The commonness of digital technology and devices, computers and networking is rapidly and drastically changing lifestyles, cultures and societies as a whole.
Currently there is a heavy reliance on computer networks, computers and fully-functional information structures by both small and major businesses. Generally speaking, a majority of the population has become dependent on the use of digitally enabled devices like mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), computers/laptops, digital music players and more importantly the internet in their daily schedules and work.
The digital revolution that today's population are experiencing will have a lasting and major consequence on the evolution of future societies, since the management of knowledge and information systems are and will continue to be handles by computers and digital devices. The emergence of concepts like open standards and open sources also force other issues like intellectual property, resource sharing and control, software standards, hardware standards and network standards to also surface. It is imperative to identify the two concepts being discussed in order to assess their direct impact in terms of electronic commerce.
Open standards and OSS represents a departure from the usual model followed by companies that handles proprietary software as it is a paradigm shift towards opening innovations through shared knowledge and information between software developers and consumers (Committee for Economic Development (CED) 2006)
WHAT IS ELECTRONIC COMMERCE
Electronic commerce (ecommerce or EC) by and largely center on the means and resources needed or required in order to trade product and services using the internet as a standard or location for exchanges and business transactions (CED 2006).
Similarly, electronic business (EB) normally pursue similar goals and structures, the only difference is its tendency to concentrate more on the internal processes taking place in the business and its various components within the enterprise. Both are targets by many software and information sellers and companies, developing specific commercial systems that will manage and further enhance the type of business process (CED 2006)..
A definitive example of a business entity that uses efficient and straightforward ecommerce processes is Amazon.com, which allows a good representation of the particular shopping experience by presenting to the customers a good selection of what is on offer within the site (through its catalogue-style interface), online cart and purchase transaction and its option to view the progress and status of the process (CED 2006)..
OPEN STANDARDS AND OPEN SOURCE: A DEFINITION
Open standards refer to the set standards that knowledge/information systems and services require. These standards enable diverse companies to produce compatible and transposable products and devices. This "openness" is influential in boosting healthy competition, better commerce and eventually better consumer satisfaction. TCP/IP, HTML and ANSI C are some of the examples of devices that represent open standards. But the definition of the concept also varies and subject to varying interpretations. Therefore there is a need to standardize and update the concept of open standards (CED 2006).
On the other hand, open source is a method or