E Business – The Gold Rush of the Modern Age

The word E-Business which was started from a board room meeting at a blue chip, has in fact become the buzz word on how we do things online. In simple terms E-Business is any transaction of information or communication in support of a business done over the Internet .
It has taken a much broader meaning over the last decade as companies and individuals have evolved on the merging of technology and commercial activity. From large scale business operations to buying music or books online, E-Business is very much defining our lives.

The Initiation

In the mid-90s, the American Information Technology giant IBM was going through a difficult period and slowly becoming a dinosaur – out of touch and out of focus. A newly appointed CEO Louis V Gerstner was put in charge to conjure up the troops to reclaim old glory. And in one of his first meetings he called heads of all departments where they were presented with a new direction and business models. In that very meeting in 1996, the word E-Business was presented as the area of focus for IBM. And the rest as they say is billion dollar history. In fact Gerstner has mentioned this legendary story in his autobiography Who says Elephants Can’t Dance

The Evolution

E-Business is not just about commerce like online shopping, but in fact it allows companies to use their existing data processes to provide value to various customers and suppliers alike. It is evolving all the time. New streams such Business to Business or Business to Customer application process has gone through its cycles.
This data creates knowledge patterns which can be used by companies to service companies better. E-Business provides a platform of knowledge management for service providers meeting the demands of their customers. It is this spanning of an entire value chain various services done over the Internet or the world wide web . In the last 10 years, speed of accessing data over the Internet has risen nearly 450% thus allowing huge amounts of data to be readily available on demand.

A typical example of E-Business would be :

– When an Airline can buy engineering parts through its supply-chain vendor management from anywhere in the world
– Trading equity and derivatives online
– Storing of archival data such as previous online shopping habits of an individual customer

The size and volume of the E-Business transaction sets the stage of the various business processes that supports it.

The Future

According to a Dataquest report in Sept 2010, the last 5 years of E-Business transactions constitute over 60 billion USD.

Year E-Business Transactions (USD-Billion)
1998 7
2001 12.5
2004 26
2007 44
2010 60
Source: Dataquest Report Sept 2010

The real concern coming out of these transactions is of course issues such as:-
– Confidentiality of Data
– Various Data Protection Laws in a Country
– Integrity of Data
– Storage and administration of Data
– Accessibility of Data

There are billions of dollars being spent by various industry sections to counter the challenges for the meteoric rise of E-Business. There is no doubt with the success of E-Business, it has created a whole new industry and millions of jobs online.