What is Internet & Web?
The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used, interchangeably, in everyday speech without much distinction. However, the Internet and the Web are not one and the same. You may ask, what is internet? What is web?
The Internet is a global data communications system. It is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides connectivity between computers. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies.
In contrast, the Web is one of the services communicated via the Internet. It is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. The Internet carry these vast array of information resources and services, most notably the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail (e-mail), in addition to popular services such as online chat, file transfer and file sharing, online gaming, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and person-to-person communication via voice and video.
Uses of Internet
Fibre optic brings forth cheap and fast internet to East Africa. With this, then we can get to see what’s in store for you. There are different uses of internet for individuals and organizations.
Internet for personal use
Internet has been popular for personal use. Most of the individuals use internet to do the following:
- E-mailing like yahooand Gmail.
- Music and internet radio and TV
- Movies and video streaming like in Youtubeand voodoo.
- Shopping at Ebayor Amazon
- Image and photo browsing
- Social networking like Facebookand twitter
- Instant messaging and chatting
- Internet telephony like Skype, Google voice and Yahoo voice
- Online gaming
Internet for Business
E-mail: Electronic mails are the most popular use of internet. Currently majority of internet users login in to send and receive e-mails. There are many e-mail service providers both paid and free. Due to its popularity, it has become the most effective form of marketing for small and medium businesses in Kenya. This is a must for everyone. Encourage your family and friends to open e-mails. Pioneers for free e-mail services are Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) started from an optional two-way voice chat provided by some of the instant messaging systems that started around the year 2000. The benefit of VoIP is that it can be free or cost much less than a normal telephone call, because the Internet carries that voice traffic. VoIP is surely a cheap solution for long distance call. Yahoo voice, Google voice and Skype dominate free voip providers.
Teleconferencing: Most organizations are embarking video or tele conferencing. This is where you can hold a meeting online where you could see and talk to each other from the comfort of our offices, homes or even on holidays. A good example is Webex.
Marketing (E-Marketing): Reputable companies are establishing their online presence by developing their company websites. The websites are stuffed with information about the company’s profile, the latest news about the company, partners, and the company’s product line. Businesses have taken advantage of internet to reach the mass market. They use their websites for profiling, to advertise, list in directory, buy advertisement spaces in high traffic sites and even use e-mails to reach both existing and prospective customers. Bizkenya is a one of the web development providers for small and medium organizations in Kenya.
Transactions (E-commerce)– E-commerce is a term that has been used widely in internet world. E-commerce basically means buying and selling through internet. Businesses have managed to establish online catalogues and created shopping carts where potential customers can see their products’ information, decide to buy, select, pay for them and even get delivered instantly. This makes the business process short and easy. E-bay, Amazon and Paypal fall under this category.
Human resource management (E-HRM)– Businesses has embraced the online recruitment systems. They are now putting forms online so that prospective employees can list their resumes and even give feedback. The HRM has advanced to include employee management systems and intranets to ease the information flow and increase efficiency. Check out our own Brighter Monday.
Customer Relations (E-CRM)– E-CRM (online customer relationship management) is a system that ensures that the customers’ information is kept updated, accessed easily and efficiently in a database and their communication is enhanced. These systems can be web or computer based and run through branches and subsidiaries. For instance Sugarcrm
Operations: Organizations have been establishing intranets to enhance smooth operations and interconnectivity between departments, branches and divisions. This enhances harmonized and efficient communication and information flow. Intranets are like editable websites but restricted for use within a closed network.
Accounting: Accounting and finance were the first disciplines in business to get automated, due to their dependence on figures. In internet and web, most of the accounting systems nowadays are web dependent to embrace interconnectivity and remote accessibility. Enterprise Resource Planners (ERP) are slowly taking over the accounting and administration processes.
Entrepreneurship: Business people and professionals are also not left out. They are using internet to network, make business and even seal deals. Online profiles are used to tap for opportunities. Great recommendations are Linkedin and Bizkenya
Education (E-learning): With the advent and popularity of the internet, easy access to high speed internet connection and affordability, attaining higher education has been made easier than ever for those who want and need it. This is called Online Education. Just like traditional methods of learning, online education and online degrees are now widely accepted. They’re recognized as genuine educational qualifications. A simple search online will reveal a lot of online learning programs.
Researching: Individuals, academia, business, governments and not for profits are relying on internet to seek for information. These research endeavors provide information necessary in making decisions or establishing conclusive outcome for implementation. Companies like Google and Wikipedia are pioneers in research and information searching.
E-Banking: Most of the banks are using internet and web to make banking easy. With an e-bank account, you can check balance, transfer funds, print statements, order for chequebooks, pay bills and many more. Most Kenyan banks like Equity, CBA and NIC does e-banking.
This is what we would see some years to come: An accountant sitting at home in Nakuru can audit the books of a company based in Uganda, on a server situated in a Australia that is remotely maintained by IT specialists in India. These accounts could have been created by home-working bookkeepers, in Bungoma, based on information e-mailed to them from offices in Nairobi, Kigali, Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg. Concurrently, a field worker in Juba can send field data and GPS video streams to his boss in Nairobi and telecasted and presented live by the Executive Director on an international conference to London. These and many are the scenarios that we will see in just a couple of years to come. Take time and establish what you would like internet or web to do for you. Then Consult. And Outsource.