The impact of the internet, intranet and extranet on business.

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1. INTRODUCTION The Internet has taken the business community by storm since the early 1990s. When the community realised the potentiality of the Internet they hailed it as the most transforming invention in history. It has the ability to completely change the way business is being done. And, it is doing so at a feverish pace, turning business upside down and inside out (The Economist 1999). Information Technology (IT) experts went on to use the Internet technology to spin off the Intranet and Extranet to enhance business competition. Together with the Internet, their innovative implementations were able to provide competitive advantage for a company. The Internet, Intranet and Extranet collectively have dramatically affected business.…show more content…
The Extranet. An extranet is an extension of the Intranet that is partially accessible to authorised distributors, suppliers, customers and business partners (Long and Long 2005). Simply, an extranet is set up on the same TCP/IP network as the Intranet which allows outsiders access to that same internal corporate information (Bullock et al. 1997). Refer to Figure 4. (source: GE Lighting, www.gelighting.com) Figure 4: The Extranet network Like a "private" business club, the extranet centralises business transaction by using the same user-friendly technology that has made the Internet a global network. Its "members" can include companies of all sizes located in virtually every corner of the world (GE Information Services 1999). The Hierarchy. The Internet is the conceptual incubator of both intranets and extranets, and universal connectivity has liberated corporate communications practices (Franklin Jr. 1997). Though they are all Internet and Web based technologies, there are differences between them such as: * The type of information each are designed to disseminate * The targeted group of people allow to access the information * Security Table 1 below compares some of the common differences: Information Type Targeted Group Security Internet general general public lacking Intranet corporate employee moderate Extranet specific to business selected outsiders good

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