Part 4: Other EC Models and Applications
REFERENCES FOR ONLINE FILE W8.7
Ahadi, H. R. “An Examination of the Role of Organiza- tional Enablers in Business Process Reengineering and the Impact of Information Technology.” Infor- mation Resources Management Journal 17, no. 4 (2004). Kanellos, M. “The $100 Computer Is Key to India’s Tech Fortunes.” CNETNews.com, June 29, 2005.
news.com.com/Indias + renaissance + The + 100 + computer/2009–1041_3–5752054.html (accessed January 2008). Turban, E., et al. Information Technology for Management, 6th ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
Online File W8.8 EC Technology Trends
The trend in EC technologies generally points toward significant cost reduction coupled with improvements in capabilities, ease of use, increased availability of software, ease of site development, and improved security and accessibility. Specific technology trends include the following.
PCs of all types are getting cheaper, smaller, and more capable. The concept of a network computer (NC), also known as a thin client, which moves processing and storage off the desktop and onto centrally located servers running Java-based software on UNIX (Windows on Microsoft’s version), and the simputer could bring the price of a PC to that of a television (e.g., laptops were selling for less than $350 in 2007).
Another major trend is the movement toward embedded clients. In such a case, a client can be a car or a washing machine with an embedded microchip. In many cases, an expert system is embedded with rules that make the client “smarter” or more responsive to changes in the environment. It is a typical device in pervasive computing.
Wireless Communications and M-Commerce
For countries without fiber-optic cables, wireless communication can save considerable installation time and money. In 1998, wireless access reached T1 speed (about 1.5 mbps), with cost savings of over 80 percent. However, wireless networks may be too slow for some futuristic digitized products (see Chapter 9). An exception is Wi-Fi WLANs, which are growing rapidly. According to Rogers and Edwards (2003), wireless communications are expected to change the nature of e-commerce from content to context, reaching customers whenever and wherever they are ready to buy.
The Gartner Group calls pervasive computing “the next big thing” in IT (Fenn and Linden 2001). Pervasive computing is starting to impact EC positively. Pervasive computing is facilitated by improvements in wireless communication and wearable devices.
With advances in pervasive computing and artificial intelligence, the number of wearable computing devices will increase. Wearable devices will enhance collaborative commerce, B2E, and intrabusiness EC.
This experimental application of pervasive computing will have a great impact on e-supply chains. Wal-Mart’s completion of its pilot implementation should cut costs and settle privacy issues. In addition to inventory monitoring, there will be many other areas of application, ranging from security to eCRM.