Scope of this workshop
for Positioning Business on the Interent
The most obvious value of the Internet to an established business is found
in use of the World Wide Web as a promotional medium par excellance. The
Net is particularly suited to making very specific information available
cost-effectively to those who might need it. The Net can facilitate effective
communication without regard to geographical or organisational boundaries
and so support new business structures. But before any business can use
the Net effectively, they must learn to use it routinely as a source of
information and as a means of communication.
It is but a small step from effective use of the Net for promotion, information
access and communication, to using it for actual delivery of services your
business provides. Taking that small step does not need to really put you
in the Internet Business--most likely you will utilise specialised Internet
service providers to get you there. Before moving in that direction, it
will be important for you to consider where the boundaries of responsibility
should lie between you and your service provider. For some, it may be appropriate
to evolve your operations towards the direct provision of Internet services.
Others will see the provision of Internet services as a business opportunity
in its own right. If you are tempted in that direction, you must understand
that there are already many very different kinds of Internet services, amongst
which you will need to define your position with some care. Different kinds
of service have different operational and financial models. As with any
value-adding business you need to clearly understand your potential customer
base, what and how they will pay you, the suppliers on whom you will depend,
and what they will cost you.
Whether you wish to use the Internet to benefit your business or you want
to become an Internet service provider, you will also need to consider the
demographics of the Internet user base, both now and in the future. And
before you go any further, it is vital that you get a real feel for the
Web and other parts of the Net. Only by knowing the Internet, and by knowing
your own business, can you properly come to see how they might fit together.