e-business (electronic business) definition

Contributor(s): Tim D. Nelson

E-business (electronic business) is the conduct of business processes on the Internet. These electronic business processes include buying and selling products, supplies and services; servicing customers; processing payments; managing production control; collaborating with business partners; sharing information; running automated employee services; recruiting; and more.

E-business can comprise a range of functions and services, ranging from the development of intranets and extranets to e-service, the provision of services and tasks over the Internet by application service providers. Today, as major corporations continuously rethink their businesses in terms of the Internet, specifically its availability, wide reach and ever-changing capabilities, they are conducting e-business to buy parts and supplies from other companies, collaborate on sales promotions, and conduct joint research. With the security built into today's browsers, and with digital certificates now available for individuals and companies from Verisign, a certificate issuer, much of the early concern about the security of business transaction on the Web has abated, and e-business by whatever name is accelerating.

IBM was one of the first companies to use the term when, in October 1997, it launched a thematic campaign built around e-business.

This was first published in June 2014

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