Through the years, the increase in technology has been greatly evident in our society. Man spends his time inventing new things, or renovating and improvising them. More high-rise buildings are built today, cars with greater performances and computers with improved speeds are being manufactured, greater gadgets are placed in the marketplace, and we can never exclude among the list – the rise of Information Technology, its applications and extensive improvements.An advance in the field information technology that greatly shaped this world is the advent of computer networking and the internet.With the internet, greater access for more information is made possible. Because of digital networks, connections are no longer limited to linkingcomputers inside a building; on the contrary it allows wider connections between computers across countries. There are numerous applications for using the internet, which make it very practical for various applications today. The common applications are conducting researches, sending electronic mails, sharing files, etc.Anotherapplication that is in the rise is the execution of business through the internet – e-business and e-commerce. Most organisations have integrated the internet as a part of their business operations. Today’s businesses and non-profit organisations have quickly recognised the abilityof the internet and the increase in their business that it can bring and hence depend on the internet for expanding their operations globally, improving business processes, reaching new consumers, and making the most of their resources (Daft andMarcic, 2010) asBhunia stated, “The way of e-business changes the rules of traditional business pattern, and making new rules and means for fast and border less business” (2006, p. 84). The internet is a large marketplace where people can sell or purchase products and services with few limitations. There are several effects that internet networking and businesses have on our society, and these will be the focus of this paper. One of the common benefits of the internet network is the development not only in digital businesses, but also inbusiness-related other operations. For instance, banks have also adopted the way of e-commerce and the internet infrastructure; this is what we call internet banking. Low costs, availability, and convenience are added benefits. With the use of the internet, banks and other financial companies can offer services with qualities such aswider availability, greater convenience, immediate deliveries, more consumer focus and personalised services (Schmid, Slabeva and Tschammer, 2001). Internet networking provides not only convenience and flexibility to business firms, but also financial security. Online banking makes safeguards customers’ privacy. As Wenninger (2000 cited in Schmid, Slabeva and Tschammer 2001, p.318) stated, “Banks can develop services such as protection for e-commerce users against fraud”.
Another advantage information technology has on businessis flexibility for executingvarious jobs since companies can recruit employees to work online creating flexible job opportunities for them . With the internet network, employment is not bleak. More jobs requiring high skills are created (Doyle 2000, p.37). Digital network offers individuals more jobs and this increase in specific job roles works positively for the businesses as well, since applications and operations requiring specific talents are executed well. Today, there is a lot of freelancing jobs over the internet wherein business owners and managers find skilled workerswho can carry out specific jobs for the business. These employees can be recruited from any part of the country thus increasing the scope of finding apt talent. Additionally, the freelancers have the option of working from their home.
However, digital networks also have certain disadvantages. In spite of the increasing efficiency in digital business,people involved are still prone to the dangers of uncertainty, risks, and even losses.Though consumers and other business organisations can attest the significanteffects digital network and business provides, there are a number of negative issues associated with this growing technology which deserve careful attention (Bidgoli, 2002).By means of digital network, a worker can use a personal computer and just communicate, send and receive data from the employer. However, this kind of workplace will result to limited management of the work. Owners and managers will not be able to keenlysupervise each job than is being done. Also, workers become less creative since they are not able to share ideas with each other. Digital networks may also have a negative effect on businesses in terms of privacy and intellectual property. Information technology by itself, does not pose threat to an individual’s privacy. However, it opens avenues of cyber-crime such as hacking and can causea threat to someone else’s privacy. The threat arises not from telecommunication networks itself but from unscrupulous use ofthis technology to gain access to personal information, and what they might do with that information which they acquire (Cnaan and Parsloe, 1989). For example, the consumer or buyer involved in a business transaction may be required to send his or her address for deliveries. This in turn,will put that informationat the risk of being uses for harmful purposes.
The promise of executing a business through the internet in terms of its efficiency and flexibility is truly tremendous, but this promise also has frightful drawbacks on the other side. Hackers of credit card and social security numbers, untrustworthy operations and groups that collect and sell personal information, pornographic sites invading systems, and others engaged in illegal, unethical, or questionable behaviors pose a huge risk to a buyer or an organisation involved in digital networks (De George, 2003). There is a great issue on ethics that arises with e-business. Businesses, corporations and individuals in the society who rely on digital networks must be trustworthy and should maintain their moral integrity. Internet network and online businesses are not evil by themselves; how we useit determines whether the effect of such technology is harmful or not.
The extensive growth of technology in the area of digital networking and business is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. It is even considered as very important in our society since almost everyone – students, teachers, businessmen, and other professionals – are dependent on it. Yet man must be responsible in using it, so that the benefits are maximised and the harms minimised.
Bhunia, C.T., 2006 .Information technology network and internet.India: New Age International.
Cnaan, R.A. and Parsloe, P., 1989. The impact of information technology on social work practice.UK: Routledge.
Daft, R.L., and Marcic, D., 2010.Understanding management.Kentucky: Cengage Learning.
De George, R.T., 2003. The ethics of information technology and business.UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Doyle, S., 2000.Understanding information technology.UK: Stanley Thornes Ltd.
Schmid, B., Slabeva, K.S. and Tschamme V., 2001.Towards the E-Society: E-commerce, E- business, and E-government. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.