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Brave New Shift to Wireless.

E-business is no longer just a competitive strategy; it's what your customers expect. Companies, customers and employees are relying more and more on the Internet as a critical business tool. But how you get your business online is still up to you.

Back to the Future

In 1998, the Web development industry exploded. For the first time, people understood that the Internet was here to stay and they better jump on board or be left behind.

The first websites were static, brochure-like, and contained little, if any, interactivity. There was no database integration and definitely no e-commerce.

Here and Now

Today, Web development companies are no longer just building websites, but rather they are providing and customizing e-business solutions consisting of consulting, strategy, branding, developing, marketing (online and offline), customer relation management, e-commerce, personalized platforms, data communication, database integration, and hosting.

Previously, the Internet industry had a reputation for attracting the young, however that is no longer the case. It is not uncommon to find veteran executives in Internet-based companies. They bring a wealth of experience and leadership skills to the table that enhance online business.

The old economy, with its traditional marketing methods, and the new economy, with its active online marketing, are colliding. However, when these new and old marketing philosophies work side by side, the whole economy benefits. Massachusetts-based Forrester Research estimates that e-business will grow at a 100 percent compound annual growth rate over the next few years.

New technologies allow traditional brick and mortar companies to develop and mass customize services to individual customers enabling the infinite scalability and rapid syndication of the Web. And with the decline of online-only dot-coms, the e-business model appeals to more traditional brick and mortar companies.

According to Scott Tilett of Internet Week, "Ninety percent of online buyers use traditional brick and mortar suppliers that have gone online, and only 39 percent buy from online-only suppliers." Online capabilities allow companies to increase revenue by personally branching out to each individual customer.

What the Future Holds

A brave new shift to a wireless world in development and design is needed. The wireless Web will alter e-business as users can obtain online information and make purchases from a wireless device. It is projected by the International Data Corp. that by the end of 2002, wireless subscribers with Internet access will outnumber the wired. In turn, the limited visibility on wireless devices will alter the way Web developers and designers format and construct sites.

The World Trade Organization estimates that approximately 30 percent (or $12 trillion) of the gross world product lends itself to electronic trade. It is estimated that within 15 years, e-commerce will represent more than $17.3 trillion.

Dam Rausher Wessels, a Minneapolis-based research company, projected that "the acceptance of new Web languages and standards such as HTTP, IP, HTML and XML have enabled low-risk investment in critical infrastructures that enable the emergence of e-business." An example of this is the new Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) and how it will impact the way data storage of Web development is handled. XML will allow users to connect words or data in office applications to information on the Internet. Thus, XML will be the standard that allows Web service communities to interchange data, making the Internet more user-friendly and increasing the capacity of global networks where information can be shared.

According to Jim Rohrer, spokesperson for Toshiba, "The main constraint right now to getting a lot of value out of technology is bandwidth." With more bandwidth, technologies such as full duplex video conferencing and application services will be available and prominent.

AnneMarie White is a freelance writer and marketing strategist at Inetz.
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Author:White, AnneMarie
Publication:Utah Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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