Mastering the internet
> Utilising the internet as a market place and a marketing tool
ACCORDING to Euromonitor International, the number of internet users today will be more than doubled by 2025. Last year, there were 2 billion mobile internet subscribers, with 660 million subscribers in China alone.
Internet is a technology that is used because it is perceived as useful. In the near future, as more things are added to the existing internet, more usefulness may be appropriated by the users. For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT) – the phrase coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999. It is the internet working of things – physical devices that are machine-to-machine interoperable, capable of collecting and exchanging data between themselves. It is idealised to offer great economic benefits from the efficiency and accuracy generated by the synergistic integration of devices, systems and services. Potentially, IoT is a cyber-physical system that incorporates all existing protocols, domains, and applications. Theoretically, IoT provides new opportunities for user experience and interfaces.
As expected from any human invention, the internet has brought along negative impacts. Last year, Malaysian police recorded nearly 15,000 online scams at an estimated RM1.6 billion of economic losses. The criminals have exploited the speed, convenience and anonymity on the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities – hacking, viruses, pirating, illegal trading, fraud, scams, money laundering, prescription drugs, defamatory libel, cyber stalking, cyber terrorism, ransomware, and more.
Sophisticated hackers can overcome even the best network security measures. It can be a company’s worst nightmare – the discovery that hackers have infiltrated the computer networks and made off with trade secrets, customers’ personal information, and other critical data.
It is always an unfinished task to combat crimes committed on internet. It requires a range of investigative assets including cyber action teams, and intelligence cooperation between authorities and stakeholders. To uncover terrorism threats, it was reported that Yahoo Inc has installed a software to do real-time scanning of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of US intelligence agencies for specific information. Consequentially, the lack of total security has cast a cloud of uncertainty over internet usage, in particular for e-commerce. Internet is not merely a technology. It is also a market place and a marketing tool. So, an understanding of the consumers and how they access the internet is crucial for developing an e-commerce strategy. In reality, consumers come from geographically different social groupings with unique preferences such as payment options, languages and delivery methods, as well as possess devices powered by various operating systems and telecommunication providers. As described by the technology adoption lifecycle, the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation will be according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups. The process of adoption over time is typically illustrated as a classical normal distribution. There will always be a first group of “innovators” to use a new product, followed by "early adopters", “early majority” and “late majority”, and the last group of “laggards” to eventually adopt a product.
Geoffrey Moore, the author of Crossing the Chasm, adds a variation to the original lifecycle. He suggests that for disruptive technologies, which are so many today, there is a chasm (gap) between the first two adopter groups (innovators or early adopters), and the early majority.
Generally, how do users come to accept and use a technology?
Fred Davis’s technology acceptance model (TAM) suggests that when users are presented with a new technology, a number of factors influence their decision about how and when they will use it. The perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of a technology predict a user’s attitude that influences the actual usage. In this age of social media, word of mouth is powerful. However, attitudes towards usage and intentions to use may be ill-formed or lacking in conviction.
Through Sunway College's Victoria University Master of Business Administration (VUMBA) and Master of Business (Enterprise Resource Planning Systems), students will be able develop computing and business skills necessary to support the implementation and maintenance of ERP systems and gain an understanding of the strategic implications to any start-up these systems have on a business.
For more more information, contact VUMBA programme head Dr Hendry Ng at hendryng@ sunway.edu.my or visit http:// sunway.edu.my/college/vumba/ index.php
VUMBA programme head Dr Hendry Ng.
(Above) Yahoo Inc has installed a software to do real-time scanning of Yahoo Mail accounts.
Last year, there were 2 billion mobile internet subscribers.