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IT application in 3 industries

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  • 1. qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmq IIPM -LKOwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui Subject : ITopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfg Topic : A Study on IT applications in Three Industrieshjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmq 6/28/2011 Surabhi Agarwalwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui PG-FW/10-12 Section- Aopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopas
  • 2. RetailIntroductionThe retail industry is one that lives and dies on margins, with managers on a never-endingquest to increase revenue and decrease costs. Technology has been an area of intensefocus in retail industries as a way to accomplish both goals. Improvements have been madein areas such as supply chain management, inventory management, customer experience,and loss prevention. Wireless technology, permitting communication between people anddevices anywhere and without cables, has enabled the dramatic transformation of businessprocesses in the past, and continues to do so. However, wireless deployments in the pasthave been limited by security requirements, the cost of deployment, inadequatemanagement solutions, lack of standards, and availability of innovative solutions. Rapidadvances in wireless local area network (WLAN) technology in recent years along withwidespread adoption of the technology in the consumer and enterprise space haveeliminated many of these roadblocks. Today, a new wave of opportunity exists for retailindustries to improve margins through the use of wireless technology. This white paperdiscusses the applications for this technology, the security requirements in a retailenvironment, and considerations when selecting the right architecture for mobile networkdeployments.Retail Applications for MobilityIn the general enterprise market, wireless LANs are being adopted primarily as part of thenetworking infrastructure, to support standard desktop applications such as email, webbrowsing, file server access, and other conventional enterprise applications. In the retailindustry, wireless LANs are deployed to support much more specific and innovativeapplications, with a focus on either improving existing processes or adding new ones.Mobile Point-of-SalePoint-of-Sale (POS) is the physical location where goods are sold to customers.Traditionally, this was a counter where a cash register was located. Customers would lineup in front of the counter and wait for their turn. Sales counters are a fixed size, however,and can support a fixed number of people.Increasing the size of the sales counter is not possible, so customers are forced to endurelong lines during congested periods such as holidays. Studies show that as many as one inten customers will abandon the line while waiting, leaving the store without making apurchase. Long lines also engender ill will from customers, making them less likely to returnto a store in the future. Wireless LAN technology can help in two major ways:
  • 3. ƒ Fully mobile point-of-sale stations can be set up using handheld computers, scanners, andprinters with integrated credit card readers. During high-volume sales periods, salespeopleoutfitted with these mobile POS terminals can be positioned throughout a store at smalltables.For customers paying by credit card, the full transaction can be completed and a storereceipt printed where it is convenient for the customer. Clearly, strong security is arequirement from the network when credit card transactions are involved. A later section inthis white paper will discuss security requirements in much more detail.ƒ Mobile “line busting” personnel can move through checkout lines with handheldcomputers to accelerate the checkout process. The sales staff can use their own judgmentin processing each transaction. For credit card customers with a small amount ofmerchandise, the entire transaction may be completed while the customer is still in line.For other customers, merchandise can be scanned with a barcode scanner and a ticketprinted with prices and a master barcode on it. While waiting in line, the customer has thechance to review prices printed on the ticket. Upon reaching the checkout counter, theticket is scanned, the total amount is recalled from a backend system, and the transaction iscompleted without the checkout clerk needing to process each item individually.Traditional cash registers and desktop scanners can also be attached to backend systems viawireless LAN. This benefits retailers with both reduced cabling costs and increased flexibilityin store reconfiguration. With wireless-connected equipment, checkout stations can bemoved anywhere without a need to hire cabling contractors to run new network cabling.Inventory ManagementManagement of in-store inventory, both in the retail space and the warehouse, is a majorarea of expense for retailers. Merchandise must be entered into inventory upon arrival atthe loading dock, tracked when it is moved to the floor, and removed from inventory whenit is sold. In addition, real-time inventory information must be available to store clerks whenan item is out of stock on the floor, but is available from the store room or warehouse.Finally, accurate inventory information can reduce out-ofstock conditions. The GroceryManufacturers of America (GMA) Direct Store Delivery committee commissioned a studythat found that shoppers cannot find the product they are seeking 7.4% of the time theyshop, with 40% of those shoppers postponing their purchase or going to another storeinstead.i Reducing out-of-stock is therefore a clear way of boosting sales and increasing customersatisfaction. One clothing retailer implemented a system through which store associatesusing wireless handheld computers and in-store wireless kiosks were continuouslyconnected to a regional inventory database. If a customer found an item out of stock in thestore, the associate could immediately place an order to have the item drop-shipped
