Role of Internet In Globalization and Localization
The internet has revolutionized the way business was done traditionally. The days when a client would have to go for miles, maybe across seas to purchase a product are long gone. Gone are the times a client would purchase a product or request for one and have wait for days, maybe weeks for the provider to respond or provide the same.
For instance if you wanted a software installed in your computer in the 80’s, sometimes you’d have to wait for several days for the programmers or their technicians of the software or program to come to your place and configure it in your computer. In case of any problems which would later arise, it would take some more days as you wait for the technicians to arrive and do some troubleshooting for your software.
Today, such barriers have been removed. As a matter of fact, it’s inconceivable, of now business can be conducted today without the internet. From online purchases, to seeking clients and attracting potential customers all over the world, the ways businesses are taking advantage of the internet to shape their operating environment are numerous as are the benefits of the internet to potential clients and customers.
Internet has streamlined business operations in all sectors of the economy in terms of effectiveness in operations, provision of high quality goods and services and the customization of goods and services to meet client’s different needs.
Among the major revolutions of the internet in which both businesses and clients have much benefited from is communication and interactivity. Customers can now purchase products from any part of the world while in the comfort of their houses/offices; they can make inquiries, they can pay for the products or services electronically via the internet, they can relay their feedback to the service providers or goods producers and they can also request for the customization of the goods or services to fit their various tastes. All this is done in a matter of seconds or maybe minutes.
Generally, for internet users, accessing producers or contacting them has been made as reliable as possible and the methods are also limitless. The costs have also reduced drastically as compared to traditional communication channels.
Business owners seem to be more benefiting. The power of internet technology is evident in the large percentage of businesses embracing the technology. If you are left out of this band wagon, be very wary of your market share diminishing or your business entirely crumbling as your competitors use the internet to leverage on their customer base and size.
You need to note that for any success in the entities of goods or services production and the subjects of consumptions of the goods or services, communication plays a major role which is irreplaceable. Even if you don’t embrace information technology you must communicate with your customers to know their needs, take their orders, know the quantities they require, know where you need to ship the goods or deliver the services etc. Simply, communication can’t be overlooked, be it oral communication or electronic.
Now, communication by business to clients or by client to customers via the internet normally referred to as electronic communication or Internet Communications Technology (ICT), has greatly changed marketing communications. A new dawn has been introduced which has enabled market participants to communicate reliably and time-consciously at a distance.
The internet network has efficiently enabled the fastest transfer of information throughout all parts of the world. Today sending, receiving, processing, storing and exchange of information to millions of users can be done simultaneously and in a matter of second. Vast amount of information and data can be accessed from any place in the world at any given period of time, thus allowing the user of the data to have a global access of it.
Also the dynamism of the internet technology has made it possible for businesses to develop the most appropriate strategies across various industries, to relay information and communicate with clients e.g. through websites, blogs, e-commerce stores and shops, emails, podcasts, videos, webinars, teleseminars etc. Payments have been streamlined to go hand in hand with the changes in market communication as well as the shipping and delivery of the goods.
Also the needs to cater for demands from clients across the diversity of languages has seen changes for business to make it tenable and smooth thus not locking any potential clients out of purchase of goods or services they may need. These changes have resulted to the concept of globalization which encompasses internationalization and localization.
Understanding Globalization and Localization of Digital Products
Internationalization is a design process for creating a program or application with vast functionalities to enable the access of the program or application across multiple languages. This means that an application or program will adapt multiple languages and hence the end user will choose the most appropriate language for him/her to use while accessing the application.
For instance a software which has been configured for globalization can enable a user to download it using the language of his/her preference e.g Chinese or German or English. The language initially chose will also be used for installing the software, accessing the software data or information as well as seeking online help on the software. Also any error messages will also be displayed in the chosen language. The same is also true for the same software but a different user who want to access it using Spanish or any other language.
Localization on the other hand entails the process of designing a program or application to match the language, culture and technical requirements of a target market or location. Literally not only the text or information is tailored to suit a specific regions language but other details and elements of that specific place are incorporated so that the final interface of the application or program will seem as if the original intention was solely to produce it for that location or target area.
The details or elements which are usually adapted on the application to suit a specific region includes the native language of the region, address formal, time and date format, measuring unit, payment methods and currency conversion, taxes, local regulations, copyright issues, data protection etc. When all these components are integrated to the interface of the application, it will finally have a look and feel of the specific region.