Online Applications: Good Idea?

Online applications are now ubiquitous. They're cheap and easy-to-use. But, are they a good idea? People often create (or buy) online applications thinking that they will solve their business problems. Indeed, when well-conceived they can be a big help. But, when poorly conceived (or, more commonly, not conceived at all), they can make a bad situation worse. Online applications are only a tool of the business. As such, they can operate only within the business's process, procedures, and culture. They cannot re-create any of these things on their own. Only when the process, procedure, or culture is re-conceived first will an online application thrive.