  • 4. directly to the customer’s home. After implementing this system, the retailer realized a 3%increase in store revenue – paying for the new system in only four months.In the shipping and receiving area, wireless technology can be used in the form of handheldbarcode scanners and entry terminals linked to back-end systems over wireless LAN.intoinventory with the warehouse location of the items tracked instantly. Many retailers useDEX/UCS (Direct Exchange/Uniform Communication Standard) to allow delivery drivers todirectly input invoices into a store’s accounting system, simplifying billing and accounting.Most DEX interfaces use a wired port, requiring cabling to be run and a physical connectionbetween delivery driver handheld terminals and the DEX port. Some vendors are nowproducing wireless DEX terminals that uplink over a wireless LAN. These wireless DEXterminals can be placed anywhere, and require no cabling. In the future, delivery driversmay be equipped with a wireless version of DEX that could securely connect to the retailer’ssystem without the need for cables.Store associates using wireless-enabled handheld computers can easily and quickly performinventory management tasks. For example, handheld computers with integrated barcodescanners can be used during restocking periods to instantly track how much product is onthe floor and how much was moved to the floor from the back room. When merchandise isavailable in the warehouse or back room but is out of stock on the main floor, storeassociates can easily use wireless terminals to view the location of merchandise. With theaddition of wireless printers, price updates can also be performed on the spot.Customer ServiceTechnology is a relatively inexpensive way to improve customer service. Besides longcheckout lines, two of the largest sources of customer complaints in retail establishmentsinvolve pricing problems and a lack of available store associates to help locate merchandiseor answer questions. Wireless technology can help on both fronts, without requiring aretailer to hire additional staff. First, price verification kiosks have become very popularwith retailers and tech-savvy customers. Promotional sales, mislabeled merchandise,missing shelf price tags, and returned merchandise can make determining an accurate pricedifficult for customers. If a price verification kiosk is nearby, customers can take themerchandise, scan the barcode tag, and quickly determine the actual price. If a printer isattached to the kiosk, customers can print their own advisory price tags as well. While theseprice tags are not used by store personnel at the point of sale, they can be helpful inresolving pricing disputes because the customer can verify that the cash register records thesame price the customer expected to be charged. Wireless technology assists in placingprice verification kiosks because it eliminates the need for cables and makes the kiosksmobile. If a large sale is taking place in one department, it may be advantageous to place alarger number of kiosks in that department. These kiosks can then be moved to anotherdepartment when the need shifts. This would be impossible if cables needed to be run eachtime.
  • 5. Another area where wireless can improve the customer experience is in obtaining assistancewith merchandise or other questions. Self-help kiosks can be easily placed around a storegiving customers touch-screen access to store directories, inventory information for allnearby stores in a chain, current sales, and product information. Some retailers haveaugmented these self-help kiosks with a “get help” button. When pressed, the systemalerts nearby store associates carrying Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) that are voice-enabled. A store associate may respond either by voice or through pre-defined textmessages such as, “I’m helping a customer now but will be there in approximately twominutes.”Such kiosks often can let customers find their own answers to questions, and eliminate theneed for a customer to walk around the store trying to locate associates.Wireless Voice CommunicationMany retailers use two-way radios or walkie-talkies for voice communication between storeassociates. Two types of systems are in common use – one uses licensed radio frequencies,the other uses unlicensed spectrum. Both have their share of problems – the licensedradios impose extra costs on the retailer in order to pay for the frequency license, butensure that radios are free from interference. The unlicensed radios are free to operate,but are subject to interference from other business nearby. Both systems are subject tointerception and monitoring by anyone with an off-the-shelf scanner, and both systemsrequire store personnel to carry around a radio.A wireless LAN can enable secure voice communication that is free from interference,operates in unlicensed spectrum, and is encrypted to prevent eavesdropping. Voice devicescan include purposebuilt walkie-talkies, but today are more commonly based on convergeddevices such as PDAs with integrated retail features like barcode scanners. Popularapplication software and devices are available today that give a store associate access tostore inventory, point of sale, voice communication, instant messaging, and even externaldata such as inventory at other stores in the region. Voice communication can be“broadcast”, where all employees hear the same thing, or “unicast” where a conversationhappens between two employees. Group communication, or “multicast”, is also availablewhich can be used to let groups of managers communicate only amongst each other.Price Changes and AuditingOne retailer conducted a study of the time required to process price changes and shelflabeling. Mid-day price changes are also enabled, since an employee with a mobile terminalcan print a new shelf label, place it, and update the store’s server instantaneously.Price auditing can be equally time-consuming. With wireless handheld computers, a storeassociate can walk aisles scanning shelf labels with a barcode scanner. The handheldcomputer initiates a price lookup in the store’s UPC database – the same database linked to
