There's a word that hearkens back to the early '80s, at least in current management thinking. Yet despite its presence in the leadership vocabulary for more than two decades, many companies are today struggling to draft the right vision for a hyperactive, global business environment. This paper is intended to offer an overview of some of the aspects of conducting business globally and aims to identify ways in which businesses can tap the gains of this process, while remaining realistic about its potential and its risks. Specific topics will include: 1) technology challenges; 2) gaining a foothold in new markets; and 3) conducting business with different cultures. Finally, real world business examples will be used to amplify the discussion. .
No other technological advancement has enhanced global business in the last 10 years like the Internet. The Internet has made accessible foreign marketplaces that for years were expensive and difficult to access. If an organization builds the right site, you can easily attract visitors from around the world. Obviously, however, this site can't be written predominantly in English and marketed with an American spin. If a company from the United States wants to be seen by all, their operations have to reach international consumers. Currently, 63 percent of Fortune 100 Web sites are stuck in the past, i.e., they are only written in English, according to Forrester Research (Internet World, 2001). .
Going global does not merely mean translating English sites into foreign languages. First and foremost, organizations must think globally and tackle their challenges head-on. Companies are faced with obstacles like coping with organizational challenges, increasing their speed to market, finding efficient management content tools, and maintaining a consistent global/international brand.
Although outsourcing to accomplish the aforementioned challenges is a viable option through web-based consultant firms such as GlobalSight or Uniscape, a company may choose to handle the task internally.