In the year 2015 the Internet will be heavily influenced by two driving forces: the increasing use of commerce and tighter corporate governance standards. These two forces complement one another and will converge in how all companies and organizations interact. For-profit firms will be more influenced by the Internet’s increasing capabilities for commerce. Not-for-profit organizations will be more impacted, and will also influence, legislation for corporate governance.
In one scenario, people will rely almost exclusively on buying certain goods online. For example, people will buy abstract commodity items – namely standard services – almost entirely online. Airline tickets, legal services, many professional services, books, groceries all will be bought by people in developed countries almost exclusively online.
In another scenario, firms will become much more stringently regulated, including how they sell products and services online. As a by-product of these regulations, competitors will in fact regulate one another, since all firms’ processes will be much more transparent. For example, Company A might engage in price gauging to become a loss leader. This will create an increase in online revenues. Because of regulations, stemming from legislation like Sarbanes Oxley, Company A will be obligated to announce its revenues on a monthly basis. Its competitor Company B will therefore, in effect, have one month to build a solid, quantifiable business case for also lowering its prices.