  • 6. point-of-sale terminals that determine the price charged to customers. If a discrepancy isfound between the price on the shelf and the price in the database, the store associate canimmediately print a new shelf label to correct the discrepancy. Accurate pricing protectsthe retailer’s profits when a pricing error favors the customer. It also helps reduce the timeassociates must spend checking prices at checkout, and increases customer loyalty.RFID and Location TrackingRFID (Radio Frequency Identification) has received a huge amount of attention in recentyears, with many predicting that the technology will revolutionize everything from logisticsto inventory processing to the customer experience. While time will tell if these predictionshold up, the use of wireless technology to track objects is certainly promising. There aretwo general types of RFID in use today – passive and active. Passive RFID uses small,inexpensive tags or stickers that contain a unique identifier. The cost of RFID tags is not yetlow enough to place tags on every individual item, so tags today are typically placed oncases or pallets of goods. Passive RFID tags contain no battery, and must be energized byRFID readers located within a few meters. The typical use for passive RFID is to trackinventory as it moves through doors, loading docks, or other “choke points” in a retailoperation. Passive RFID systems keep track of events such as “Tag 125532 passed reader 26on conveyor belt 3 at 14:52:11.” Some RFID systems can determine direction of passage, torecord if a tag moved into or out of a room.Active RFID tags, on the other hand, contain a battery and active electronics and are thusslightly larger and more expensive. The current generation of active tags uses standard802.11 wireless LAN technology and can interoperate with other devices, such as barcodescanners and PCs, on a wireless LAN. This means that only a single network needs to bedeployed and managed, with all radio devices in a retail operation using the same network.Active RFID tags need not be physically close to a wireless access point – they cancommunicate with access points as far as 150 feet (46 meters) away.Because of this property, active RFID tags are often used for location tracking. Locationtracking works when three or more wireless access points detect a short signal, known as a“blink”, coming from anactive tag. By comparing the signal strength at the different accesspoints, a triangulation algorithm may be applied that determines the physical location of thetag within a building. Active RFID is useful for locating inventory, capital equipment such asforklifts or pallet jacks, or other high-value items that move around. Because active RFIDtags are just special-purpose wireless LAN radios, location tracking may also be used withany wireless LAN radio. This includes laptop computers, PDAs, wireless barcode scanners,printers, voice handsets, and any other device that operates on the wireless LAN. Locationtracking enables applications such as paging the associate physically closest to a particulardepartment, or keeping track of how many employees are working in different parts of astore.
  • 7. BANKINGApplication services for banking: Lending value chain sourcing - Provides highly effective and efficient application management services across fulfillment and servicing operations. Legacy application modernization and rationalization - Reduces the cost of managing legacy applications within your core banking environment. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solutions - The maintenance and support of AML solutions utilizes IBMs AML Centre of Excellence. Basel II application management and support - Reduce maintenance and support costs to enhance business value for critical applications. Testing assessment -Identify and implement improved testing processes in critical business areas, as when there are complex interfaces with third party data services or high volumes of data to be managed. Self-funded business transformation -Direct savings into business transformation, with no increase in overall net cost. Lending optimization - Application development and management can assist in driving out cost within the lending process. Outsourcing also results in the ability to focus on your core processes.Applications of Information Technology in Banks in India While computer by itself is themost cherished invention that man has ever accomplished, its union with communicationtechnology which is at its pinnacle, has brought yet another amazing extension to its alreadyfabulous capabilities. From the period of Marconi to this day , the improvements that havetaken place in the television , have literally brought the entire world into an individual’sbedroom. Joining this powerful communication environment , the IT has opened flood gatesfor global economic activity.The contribution of economic and political changes that have sofar taken place to encourage international trade will bear fruit only when banking and theassociated services can catch up with the new trends. The modern IT has enoughcapabilities to enable banks, financial institutions and others to bring about the desiredchanges. Banking sector reforms introduced a decade ago in 1992-93 , have been based on fivefundamentals:1.Strengthening of prudential norms and market discipline.2.Appropriate adoption of International benchmarks.3.Management of organizational change and consolidation.4.Technological upgradation.
