Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Internet and World Wide Web technologies provide the infrastructure for the Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce) revolution now taking place. As a result of these technologies, even the smallest organization can afford to market its wares to hundreds of millions of potential e-Consumers. However, these technologies also pose threats to the very electronic commerce which they enable. For managers to strategize and implement e-Commerce effectively in their organizations, these impediments need to be recognized and understood. While hundreds of articles identify problems with Internet computing or conducting e-Commerce, no unified framework of technological impediments specific to e-Commerce yet exists. The goal of this paper is to identify the primary technological impediments to e-Commerce. Six categories of technological impediments have been identified. Those which appear to pose the greatest threats to the development of e-Commerce are: (1)download delays, (2) limitations in the interface, (3) search problems, (4) inadequate measurement of Web application success, (5) security (real and perceived) weaknesses, and (6) a lack of Internet standards. Associated costs, threats, and limitations specific to e-Commerce are also identified and implications explored. The paper concludes with an assessment of ways to mitigate these obstacles, including design choices, workarounds, and emerging technological solutions. A bibliography of 296 relevant trade press articles is included in the appendix.