Technological innovations had always played crucial role in the upliftment of the social, economic and commercial aspects of the economy. Information technology is among one of them which has headed to iconic change in the business and commercial operation aspects of the various industries. With advent of new technologies in the communication and information technology sectors, organizations had started deploying it in favor of the operational benefits. Information technology is considered to be based on the development of specific hardware and software based systems, which can be integrated with that of organization needs and infrastructure, to facilitate optimal benefits and influences to the specific business or commercial units. (ACM, 2005) The basic operational aspects of the organizations are considered to be influenced of the technological aspects of data collection or storage, database creation, data retrieval, data transmission and data manipulation, etc.
In optimization of such operational process components internet has played the crucial role. Facilitation of web based business platforms have not only change the picture of the traditional business operation frameworks, but also the innovations and advancement in technological platforms and systems had change the role of internet in business evolution. As per the current business scenario evolution of powerful forces, like social networking, mobile equipments, cloud technology and communication of information, has played significant role in redefining the marketing and business growth aspects of the commercial industry. (Howard et. al, 2012) This paper intends to identify and evaluate the role of information technology and internet in evolution of new business trend. An attempt is made to identify the basic characteristic of internet and other information technology tools and how it effects the previous position of business units.
Information Technology Tools and Benefits
All of the information technology platforms or systems are considered to be more of less dependent on the internet and utilizes the same to perform the intrinsic obligations of business task performances. Commercial organizations deploy such systems to fulfill the functional needs of their business operations and develop it as competitive advantage for the firm. Different kind of information technology components facilitated multiple benefits to the enterprise or organizations, as like cost efficiency in business setup and operation, optimized reach to the target or mass customers, enhanced productivity and effective communication between the stake holders. (Talebnejad, 2008) In consideration to the derived benefits most of the organization use specific information technology and communication tools against certain specific operational or functional purposes, some of which can be mentioned as:
- Information transmission or communication tools: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Telecommunication, Mails and Messengers, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Video conferencing, Webinars etc.
- Resource management and control tools: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Management Information System (MIS),
- Customer Service and Relationship development tools: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Partner Relationship Management (PRM)
Just like the above mentioned examples, information technology tools plays integral role in optimizing the business potential and helps in enhancement of the productivity or performance. Certain related benefits induce new and existing organizations to adopt and implement the information technology frameworks in their respective operational systems and explore the business opportunities lies in the market. Technological innovations and upgrades has exerted evolutionary affect on the growth of business potential and productivity of the organizations. Communication and data management based tools has enhanced the operational efficiency and customer service of the organizations. Several advanced technology innovations has helped organizations in expanding the scope of business operation beyond the boundaries of national territory and optimized the prospects of globalization.
Internet and its Unique Features
Internet can be defined as the network of widely spread interconnected computer systems, which utilizes certain medium to transfer information and data within networked computers. Internet is one of tools which plays integral role in connecting several information technology tools with that of the organizational needs and infrastructure. One of the crucial transformation, which has became possible through help of internet, is the conversion of tradition approach of business to that of virtual web based business model. Most of the organizations have started adopting and making entry in the virtual platform of business and started exploring the global business opportunities. Advent of ecommerce and mcommerce has enhanced the role of the internet in development of new approach of business. Basic factors behind such diversion in business operation framework can be stated as the unique features and benefits of Internet. Some of the unique features of the internet can be described as: (Krueger, 2006)
- Widespread Geographic Distribution: since its inception it has been actively adopted by the users from all over the world and at present internet has marked its availability in every part of the world. Any individual or organization can make use of the internet for communication and transfer of data through help of certain specific tools or equipments and working internet connection.
- Cost efficiency in New Business Set up: As the minimum requirement of creation of web based organizational structure requires investment on certain computer systems, website development and use of internet, thus the cost of set up of such web based organizations are very less in comparison to the other form of business set up. Such cost efficiency induces organization to develop a web based business model for operations.
- Optimized Architecture: Advancement in technologies related to internet service facilitation, like 3G, 4G, cloud computing etc., have optimized the data transfer speed causing significant scope of growth in web base business model. Growth in internet users and revolution in communication industry has developed large consumer base for the virtual enterprises.
- High Speed Data Transfer and Communication: On basis of research and development in Information Technology segment high speed data transmission has became reality. Internet service provider are facilitating internet in form of 3G and 4G services , which facilitates high speed data transmission.
- Universal Assess: Internet can be accessed from any place, system or environment, if basic infrastructure is available. Most of the internet resources are universally available and can be accessed through use of specific login credentials and valid internet connections.