  • 8. 5.Human resource development. The Financial Reforms that were initiated in the early 90s and the globalization andliberalization measures brought in a completely new operating environment to the Banksthat were till then operating in a highly protected milieu.Services and products like"Anywhere Banking" "Tele-Banking" "Internet banking" "Web Banking" , e-banking, e-commerce, e-business etc. have become the buzzwords of the day and the Banks are tryingto cope with the competition by offering innovative and attractively packaged technology-based services to their customers.Reserve Bank of India constituted a committee under thechairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan. The main task of the committee was preparation of aplan for computerization for the period 1990-1994 ( for 5 Years ). For the purpose of computerization , the committee selected the important areas relatingto customer service , internal-decision-making process , productivity and profitability. Thecommittee furnished its report on November 9, 1989 with the following recommendations-1.The branches having daily average level of vouchers at more than 750 should becomputerized .2.Computerization on branch level should be achieved on any of the following basis-(i)Selected branches will have on-line terminals with micro and mini-computers which willbe linked with central main-frame computer to provide counter service and other office-services.(ii)Personal computers will be installed at counters which will be linked with local areanetwork.(iii)For third option , the banks will have to depend on Telecom line. 3.The banks should gradually use developed devices such as- Photocopier , FAX , Duplicator, Microfilm , Signature Storage , Scanners etc.4.Non-computerized branches can take the services of other local computerized branch /office in case of important task.5.The customers should have the facility to route their business to any branch of the bank.6.All-Bank Credit Card should be issued.7.Computers should be made bilingual and proper training arrangements should be made toprovide training to staff members.8.The regular customers should be offered On-line facility.9.Like some European countries , there should be a system of credit clearing. 10.BANKNETshould be used for interbank and intra bank applications.
  • 9. 11.All Regional offices and Zonal offices to be computerized in a phased manner.Rangarajan Committee – 1989: A Statistical Analysis Rangarajan Committee ( 1989 ) hasfocused its stress on computerization of banks. A statistical analysis was also made in thereport of committee. In this analysis ,it was mentioned that following jobs can be rapidlyand easily performed at Regional Office/Zonal office level.1.To ascertain the bad and doubtful debts and to make provision for them.2.To claim the amount under Credit Guarantee Schemes of DICGC.3.To communicate , analyze and forecast the data for trade-plan.4.To make action plan for recovery of advances.5.Personnel Information System.6.Credit Information System.7.Checking of figures of priority sector advances.8.Consolidation of statements/figures to be sent to the RBI. Present level of Computerization: Based on the norms worked out by RangarajanCommittee (II), 7827 branches of the Public Sector banks were identified for full branchcomputerization up to March 2000 of which around 4620 were computerized as on March99. Meanwhile, the networking of the already-computerized branches also assumedurgency and some of the Banks have started inter-connecting their computerized branchesusing leased telephone lines or Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATS). This is meant toprovide a more comprehensive service to customers and at the same time give banks bettercentralized control over the branch operations. As of now, New Private Sector and ForeignBanks have an edge over Public Sector Banks as far as implementation of technologicalsolutions is concerned. However, the latter are in the process of making huge investments intechnology.Emergence of Smart CardsThe establishment of so called ‘electronic cash’ facilities have been the latest major ITdevelopment in bank markets. The main difference between e-cash and previousapplications is the possibility for individuals to engage in economic transactions but withoutrecourse or claim over bank liabilities. Smart cards are the latest stage in the evolution inthe use of plastic cards. Smart cards (e.g. Mondex and Visa Cash) and some applications ofelectronic commerce over the Internet are innovations that have emerged as means of
  • 10. payment and the substitution of notes and coins issued by central banks by electronic datainterchange applications.Credit cards would enhance the convenience of retailers and individuals. Convenienceincreased because cards offered more stable value than cheques (which are easier to forgeor risk failure because of insufficient funds) and are more portable than cash (i.e., highervalue to bulk ratio). Cards did not and have not displaced bank issued money for tworeasons. First, because card-based transactions involve the payment of commissions to boththe merchant acquirer and the card issuer. This payment typically involves a percentage ofthe transactions value and thus, introduced the need for a minimum transaction value socard payments would be cost effective for card issuers.Secondly, card receipts are redeemable only by the merchant acquirer or the card issuerrather than payable on demand.As mentioned above, an added characteristic of credit cards was a magnetic stripe whichprovided electronic means of supplying card details. Magnetic stripes would containinformation for verification of cardholders personal identification through an ‘off-line’transaction by a card-reading terminal.Hence, e-cash technology seems likelier to succeed by drawing on:• unattended