EC is the perception of poor security and privacy and a lack of trust. As time passes, expect to see significant improvements in these areas. For more information on augmenting trust, see Chapter 4.
Efficient Information Handling
More information will become accessible from anywhere, at any time. Using data warehouses, data mining, and intelligent agents, companies can constantly learn about their customers, steering marketing and service activities accordingly. The notion of real-time marketing might not be so far away. This will facilitate the use of EC.
IT is helping organizations restructure and reengineer (Turban et al. 2008; Ahadi 2004). Using different types of empowered teams, some of which are virtual, organizations become innovative, flexible, and responsive. The trend for process reengi- neering is increasing, as is organizational creativity. Innovative organizations will probably be more inclined to use EC.