The reasons why organisations or companies develop agents can be very diverse. However, they all have their (minor or major) influences on agents, and the functionality they have to offer.

For commercial developers, there are probably three important reasons to develop agents:
1. First and foremost, agents are developed because they can and will be profitable. Judging by their necessity as we saw in chapter one and four, and adding to this the functionality they can offer (as we saw in chapter two, three and four), it may be safely concluded that money can be made with them. And if you, as a company, do not develop them or do research into applications for them, then your rivals surely will. And just as it has been said about the Internet: it is better not to wait to long with doing so;
2. Suppliers and intermediaries/brokers can use agents to more effectively (i.e. better) reach their target groups (perhaps even target groups that until now could not, or not well enough be reached with the aid of traditional media). So, they have every reason to develop good (user, intermediary and supplier) agents that are able to do this;
3. The Internet makes it possible to reach a huge public against relatively small risks and costs. Agents can extend this advantage, by making it possible to provide customised services all night and day. Money can be saved in various way, for instance because a software agent is much cheaper than a human agent.

An important, rather general reason to develop agents, for any kind of developer, is that they are able to perform many tasks. Better still, they can perform them more intelligently than conventional programs can, and much more. This saves time and money, provides better results, etcetera. Many parties can profit from this: not only IT-freaks, but many other groups as well, e.g. students, managers, and the average civilian. [1]


Apart from reasons to develop and/or offer agents, there are also good reasons - for some - not to do so. Usage of the three layer model, and of agents, leads to a very transparent market, as users - by means of the middle layer and/or agents, can get a detailed overview of all (or at least many) of the suppliers in a specific market, of their prices, the service they offer, etcetera. Therefore, a very justified question to ask, is whether suppliers want such a transparent market, as market obscurity can be an advantage to them (it makes it hard(er) for users to get an idea of whether or not there are better or cheaper alternatives). So, besides the reasons why agents are developed and/or offered, the reasons why some will not want them to be developed or offered will play a role as well. The influence of it, however, will not be that big, as it is very unlikely that parties adhering to this opinion will be able to exert a strong influence.

[1] The specific benefits agents can offer governments, are discussed in the next section.

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"Intelligent Software Agents on the Internet" - by Björn Hermans