locations (such as telephones, transport, vending, etc where operationalsavings are high and customer benefits evident);• customer segments who do not have a plastic card but desire one;• closed schemes with multiple functions (such as university campus cards or social securitypayments); and supporting infrastructure of electronic commerce (this assuming e-commerce develops to support a significant proportion of total economic transactions).Increasing the Service OfferPartial success of most of these applications questions whether technological change in theDigital Age(as opposed to those in the Information Age ) offers new forms of competitionand business models in bank markets. On the one hand, commercial banks have coped withtechnological innovation and accomplished managers intended objectives with varyingsuccess. Technology has opened the way for banks to improve their cost structures providedthey could induce customers to change their behaviour according to banks expectations. Atthe same time, there have been uneven effects from the same technological innovationacross distinct geography.The propensity of banking organisations to adopt technological innovation evolves aroundthe match between the new application and the resources, capacities and capabilities thatorganisations have accumulated over time. Banks have had no proprietary hold on most of
  • 11. their technology and this has been notably the case with the technology fuelling the growthof the latest applications (such as Internet banking or middle-ware solutions). Someestablished participants in bank markets have responded by offering non-traditionalservices like holiday travel (e.g. Midland and Thomas Cook) and real estate agencies (e.g.Lloyds Black Horse Agencies). However, the vast majority responded through new serviceofferings in core areas and by increasing the diversity in their products in terms of marketsand customer groups. A reduced number of banking organisations (such as HSBC, BBVA,BSCH, ABNAmro, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup) also increased their geographical scope, butmost other banks found little joy in cross-border and foreign operations that failed to matchthe returns available in home markets. Participants in bank markets have thus tried to usetechnological applications and IT in particular to integrate retail and financial services into‘one-stop’ shopping, support volume-oriented sales, and strengthen their brand name andcorporate culture.
  • 12. TourismAbstractThe tourism and hospitality industries have widely adopted information technology (IT) toreduce costs, enhance operational efficiency, and most importantly to improve servicequality and customer experience.The intense competition in todays business environment means that tourism andhospitality businesses have to work hard to maintain and develop their competitiveness.The success of a business, to certain extent, depends on its ability to acquire and utilizeupdated information to assist its management and marketing processes. Hence, InformationTechnology (IT) assists organization to manage information dynamically and influencesbusiness competitiveness through assisting decision makers to make appropriateinvestments and decisions. IT helps to meet the demands for timely and accurateinformation by customers and the IT diffusion in the tourism and hospitality industries hasrecently increased at an unprecedented. This is evident by the ubiquitous presence of ITsystems that work cooperatively to assist managers to deliver quality service to theircustomers and to enhance operational efficiency and control costs.More strategically, IT is gradually reshaping the fundamental structure of industry andsociety. IT can generate the knowledge at the center of a businesss competitivenessTourism and hospitality are social phenomena, and the industries associated with them arelargely application oriented. Researchers in this field have conducted, and will continue toconduct, research that generates innovative knowledge that will benefit these industriesand ultimately society. As investment in and the adoption of IT are now indispensablecomponents of the tourism and hospitality business, IT serves as a tool for both enablingand inducing change. As such, IT has recently drawn the attention of tourism and hospitalityresearchers worldwide, who have disseminated their findings in research journals. It isadvantageous for tourism and hospitality managers in general and marketing managers inparticular to be aware of the recent changes in IT and their relationship with customerservice. As IT development becomes more sophisticated, industrial practitioners, educators,and policy makers may find increasing difficulty in selecting, analyzing, implementing, andoperating new IT systems. Research journals, as a vigorous channel of knowledgedissemination, can offer peer‐reviewed and unbiased information on IT analysis, evaluation,and industrial best practice. In view of the paramount importance of IT applications in thetourism and hospitality industries and the absence of published articles that review therecent developments in this area.According to Kotler et al. (1999), no matter a purchase is conducted online or offline,consumers will go though the five stages in buyers decision‐making process before anypurchase is made. These five stages include need recognition, information search,