- Expansion in Growth Rate of Internet: Use of internet has been growing in the social and economic community of the world. Most of the social networking, online education, virtual market place explorations activities are performed with help of the internet connection available in multiple speeds and forms.
- Freedom of Speech: Over internet based platforms there exists high degree of freedom of speech so that consumers, enterprises, socially concerned organizations can express their specific views and feedbacks at different kinds of products or service offerings.
- Limited Resource Requirement: To establish to internet based architecture or business platform, usually enterprises requires relative low cost resources as required in the traditional form of business. Beside of large spaced facilities and operational equipments, virtual business models needs small workspace and certain technically advanced information technology infrastructure to capitalize the opportunities available in the business market.
These specific features help virtual organizations in capitalizing the business market opportunities and optimization of the virtual organization based on the internet systems. Through its unique characteristic and low cost operation specifications it helps start up businesses in survival or growth even in nominal capital investments. Such benefits have induced companies towards adoption of virtual network based business operations.
Use of Internet in Advertisement and Marketing
Most frequent use or capitalization of internet resources is made in marketing or advertisement of the business offerings of specific products or services. As large number of internet users acts as the huge potential customer base for the purpose of advertising, promotion and other marketing activities of the business, thus internet plays crucial role in expanding the reach of business towards the potential consumer community. In consideration to the optimized reach and low cost involvement in that specific operation induces organizations towards adoption and implementation of online marketing and promotional activities. Most of the organization, with global expansion of business operations, have capitalized on online marketing and business promotion frameworks and have attained influential success in that specific domain of business operation.
Some of the organizations like Apple, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Samsung, etc. have optimized the business potential through help of innovative advertising campaigns and optimized use of the internet based tools and platforms in promotion of the offerings. Apple has capitalized the internet as a tool against generating consensus of customers about its offered products like Mac computers, ipods, iphone, ipads and other products or services. Some of its commercials like "Think Different", "iPode people" are remembered for its iconic presentation and market influence leading to growing interest of customers in offered products or services. (Parekh &Diaz, 2012) Hewlett Packard had used specific internet tools like cookies, web beacons, embedded web links, third party web ads and other information tools to collect information about the internet usage behavior of the customers, which help them in customizing their operational and promotional strategy as per the customer preferences. (HP.com)
Similar to them Sony and Samsung have also utilized the internet based mechanism to promote their product offerings, like promotion of PlayStation gaming console, walkman series phone and digital cameras by Sony and promotion of LCD or LED Televisions and latest technology phones on own and third party websites have helped in generating customers interest towards company products and offerings. Through implementation of internet based marketing and promotional tools and techniques companies have generated huge interest of the customers spread in different regions of the world. Through effective implementation of such tools companies have expanded the scope of business operation and developed global consumer base for their products and services.
Role of Information Technology in Business Evolution
Through adoption of latest innovations of information technology tools and techniques have helped organizations in optimizing the operational efficiency and enhancement in potential of utilizing innate market opportunities. Information technology tools helps in accomplishment of operational objectives and obligations with speed, accuracy and low cost structure. Through facilitation of speedy data transmission in cost effective manner specific information technologies helps in reduction in cost of operation and enhances the productivity of the organizations. Organizations have capitalized the internet and information technology based systems to develop competitive advantages in terms of cost efficient operational system, global operational scope, worldwide reach to the customer segments and development of the influential customer service frameworks.
Internet based business frameworks like ecommerce, mcommerce, virtual organizational frameworks have transformed the business structure from traditional to that of the technology based business frameworks. (Coltman, 2000) Most of the business leaders are of the belief that the internet exerts significant impact on the global market place, as enterprises are making significant investments in bringing the fundamental changes in the implementation of electronic business plan. Adoption of advanced technology tools and techniques has helped in development of economic and user friendly business models, where the interaction between the customers and other stakeholders has became virtual and much effective. Through implementation of information technology based business model organizations can enhance their potential to attract large volume of customers and develop immense business opportunities for their respective products and services.
On the basis of evaluation of features and benefits of the internet and information technology tools it can be stated that it contains the potential to facilitate strategic advantages to the business organizations. Its widespread availability and unique features of universal access and high speed data transmission facility has helped in exploring the hidden potential of the global virtual marketplace. Increasing number of internet users and significant developments in communication and information technology has helped in achieving robust growth in adoption of virtual network based business models by the organizations. It has helped in enforcing the web based virtual market places, where numerous of enterprises and organizations offers their respective products and services and worldwide spread buyers are ready to make purchases for product or services matching their specific needs. Economies of cost and time and facilitation of convenience has attracted the customers towards virtual market place and being influenced of such unexplored market opportunities organizations have deployed the virtual business operation framework through adoption of advanced technology tools and techniques.