E-Commerce Success: Building a Global Business Architecture

E-Commerce Success: Building a Global Business Architecture

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According to International Data Corp. (IDC), the worldwide market for Internet-related services is expected to explode - from $4.5 billion in 1997 to $43.6 billion by 2002. The main impetus for this trend is the rush to implement e-commerce Web sites.

Often, the term electronic data interchange (EDI) is used inappropriately as a synonym for e-commerce. In fact, EDI is only one aspect of e-commerce; e-commerce comprises other elements, including electronic faxes, e-mail, and e-forms. E-commerce has become a critical business component for many businesses.

CTR's new report explores the different e-commerce models - business groupings, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, and business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce - to help managers determine whichmethod is most appropriate for their companies.

The report is intended for e-commerce Web site implementers and users - both groups have much to learn about conducting business online. Although electronic retailing is similar to traditional commerce in some respects, a substantial amount of knowledge must be mastered before merchants can profit or consumers can purchase wisely at an electronic storefront.

The report addresses critical issues, including security, transaction management, taxation, legal issues, continuous operation, scalable software design, interface to legacy systems, performance, implementation costs, audit trails, and privacy.

E-commerce yields many benefits. However, the convenience associated with electronic transactions increases the need for security; the enterprise network can be compromised easily if the appropriate precautions are not taken. This report explores securing electronic processes, encryption, protocols and keys, authentication, virtual private networks (VPNs), and more.

The focus of any effective e-commerce solution is the customer. Before increasing quality and delivery speed, an organization should aim to perfect the processes that yield higher levels of customer service.

The report explores system architectures from the perspective of basic approaches, core components, and design principals. This report also discusses the role the Internet can play in expanding an organization's global business success.

How does a company migrate effectively and smoothly to an e-commerce architecture? The report explores this transition and highlights the seven fatal mistakes of migration: overemphasis of technology issues; failure to obtain management support; weak project management; overly optimistic completion schedules; project team's lack of adequate skill levels; unnecessarily complex system design; and the underestimation of human and physical resources required for project completion.

The Internet drives worldwide communications standards. Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP), post office protocol (POP), Internet messaging access protocol (IMAP), and hypertext markup language (HTML) are global standards that bind the world electronically. Because of the Internet's rapid growth, these standards are already being updated. The report addresses this issue, examining HTML, and extensible markup language (XML), which has evolved from HTML and standard generalized markup language (SGML).

CTR's new report will help those implementing an e-commerce architecture to evaluate their companies' needs and capabilities, and pinpoint the most appropriate solution for increased profitability.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Chapter 1: E-commerce Overview Chapter 2: E-commerce Models Chapter 3:Security Considerations Chapter 4: E-commerce Standards Chapter 5: System Architectures Chapter 6: Impact of the Web Chapter 7: Core Components Chapter 8: E-commerce Support Tools Chapter 9: Transaction Processors Chapter 10: E-commerce Migration Chapter11: Building an E-commerce System Chapter 12: Future Trends