Information technology, or IT, is the study, conception, creation, application, support, and administration of computer-based information systems, especially software applications and computer hardware. IT is not only constrained to computers; with technologies quickly developing in the fields of handheld devices, the influence of IT is moving in a fast phase from an isolated computer- founded courses to other forms of mobile technology.
eCommerce, on the other hand, is the application of ongoing and emerging information technologies to conduct business. These include operative technologies such as fax and telephone, but the ICTs offering most margin for small businesses are electronic mail, mobile phones, or other Internet-based utilities. Its origins can be traced back to electronic funds transfer in the 1970’s and EDI in the 1980’s. It emerged following the conception of the internet in the late 1990’s. The networked competency enabled transactions around the world and empowered organizations to walk hand-in-hand virtually. However, eCommerce is known as not only limited to using new technologies. eCommerce assists in profitable business relationships and supports businesses in terms of management and enterprise. Kalakota and Winston have delved into electronic commerce and classified it into three classes:
* Customer to business electronic commerce- enables consumers to look for online goods and services, and in some instances have electronic products forwarded to their desktops.
* Inter-organisational eCommerce- being the natural successor to EDI as this includes document and inventory initiative.
* Intra-organisational eCommerce- accommodates various functions within the organisation to help in the flow of information, such as electronic publishing and work flow communications.
With the aforementioned information, what exactly is the connection between IT and eCommerce?
The explosion in the use of electronic commerce by the business sector has been tremendous since its inception years ago. Since then, eCommerce is increasingly viewed as a key business modality of the future. Points to be noted is eCommerce’ contribution to: businesses’ widening markets, ease of transaction, and decreased overheads. Because of this, thousands of development groups have gone online in the past years.
eCommerce transforms both global economies and marketplace. A number of developed countries have shown vivid domination in eCommerce, as demonstrated by the level of ICT penetration in organisations. Obviously, most companies rely greatly on information technology to meet their business objectives. The following may be owed to IT sectors to meet eCommerce goals:
* Registering domain names
* Protecting domain names
* Negotiating and drafting of website development
* Hardware Maintenance Agreements
* Software as a Service Agreements
* Consumer-protection issues
* Cookie notices
* Social media policies
* Large system implementations
* Procurement (such as development, implementation and disputes
* Intellectual property portfolio development
* Anti-spam issues
* Privacy and data security issues
The overall growth of eCommerce has been startling and will continue to be sustained by business -to-business endeavors. Thus, eCommerce integrated with functional information technology features establishes the cutting edge competitive benchmarks by integrating external and internal strategies, enhancing the distribution methods, and delivering a cost-effective means of manufacturing goods and services.