Without question, the development exerting the greatest influence on traditional business networks today has been the advent of the internet and, with it, the profound technological, social, political and economic changes it has produced around the globe. Today almost 1.5 billion people worldwide use the internet. And as the internet wraps itself around the world, it is connecting countless physical devices to each other and to people, passing data and new services from person to person, business to business and country to country. This virtually limitless ability to exchange information, services and data has rendered proximity irrelevant and physical barriers inconsequential, and even transformed traditional relationships, changing the ways in which almost all of us live, work, learn and play. As a result, enterprises of all kinds are reinventing the ways in which they define themselves and the relationships that comprise their value chains. Whether it is manufacturing, retail, finance, media or government, an entirely new way of doing business through greater collaboration is emerging.
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