Electronic business

Web Design & Development Guide

Electronic business


Electronic Business, or "e-Business", may be defined broadly as any business process that relies on an automated information system. Today, this is mostly done with Web-based technologies. The term "e-Business" was coined by Lou Gerstner, CEO of IBM.

Electronic business methods enable companies to link their internal and external data processing systems more efficiently and flexibly, to work more closely with suppliers and partners, and to better satisfy the needs and expectations of their customers.

In practice, e-business is more than just e-commerce. While e-business refers to more strategic focus with an emphasis on the functions that occur using electronic capabilities, e-commerce is a subset of an overall e-business strategy. E-commerce seeks to add revenue streams using the World Wide Web or the Internet to build and enhance relationships with clients and partners and to improve efficiency using the Empty Vessel strategy. Often, e-commerce involves the application of knowledge management systems.

E-business involves business processes spanning the entire value chain: electronic purchasing and supply chain management, processing orders electronically, handling customer service, and cooperating with business partners. Special technical standards for e-business facilitate the exchange of data between companies. E-business software solutions allow the integration of intra and inter firm business processes. E-business can be conducted using the Web, the Internet, intranets, extranets, or some combination of these.


Applications can be divided into three categories:

  1. Internal business systems:
  2. Enterprise communication and collaboration:
  3. electronic commerce - business-to-business electronic commerce (B2B) or business-to-consumer electronic commerce (B2C):
    • internet shop
    • supply chain management
    • online marketing


When organizations go online, they have to decide which e-business models best suit their goals. [1] A business model is defended as the organization of product, service and information flows, and the source of revenues and benefits for suppliers and customers. The concept of e-business model is the same but used in the online presence. The following is a list of the currently most adopted e-business models:

  • E-shops
    Virtual Communities
    Collaboration Platforms
    Third-party Marketplaces
    Value-chain Integrators
    Value-chain Service Providers
    Information Brokerage

Classification by provider and consumer

Roughly dividing the world into providers/producers and consumers/clients one can classify e-businesses into the following categories:

  • business-to-business (B2B)
    business-to-consumer (B2C)
    business-to-employee (B2E)
    business-to-government (B2G)
    government-to-business (G2B)
    government-to-government (G2G)
    government-to-citizen (G2C)
    consumer-to-consumer (C2C)
    consumer-to-business (C2B)

It is notable that there are comparably less connections pointing "upwards" than "downwards" (few employee/consumer/citizen-to-X models).


  1. ^ Paul Timmers, (2000), Electronic Commerce - strategies & models for business-to-business trading, pp.31, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, ISBN 0-471-72029-1

External links


Online spreadsheets
Rich Internet Applications
Web application framework
Electronic business
Electronic commerce
Freight exchange
Online banking
Online gambling
Online Office
Shop bot
Web application development
Web-based email

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