The term cyberspace was first used by the American-Canadian author William Gibson in 1982 in a story published in Omni magazine and then in his book Neuromancer. In this science-fiction novel, Gibson described cyberspace as the creation of a computer network in a world filled with artificially intelligent beings.
The real cyberspace is a global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information systems infrastructures including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers. The purpose of cyberspace is to create, store, exchange, share, modify, extract, use and eliminate information.
The birth of the cyberspace also lead to a number of specific challenges for leadership, especially with respect to sense-making, meaning making, decision making, termination, and learning. There is no doubt that the birth of the cyberspace has caused many businesses to go bankrupt. Like the invention of the printing press, some businesses have been able to thrive because of it, and others have not.
One of the most significant ways that websites and the Internet have affected businesses is online shopping. On the one hand, it has helped small businesses compete with more prominent companies because they can use websites to drive traffic to their site and sell their products. On the other hand, it has made it tough on large department stores because customers can easily order products online instead of going out to buy them.
Many businesses have been pushed to bankruptcy because of the birth of the cyberspace. Christopher Mims argues in his latest book “Arriving Today: From Factory to Front Door – Why Everything Has Changed About How And What We Buy” that the internet has killed more jobs than the industrial revolution.
While cyberspace has become central to all vital processes in the global economy and people’s social lives, it also carries a wide variety of risks. Framing these risks is no easy feat: Some lead to harm in cyberspace itself, while others lead to harm in the offline world as well. The worst cyber events can now cause bodily harm or deaths, political crises, and multibillion-dollar economic losses. As digital networks interlink with the physical world in complex, dynamic, and opaque ways, many observers fear new forms of fragility that no one understands.