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e-business Standards and Risks

E-business advocates often make e-business models sound like an easy solution to business and financial challenges. E-business can offer specific advantages, such as reaching out to a wider customer base and faster transactions. Customers frequently consult the Internet to find stores and service providers or to make purchases. Before jumping into the world of e-commerce, business owners also need to know the risks.

Hidden Costs

One of the biggest selling points of e-business is the low start-up costs. Domain names and web hosting incur relatively low costs when compared with renting or buying a physical space like a restaurant or pizzeria. While some business owners choose to build a website in house, many outsource the work to build the site. The costs of a custom site can run into the thousands of dollars. Maintaining and updating the website also requires time, which can mean either hiring someone to do that work or using your own time to do so.

Data Security

Every business faces the problem of data security, and e-business maximizes these challenges. Customers enter a considerable amount of sensitive information, ranging from phone numbers to credit card numbers, on your site. As the site owner, you take responsibility for protecting that information with appropriate security measures, such as Secure Sockets Layer encryption or contracting with third parties to provide secure transaction processing. Failures in data security can lead both to fines and loss of faith on the part of your customers.

Data-Driven Marketing

Marketing Failures

Online and offline businesses both rely on effective marketing to drive growth and sales. Unfortunately, the techniques and strategies for online marketing diverge radically from offline techniques. Business owners can find themselves lost in talk of pay-per-click, viral techniques and social media. Businesses new to e-business may find it necessary to hire an individual or company that specialize in online marketing, in addition to any offline marketing services they already use. Without effective online marketing to drive traffic to the website, the entire project can turn into a waste of time and financial resources.
If you use proprietary technologies, you face the following risks:
  1. You risk being locked into a design that is quickly outdated
  2. Not being able to find resources who can customize your solution
If you use standards-based technologies you benefit from
  1. A longer shelf life
  2. A wide variety of consuting and training resources
  3. A rich set of third-party, supply-side products