Position: The use of the Internet can dramatically reduce the cost of operations.
Today’s Internet and associated technology allows the user to accomplish much more than in the past.
It is now possible to use this technology to reduce the cost of traveling and increase personal efficiency. Products such as Genesys, WebEX, GoToMeeting, and BaseCamp now dominate the landscape. These presentation products when combined with an audio bridge allow for instant communications, interactive product demonstrations and document sharing.
The Internet is also allowing Corporate America to reduce some of the obvious costs of communication such as the telephone. In 1999 I began working on VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) securing agreements to pass through calls from satellites and terminating over VOIP. The latency (voice delay) was not good. It was much worse than some cellular calls. Today, the quality is nearly as good as POTS (plain old telephone service). The quality of VoIP today is nearly crystal clear thanks to new bridge technology. All-you-can-eat calling plans using VoIP will continue to grow in popularity and use.
The Internet is the easiest way to verify the existence of “something.” Past legislation, financial records, companies, literature, operating instructions and a general knowledge base have all been successful applications. The ability to purchase online is gaining more momentum than most critics thought possible. Today, real world businesses worry about being competitive with their Internet counterparts. It is Virtually possible to start most businesses on the Internet for 1/10th or less of an investment required by real world businesses. As more users come online and the public understands the level of encryption available, more commercial and retail businesses will be completed online.
Finally, the Internet has allowed Corporate America to better communicate with its employees and their market via Intranet technology. Knowledge bases containing employee information and/or technical notes associated with product knowledge has in some cases dramatically reduced the CRM (Customer Retention Management) personnel required per 1,000 customers or employees.
The Blog (web logs) movement now allows for employees, customers and others to instantly communicate ideas, concerns and certainly observations on virtually any subject imaginable. Thousands of Blogs are being added to the Internet daily.
Updated in April, 2009: