Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week 4: eBusiness

1. What is an IP address? What is its main function?

An IP address is the way in which computers communicate with one another, through the assignment of a unique number to every computer in the world.

2. What is Web 2.0, how does it differ from 1.0?

Web 2.0 is the current stage of the internet's development as a 'read/write' web. It is characterised by technologies such as social networking, wikis, blogs and RSS. It differs from Web 1.0 (characterised by the one-way publishing of information by a webmaster) in that the user is more involved in the creation of content.

3. What is Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 refers to the transformation of the internet into a database through the use of metadata. It is considered the evolutionary path to artificial intelligence.

4. Describe the different methods an organisation can use to access information.

The different methods an organisation can use to access information include:
  • Intranet: is best described as a 'private section' of the internet used by companies internally, featuring components such as collaboration tools.
  • Extranet: similar to an intranet, however the scope is extended to include other parties such as fellow firms, strategic partners and suppliers. It also for easier sharing of data between businesses.
  • Portal: is a website that combines many systems on the one page, for example, a university website which has links to email, academic information and so on. Each session should be tailored to the needs of the user accessing the portal.
5. What is eBusiness, how does it differ from eCommerce?

eBusiness is a broad term that refers to all electronic business (including eCommerce, marketing etc), whilst eCommerce is the more specific function of buying and selling products on the internet.

6. List and describe the various eBusiness models.

The various eBusiness models are:
  • B2B (business to business): businesses buying and selling to each other over the internet.
  • B2C (business to consumer): a business selling its products or services to consumers over the internet.
  • C2C (consumer to consumer): applies to sites, such as eBay, that allow consumers to sell goods and services to one another over the internet.
  • C2B (consumer to business): a consumer that sells a product or service to business over the internet.
7. List 3 metrics you would use if you were hired to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of an eBusiness website.

The three metrics I would use to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of an eBusiness website include:
  1. The number of page views, indicating popularity of site.
  2. The type of visitors, e.g. unidentified, unique, session, tracked or identified.
  3. The number of abandoned shopping carts, indicating the quality of the shopping experience.
8. Outline 2 opportunities and 2 challenges faced by companies doing business online.

Two opportunities of doing business online are:
  1. Accessibility: eBusiness allows a business to operate around the clock, 24/7 for 365 days a year, on a global scale.
  2. Increase customer loyalty: eBusiness offers additional channels for contacting, responding to and accessing customers, increasing customer loyalty.
Two challenges of doing business online are:
  1. Disintermediation: the removal of intermediaries in a business's supply change may discourage other businesses from stocking its products, for example, a surf wear brand would be reluctant to sell directly to the consumer online as they rely heavily on a strong network of surf-wear retailers.
  2. Protecting customer's security: customers must be protected from online threats such as spam, illegal or harmful goods, invasion of privacy and fraud.