Academic journal article International Journal of Management

An Assessment and Strategic Guidelines for Developing E-Commerce in the Asia-Pacific Region

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

An Assessment and Strategic Guidelines for Developing E-Commerce in the Asia-Pacific Region

Article excerpt

The Asia-Pacific region is growing in e-commerce adoption despite a global economic slowdown. Developed countries that have been offering e-commerce have shown impressive performance in their respective economies, but the Asia-Pacific region still lags behind in the e-business race. This is due to several factors which include language, education, technology, and technical infrastructure. The aim of the following discussion is to develop a framework that embraces key global driving forces and national policy forces impacting e-business readiness in the Asia-Pacific region through conceptualization of the key global forces as primary drivers of e-business readiness and national policy drivers as enablers of e-business growth. Using these determinants, a strategic map is then developed to identify where various countries in the Asia-Pacific region are currently positioned in terms of their respective e-business readiness. Key factors that act as impediments to e-commerce growth as well as strategies to accelerate the growth of e-commerce in the Asia-Pacific region are presented.

Introduction

The transcendent importance of the Internet's role in the business environment is turning into a powerful agent of globalization not only in economic, but also in social and cultural terms. Business in general and global e-business in particular, are experiencing a paradigm shift toward a promise of ubiquitous information How and connectivity, especially in developing economies. E-business continues to offer more effective business results, improve efficiency, and reduce costs, by connecting customers, employees, and suppliers around the world without regard for geographical boundaries. ?-business is becoming a mechanism for information dissemination, a medium between individuals and organizations, and a virtual marketplace for goods and services (Kiiski & Pohjola, 2002), while the technologies of e-business are fundamentally redefining the rules of business, creating a new playing field free from time and space. For the first time, people have become members of a single community that is united by shared knowledge and experience.

The global readiness of the Internet is of paramount importance to infrastructure planners and key policymakers, especially for the leaders of the developing economies, including the Asia-Pacific region. In order to be more effective in their e-business initiatives, it is important for key leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to assess their e-business potential to identify relative strengths and weaknesses and thereby develop strategies and policies to addresses them. To develop and deploy effective strategies, it is necessary to have a framework that enables the assessment of a country's e-business potential.

The aim of the following discussion is to develop a framework that embraces key global driving forces (e.g., telecommunications infrastructure) and national policy forces (e.g., government regulations) impacting e-business readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. We conceptualize the key global forces as primary drivers of e-business readiness and national policy drivers as enablers of e-business growth. Using these determinants, a strategic map to identify where various countries in the Asia-Pacific region are currently positioned in terms of their e-business readiness is developed. The strategic value of the map lies in its ability to assist a country's leaders and key decision makers to identify the critical parameters that have become stumbling blocks for advancing in the e-commerce revolution. Our model provides direction for strategic policies to better position the countries in order to realize success in the e-commerce race.

An Assessment of E-Business Readiness

To ascertain e-business readiness, we developed a strategic map to position countries in the Asia-Pacific region using the four key drivers shown in Figure 1. These four drivers include the following: (a) telecommunication infrastructure, (phone lines, fiber trunks and submarine cables), DSL (digital subscriber line), access to computers, number of Internet hosts, number of Internet Service Providers (ISP) and available bandwidth, and broadband access; (b) market infrastructure, which relates to the contents on web servers and logistics and other supports in order to conduct business; (c) user access infrastructure (number of Internet hosts and number of websites, web users as a percent of the population as well as ISP availability and costs for consumers, and PC penetration level); and (d) governmental and regulatory infrastructure, which consists of legal infrastructures, currencies and clearing systems, the public key infrastructure (PKI), and the bank and financial network infrastructure. …

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