The impact of the internet, intranet and extranet on business.

Topics: Internet, General Electric, Business process reengineering Pages: 23 (5437 words) Published: October 16, 2005
1. INTRODUCTION

The Internet has taken the business community by storm since the early 1990s. When the community realised the potentiality of the Internet they hailed it as the most transforming invention in history. It has the ability to completely change the way business is being done. And, it is doing so at a feverish pace, turning business upside down and inside out (The Economist 1999).

Information Technology (IT) experts went on to use the Internet technology to spin off the Intranet and Extranet to enhance business competition. Together with the Internet, their innovative implementations were able to provide competitive advantage for a company.

The Internet, Intranet and Extranet collectively have dramatically affected business. A growing number of corporations believe in the technology's potential to lower cost, add value, improve productivity and create new business opportunities (The Economist Intelligence Unit 2001).

So much has been written about the Internet, Intranet and Extranet. What exactly are they? What are their impacts on current business practices and activities?

This report seeks to address these questions in the Trading Process Network, a business tool that integrates the Internet, Intranet and Extranet technologies. First, the report introduces the Internet, Intranet and Extranet. Then, it goes on to provide a brief description of the Trading Process Network.

Subsequently, the study proceeds to critically review the positive and negative impacts of the Trading Process Network on current business practices and activities. It concludes with some key findings resulting from the positive impact and then provides some suggestions to overcome the negative impacts.

2. INTERNET, INTRANET AND EXTRANET.

The Internet technology has risen so fast in the last ten years that it is now considered a business necessity. The Star (2004), a local newspaper, published the figure below summarising the history of the Internet.

(source: Star 2004)

Figure 1: History of the Internet.

Presently, business corporations all over the world are scrambling to implement this technology to take advantage of its impact on their business practices and activities.

The Internet

The Internet is a dynamic group of computer networks that interconnect computers around the globe (Comer 1997). It is a network of networks thus a powerful form of information and communication technology. Figure 2 illustrates the Internet setup.

(source: GE Lighting, www.gelighting.com)

Figure 2: The Internet network

Computers linking to the Internet communicate by using a common Internet protocol to disseminate information across computers (Kambil 1995). Users of the Internet can communicate electronically, retrieve information and interact with other computers. Therefore, Kambil (1995) said that the Internet is basically used for:

* Electronic mail and news services

* File transfer to and from remote computers

* World Wide Web

* Telnet - the ability to use remote computers

The World Wide Web is the information space for storing and retrieving hypertext documents on the Internet through a unique addressing scheme (Schaper & Volery 2002). Often, the Internet is known as the World Wide Web or Information Superhighway because of its superior information reservoir. Any information placed on public web servers can be viewed by anyone with Web access using a browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer (Bullock et al. 1997).

The Intranet.

The Intranet is an internal corporate communication networks riding on the transmission control protocol / internet protocol (TCP/IP) (Szuprowicz 1997).

(source: GE Lighting, www.gelighting.com)

Figure 3: The Intranet network

It is designed for staff use only and does not to allow outsiders access. The intranet hooks into corporate databases giving the individual users access to all this data through the standard Web browsers that...
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