No one can deny the strong effect that e-commerce has had on our daily lives. E-commerce is an USA $5.2 billion market. Many companies use e-commerce to order products for sale, service or general operational needs. Consumers use e-commerce for many reasons. From ordering the favorite blouse they can’t find in the local store to researching the vacation of their dreams. The difficulty of the business to consumer relationship is providing ease of ordering as well as exciting options. This is the same for the business to business relationship. Companies strive for the best and the easiest possible way to promote their product. Ease of ordering can make it a fluid transaction for both parties involved. It can be a technology manager’s best moment when he is able to orchestrate that perfect marriage between point of sale and the actual exchange of funds. The introduction of new technology as well as the ever changing needs of the consumer make it difficult to predict the future of e-commerce. By analyzing some of the technologies which are currently successful, it may be possible to road map future e-commerce possibilities.
The following ideas about Road mapping have come from the article Road mapping Integrates Business and Technology. Some The Road mapping Concept – which by definition is “a process that contributes to the integration of business and technology and to the definition of technology strategy by displaying the interaction between products and technologies over time, taking into account both short- and long -term product and technology aspects” has many key points that make the process work. The long term view of Road mapping helps to serve markets with the right products at the right time, improve new product creation, and stimulates learning in organizations through openness and desire to perform better. Road mapping can take up to ten years to fully execute. This includes two-three years in the planning phase (looking at available resources for development) and three -six years in the vision phase(highly important in the road mapping process). Some requirements of road mapping must show alternative product of technology developments and use standardized formats which describes the product characteristics and technologies. The process of Road mapping is supported by other tools. An example of one of the tools includes Quality Function Deployment (QFD). These tools help structure the relationship between the parameters of product, technology and time. Customer oriented approach that links customer requirements (whats) with product characteristics (hows). This might alternatively be considered linking future product with future technology, which is the essence of Road mapping.