It means the amount of information within easy access is growing by leaps and bounds in a mind-staggering scale. But everything about the information revolution so far—from spreadsheets to bar coding—has really done little to revolutionize anything. What it has done is transform processes and procedures that have existed for as long as businesses have been around. Don't misunderstand, that is a great and wonderful thing in itself! Business owners can micro-manage every aspect of a company in a fraction of the time it once took. But, essentially, most businesses still operate in the same manner as they have for the past 50 years.
The "revolution" we've been told to expect has come as a by-product of all the information technology that has come before, and it is one that certainly wasn't foreseen when computers first became "personal" or even when PCs were linked into networks. It is e-commerce and it is changing everything. Products and services are being marketed, sold, bought and distributed in ways that have never existed before. Take a look at our Web Site Showcase (pages 46 through 49) but, more importantly, read what companies are doing with their sites. Here's what you'll find: "online ordering system," "accounts, orders and delivery status," "access all products and get pricing information," and "the way of the future for marketing products." These sites are not just streamlining existing processes, they are creating new distribution channels and they are affecting what products are selling and who is buying them.
E-commerce is becoming a rapidly overused buzzword and that's too bad because it's losing its impact on the way we think business will be done in the very near future. E-commerce eliminates traditional economic and geographic barriers. For the first time every business has the potential of being a multi-national corporation and every multi-national corporation has the ability to be the shop around the corner. That's revolutionary.