E-processes effectively rose in the wake of e-finance, which began with the development of several disparate elements, many of which were developed in isolation. As these individual elements progressed, they began to be tied together in networks. As these networks then in turn developed, transforming business models and interactions amongst players, the need for e-processes to tie together supply and distribution chains became evident.
The true era of the Internet enabled businesses to communicate in hitherto unforeseen ways (transmitting information and payments, for example), as well as in conducting business. Businesses began to develop Web-based platforms to deliver financial services during the early to mid-1990s. The process started in the B2C sector and has gradually moved into the B2B arena as systems have become more robust and secure.
As different groups began developing business models for the banking industry, several clear advantages emerged and have become evident, notably in the ability of companies to penetrate or even create new market sectors.
The speed of transactions and logistics, as well as the need to process marketing data arising from the Internet-enabled business, however, has served to stimulate the need for e-operations and e-processes: that is, operational organization structures designed to serve the Internet-enabled company.
Whilst this is a nascent field, many of the organizational principles involved in disciplines such as operations research have proven to be of some validity. However, the methods involved in creating e-processes largely rest on new principles and business models, and are forming the subject of new disciplines and degree programs in many universities. For many companies, their Internet presence began life as corporate storefronts. Now, promoting proprietary products and services through their own company-specific Websites, the new logistical chains, communications media, and compilation and processing of data, all rest on new paradigms which are resulting in the new field of e-processes.