e-commerce / e-business / e-tail
The best description we have found for e-Commerce is at TechTarget.
"E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, or consumer-to-business..." Today, we add to this business-to-government (and vica versa), government to consumer (and vice versa), and government-to-government transactions as well.
The introduction of e-Commerce / e-Business in traditional companies drove an internally focused business transformation. This transformation was driven by disruptive technologies that eventually changed the commerce world forever.
The initial complexity to create an internet capability was underestimated and resulted in a cross-functional modification for the entire company.
Traditional companies struggled with what the internet was all about and how they could leverage this new technology. Many different companies started, stopped and started again with trying to figure out what the internet business was for them while trying to figure out what an internet business meant to them. Companies in every industry spun off the internet business and later required them because it was less distracting than trying to build the capability internally.
To help address the traditional companies' challenges with these disruptive technologies, the concept of Business Architecture was introduced in 1999 to help conceive of and deploy specifically to help traditional companies "architect" and design their business for the internet and for e-commerce, It clarified what was needed and why it was needed. It helped companies identify and answer questions related to building a separate but integrated business that could be spun off or a fully integrated business that could not easily be spun off. It helped define business goals and objectives, design organizational structures, build information models, business security models, compensation plans, process flows, procedures, policies, technology platforms and all the other facets and interactions of having a viable business.
If you search for digitization you will find a great deal of technical explanations about converting analog information like paper notes and pictures into zeros and ones (digital representations) of those very items.
That is not digitization in business today.
Digitization is the transformation of business from analog to digital. Where people interact with known products, services, locations and entities today, they will interact on their own with one or more companies to get "served" solutions that are generated in real-time (they did not exist before) from companies that may or may not have existed before but are real at that moment, in an environment that is virtual (web, phone, etc.) to capture that specific customer at that specific time.
For example: Today, a person looking at homes on Zillow might get an advertisement for a mortgage product from RocketMortgage.com, homeowners insurance from Allstate, a real estate person ad may pop up and ChemLawn as well. However, those products and services have been predefined with all the rules and parameters already determined and approved by the executive team based on risk profiles. The complexity to know what a person is looking at and for how long has been figured out. The metrics show that there is a probability they will buy a service or product based on these metrics too.
Tomorrow a person looking at homes on Zillow might be "observed" by 1 company while engaging with other companies electronically to create a new "offering" of products and services as it checks that person's credit history, credit score, current address, current employer, current mortgage and insurance, etc., to determine that...
...a brand new mortgage + Insurance + real estate sale (of old house) + real estate buy (of new house) + lawn service + internet service + electric + gas + water + sewer + tax product suite gets created for a single monthly rate and offer it to the customer.
How might that be possible? Can a company's current organizational structure allow for such a thing? Who is the head of product innovation for products that are created in real-time and are not approved by an executive committee? How does the risk or legal group calculate the risk of combining products or the risk of customers to the company? How is the sale team measured?
Digitization is the revolutionary baby of the internet. It radically morphs the internet into the ultimate business-to-business-to-customer-to-government-to-business (and vica versa).