Identify E-Business and E-Commerce Web Apps for Planned Transformation Up-North Fishing Outfitters (UNFO) is the premier source for those fishing in northern Michigan. They provide equipment, watercraft, safety gear, and other products for local and tourist anglers. UNFO wants to pursue an e-business model to realize additional revenue streams, reduce costs, and improve customer service. With the full support of senior management, the IT department has been tasked to identify e-business and e-commerce web applications to support the proposed transformation. Having a presence on the web will open UNFO up to a wider array of customers. There are a number of free e-commerce software packages out there, but using them would require some technicians in the IT department to know how to customize, deploy and secure them.
Some of the free packages are Apache OFBiz (Java), Magento (PHP), Spree Commerce (Ruby), and OpenCart (PHP). The free packages are the most cost efficient way for an e-commerce solution. Most companies advertise that they are low cost for the obvious reasons. Integrated Systems Management Inc. (ISM) boasts a low cost solution that has been “helping companies in diverse industries to use the Internet to streamline business processes, reduce costs, increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, improve their bottom line, and expand their Web presence.”* ISM will design, build, deploy, enhance, maintain, and even host and manage (if desired) your Web-based applications. Some security concerns would include cross-site scripting, exposure of PII and financial information.
If a free option is chosen and management and maintenance are kept in-house, then technicians should be properly trained on how to best protect the web site and how to recognize fraudulent transactions. If control of the site will be outsourced, then the organization selected should be reputable, and UNFO and the selected organization should work together to ensure security of the information while it is in transit. Another concern would be storage of the information once it is collected. UNFO must ensure that they remain compliant with the regulations and laws that govern privacy and financial transactions. Failing compliancy could be costly in both money and reputation. Storage and backups should be a part of UNFO’s disaster recovery plan.