  • 13. evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post‐purchase behavior. The studiespresented in the next five subsections show IT plays an important role in each of the stagesof the buyers decision‐making process.Consumer Need RecognitionUnderstanding consumer behavior and especially consumer information search behavior,can help industrial managers to develop, optimize search engine, and customize theirwebsites to meet the needs of their customers. The Internet has become one of the mostimportant sources of consumer information especially for young and better educatedconsumers (. However, mature and senior travelers still prefer printed brochures as theirmajor information source , and many travelers use the Internet in conjunction with offlineinformation to plan a trip.Information SearchConsumers of different gender, age, nationality, educational background, and lifestyledisplay different search patterns. Many people prefer to book online when they havepreviously traveled to a destination and they feel familiar with the place, although many stilltreasure their established relationships with travel agents Travelers required differentinformation from the Internet at different stages of travel. For instance, before departure,the availability of information can affect travel planning while later on they may seekreassurance from review sites that they have selected the right productsFor customers searching on the Internet for the lowest room rates, the websites of travelagents and reservation agents are likely to be the best choice . In the Internet era, searchengines play an important role in information searching , and the Google search engine inparticular is perceived to be the most important tool . To better understand the searchpatterns of customers using a search engine, researchers have analyzed search queryformula and keywords . More recently, mobile technologies that provide a new andconvenient way for tourists to gather information from any location, and perhaps moresignificantly at the destination, have been introduced. Mobile technologies supportlocation‐based services, interpretation at the destination, and dynamic interaction withtourismIT can also assist in examining the tourist movement and in marketing research. Thistechnique can have great benefits for tourism marketers to understand consumer behaviorwhile at the destination and to develop strategies for creating tourism experiences.Interestingly, although tourists can locate travel information on the Internet, one studyshowed that only 3% of tourists surveyed ate at a restaurant that they had found on theInternet .Evaluation of AlternativesConsumers use IT extensively to evaluate alternative travel opportunities and to compareand contrast offerings.In addition, online shopping motivation differs according to thecomplexity of the website, with variation depending on the Internet skill levels of users .Purchase DecisionMore customers now purchase tourism products through websites, and perceive that awebsites image and usability directly affects their purchase intentions . As such,understanding customer perceptions is crucial to the development of a successful website
  • 14. Business travelers who look for comprehensive IT services in hotels are willing to pay forcertain IT services because they understand that hotels have to bear the high costs ofimplementing such technology. Such guests look forward to hotels adopting e‐commerceand IT applications that meet their needs. Understanding different consumers onlinebehavior could increase the possibility of online transaction completion .Post‐Purchase BehaviorAfter travelers have returned home, they often like to share and exchange their travelexperience. Review sites such as Tripadvisor or Holidaycheck.de and blogs are populardigital platforms for travelers to express their feelings and to rate their experience .Astourists enjoy sharing their travel diaries and photo albums, the creation of a 3D e‐tourismenvironment has been recommended to enhance the playfulness of the digital environment.This will be possible with new applications that emerge in the marketplace such asMicrosofts Photosynth application.Blogs themselves have changed the face of communication, and may lead to corporationspotentially losing control of information exposure. If managers do not closely monitor thedigital society, they will not know their customers views and what is being discussed abouttheir brand online Different data sources—such as blogs, online travel magazines, reviewsites, travel websites, and official tourism websites—project different destination images,often chaotic and uncoordinated, because they bring content from different sources andtarget different audiences.Risk ManagementOne of the most important components in e‐business is payment, and the purchase processcannot be completed without money being involved. As the travel industry gradually reliesmore heavily on IT, there is also an increasing concern among consumers about privacy ,although gradually consumers accept that they will have to sacrifice privacy for bettercustomer service.Managerial ImplicationsIn the hospitality and tourism industries, IT is critical for raising customers awareness,developing a realistic promise, and delivering a comprehensive service. Managers shouldtherefore use IT to manage their offerings according to their consumer behavior circle. Forinstance, managers should ensure that their website information focuses on customersneeds, and should maintain a high search engine ranking. They should also have a realisticexpectation of the target users of their IT implementation and develop comprehensivesolutions to satisfy the needs of all their stakeholders. For instance, restaurant managersshould also use their websites as a advertisement channel for targeting local clientele,rather than purely to attract tourists. IT not only can enhance learning experiences andreduce training costs by CAI, it is an important marketing channel for academic institutesand industry recruiting students and staff .Industrial practitioners should also look atcustomer comments on blogs and discussion forums in order to learn from each othersexperience. Finally, policies on customers privacy protection in relation to IT usage shouldbe stated clearly.