The authors of E-business @ Work understand that many business managers are confused about e-commerce.
The book begins at the very beginning: what is e-business? This chapter features useful breakdowns of the pros and cons of e-commerce for consumers and business. There's also discussion of what makes a good Web site and examples of interesting uses of technology.
The second chapter also takes a 'set the scene' approach, putting the rise of the Internet into historical perspective and discussing the economic impacts of e-business.
Chapter three moves on to some of the areas that have been so hyped that it's hard to determine what impact they will have on many businesses: the dreaded acronyms of CRM (customer relationship management), SCM (supply chain management), ERP (enterprise resource planning), and BIM (business intelligence management). These topics are handled fairly briefly.
Also covered in chapter three are legal issues like security and copyright. Disappointingly, little detail is given on privacy, which is soon to become a major issue for Australian sites. This point raises the problem so many e-commerce books face: the almost impossible challenge of staying ahead of an industry that changes so rapidly.
However, the approach of taking a brief look at a wide range of e-business topics means that readers can grasp the basics of many of the major issues. In some cases, though, the content can be a little too light - the future trends chapter is an example of where going beyond the most obvious would have been useful.
In all, E-business @ Work is a good choice for e-commerce newbies, with the proviso that it is supplemented with online research to keep abreast of more recent developments.