A layman using internet is overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that he or she is able to access in an instant. Little do people know that the so called information high way is a culmination of thousands of networks, multiple technologies, platforms, applications and programmes working together in co-ordination to deliver information to you and to enable a successful business transaction.
Getting into E Commerce is but inevitable for all business organisations. However designing a E Marketing strategy and setting up a the technical infrastructure to enable business transactions via the internet is not a simple task. It requires a thorough understanding of the technology environment, the pros and cons of using internet as well as implementing support structures and business processes that act as back up for E Commerce. This understanding is essential for the Management as well as the Marketing Managers who are the key planners of E Marketing strategies.
Most of the Organisations keep their E Commerce and internet related IT infrastructure separate from the internal Company servers and information. World Wide Web is truly an open high way where any information that is available on the server can be accessed by any one through search mechanisms. More over there are several tools available on the internet that can be used by hackers to steal information from your site, to divert traffic from your mail systems and play havoc with your website. Organisations would not wish to keep all information open to one and all. Several technologies such as intranet that hosts information and make it available to internally as well as authentication, data encryption and firewall technologies come into play as important and integral part of the IT design. Every day new methods of hacking, spreading virus etc are being introduced into the internet forcing the Organisations to continually monitor and upgrade their internet system security as well as transactional security and these calls for continual investments.
Internet technology environment is also dominated by the multi-media technologies as well as the evolving communication network technologies. Information is delivered to the customer using multi media using audio as well as video mode. Transmitting and reaching the information and content calls for the connectivity and hardware infrastructure technologies. We have seen the development of 2G, 3G,4G technologies available through cable, satellite, Wi-Fi modes connecting not only to the Computers but to a host of other hand held devices such as mobile smart phones, tablets etc. Today the connectivity related infrastructure has merged voice| telephone, data as well as video and the service providers are vying with one another to dominate the end point serviceability to individual customers as integrated service providers.
In case of doing business via the internet be it exchanging mails, sending documents or affecting transactions, Several technologies like digital signature and other cryptographic protocols have to be employed to ensure authenticity as well as prevent any tampering etc. Authentication and validation process besides security checks form the basis of e business transactions. On the legal front too Organisations have got to watch out for issues concerning copy writes, licenses as well as intellectual property when it comes to their E Business and web sites.
Getting into E Business |Commerce calls for building trust with the customer. When there is a financial impact in any transaction and when it comes to an online financial transaction, the security and completion of transaction has got to be flawless. For the customer to be able to trust the Company and agree to make online payment, the systems as well as the security checks and balances have got to be fool proof and need to be upgraded from time to time.
Understanding of the technology environment, knowledge of the threats, ability to build stronger systems, ensuring that the transactions and processes are legally compliant as well as tax compliant are the basics that have to be taken into account while designing E Marketing strategy. All these issues have got to be addressed by using technology products and third party suppliers.
Marketing managers not only face the challenge of having to understand the internet customer and his behaviour but have got to understand the technology environment, the threats and pitfalls along with compliance issues that exist. Technology element is one of the major components that have a bearing on the E Business strategy.