The key enabler of the transition from primarily periodic mode systems to primarily immediate mode systems has been communications technology. Similarly, communications technology has enhanced many of the remaining periodic mode systems through enabled approaches such as online transaction entry (OLTE). Many important recent advances have relied on image-based technologies. These technologies are discussed in this section as a precursor to exploring their application in early stage e-business systems.
Communications-based systems that facilitate the processing, storage, and management of image-based data require the use of several related technologies. First are technologies that facilitate the effective capturing of data to support business information processing through the use of imaging technology. Second are communications-based systems that facilitate the storage and distribution of image-based data used in business processing and managerial decision making. Third, data communications networks are necessary for effective transmission and routing of data from the point of recording and storage to the processes or users needing the data. In this part of the chapter we take a brief look at these key communications technologies.