The Internet as an Alternative to the Corporate Network
The technology provides many new opportunities to streamline internal communications and management functions, to integrate diverse corporate operations and systems, and in both the short- and long-term, to optimize the cost and effectiveness of marketing and sales, operations, and support efforts. No technological development—including the advent of personal computers and their derivative local area networks and wide area networks—has made a more significant impact on the corporate network scene in such a brief period of time than has the Internet and its associated World Wide Web. Routers and switches—the network traffic cops—can also be problematic as network speed and traffic increase. Although a treatise can be written on selection and implementation of routers and switches, areas worthy of note include capacity, capability and reliability, flexibility, and cost. Firewalls can provide a degree of protection against unauthorized penetration from outside, and they should be seriously considered if interconnections with the public Internet are contemplated.