There are many advantages to using the internet in business. By exploiting the technology, you can work more effectively and productively, and grow your business more quickly.
Key benefits of using the internet in business
Your business can use the internet to increase:
- customer base
- customer support options
- opening hours (since the internet is 'on' 24 hours a day)
- cost savings
- networking opportunities
- research capabilities
- marketing options, including digital communications and automation
- workplace and business efficiency
- operational flexibility and productivity, eg remote working or outsourcing
- data storage and management capabilities, eg through the cloud
- access to a diverse range of business tools and applications
See more on using the internet for business.
Using the internet to manage corporate networks
Use of the internet is essential if you want to build secure corporate networks, such as:
- Extranets - where your customers or suppliers can access information like stock levels, delivery times or progress reports. See more on the benefits of intranets and extranets.
- Virtual private networks or VPNs - where you can safely share resources and confidential information between staff (eg salespeople and homeworkers) or with selected outsiders (eg customers and suppliers). See more on advanced computer networks: intranets, extranets and VPNs.
Using the internet to outsource your IT
Some businesses make use of the internet to outsource different jobs or tasks. Rather than doing things in-house, you can use the labour, expertise and technology of other businesses. For example, you may outsource your:
- data storage
- e-commerce functionality
- website maintenance
- IT support
- accountancy or payroll processing
By outsourcing your IT, you can reduce capital expenditure on IT hardware, software and training, reduce maintenance costs and easily scale services as and when you need them. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.