Reporrt on benefits to the business in going e-business
Words : 3500
1. Introduction This assignment is an integral part of this module and contributes 25% to the overall mark. You will work in groups of 2. This applies to all stages/parts of the assignment. You should analyse a business of your choice and identify the main elements of its business strategy. The business may be already involved in e-business or may be interested in getting involved. In any case, you should identify the benefits for this business to do e-business. You can work with a real company that you are familiar with or a fictional one. You should explore the current status of e-business in the selected sector by looking at relevant technical, organisational, societal and individual factors, and make recommendations to the company with regards to the technologies involved to become (more) successful in e-business. The assignment has three parts: these are explained in Sections 2-4 below. Section 5 of this document gives you an example of how to structure your essay and explains the marking scheme. Section 6 presents the deadlines and submission instructions. Section 7 explains the penalties for late submissions, and Section 8 explains how the College deals with plagiarism. 2. Identify and analyse the benefits of a business in becoming e- business You should analyse a business of your choice and identify the main elements of its business strategy. The business may be already involved in e-business or may be interested in getting involved. You should identify the benefits for this business to do e-business. It might be a real company that you are familiar with or a fictional one. If you decide to go for a fictional company you are responsible to make your description consistent and realistic. In either case, your company should be active in a business area that at least one (or more) of you understands well. You should describe the company, i.e. number of employees, turnover, geographical area where it is active, what are its products, what is its market (size, customer profile). Describe the business targets for the next few years and identify the benefits that your selected company will have after getting involved in e-commerce. To help you with your work, these are some factors you can take into account in your analysis of benefits: Broad Benefits: Strategic planning and the right approach can modernise or re-launch company image; Increase efficiency and cut costs; Attract and retain customers; Improve communication with suppliers and reduce time to market; Cut transaction costs Measurable Gains: Reduce cost of transactions; Better customer information and low cost of capture; Targeting of special offers and promotions; Target 80%/20% - specials for key customers; Reordering facilities promote loyalty; 7/24 global service; Shorter time to market Virtual Commerce Benefits: Virtual expansion less costly than physical; Easier publishing of detailed product information (GM food information, health and diet tips, menu planning, special nutritional support); Opportunity to diversify (Tesco sells CD, videos, books DVDs); Partnership opportunities; Organic foods, shop at work; Cash flow gains Page 1 of 7 3. Explore the current status of e-business in the selected business sector You can explore the current status of e-business in the selected sector by looking at relevant technical, organisational, societal and user/customer issues. Remember that in e-business the main technical concern for the company is to be able to guarantee the overall functionality of its web services, and ensure that this functionality matches with customer needs and the particular characteristics of the sector, e.g. competition, local infrastructure and so on. You can consider technical issues such as interoperability, system integration, security authentication, scalability. At the organisational level, the adoption of appropriate e-business models is closely related to the ways single business firms or value networks of collaborating firms conduct business. The e-business model has also an impact on the performance of the organisation and it is affected by the structure of the particular sector. Although in general successful e-business adoption requires structural changes in the company, it is acknowledged that not all businesses face the same changes. One way to analyse this is to look at how much internet usage influences the product sales within the sector (e.g. digital content such as software, audio, and video is easily distributed via Internet); how much the format of the product facilitates distribution, and how much the customers profiles (tastes and habits) affect the sales performance (e.g. MP3 files and P2P networks). With regards to customer profiles, you should take into account that these depend on the market environment and they evolve in the time as the industrial structures, the markets and the consumer orientations change. Of course changes in business practices and structures affect individuals and groups. For example, the adoption of Internet has changed working practices, customer relationships, product delivery mechanisms, staff skills, staff training etc. As new e-business models lead to new business practices these affect the behaviour of individuals, and the society as a whole. These changes are expected to influence peoples’ everyday life as much as they affect work and employment. Thus in this part you should provide insight on these issues. Lastly, you should also explore the influence of individual differences. Literature suggests that individual differences have an impact on the success of e-business within a sector, as the mental and the decision making processes of customers differ along several dimensions, e.g. culture, gender, life style etc. 4. Developing the e-business Your company should get a deep insight of technical risks involved in becoming e-business. You should provide advice on the fundamental technologies underlying current and future networks and identify design limitations and possibilities offered by e-business infrastructures. Describe the envisaged website for the company and discuss the technologies involved. Give a rational for the envisaged functionalities (you can use screenshots from existing websites to illustrate and justify your proposals- make sure all sources are cited properly). Discuss the usability aspects of the website you are proposing and explain your approach to evaluate the user satisfaction with the website.
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