The Business Value of Information Systems. Case Study: Amazon.Com

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THE BUSINESS VALUE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
CASE STUDY: AMAZON

Isabel Maria Arroyo Moreno
Business Information Technology Module

BSc Business Management with HR
Greenwich School of Management, University of Plymouth (London) Submission date: 8th December 2011
Word count: 2.776

Table of Contents
Executive Summary4
The Business Value of Information Systems5
Introduction5
Business Value of Information5
Business Information Management through Information Systems6 The Value of Information Systems6
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems6
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems7
Supply Chain Management (SCM) Systems8
Information Systems and the Changing Business Environment8
Amazon.com Information Systems10
Introduction10
Amazon.com’s Information Systems Value10
Amazon’s Customer Relations Management (CRM) system11
CRM System Business Value11
Amazon’s Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) System Value13 Amazon.com’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) system13
Amazon.com’s SCM system Value13
Amazon IS and the external changing environment .........................................................................15 Conclusion.............................................................................................................................................16


Executive Summary

Business information management requires the use of information systems, which make possible the conversion of data into useful information to be used by decision makers in organisations (Chaffey, 2004) The acquisition and further deployment of such systems requires organisations to make expensive investments prior to know whether they are going to produce the desired business improvements. Therefore, delivering value for money from information systems investments has become a very serious issue for many organisations. There are several examples in both the private and public sector of expensive failures, but there are fewer published cases of success (Ward, 2006)

The purpose of the present paper is to explain how added business value emerges from the use of information systems. The paper begins with a review of the related literature and then, it takes a practical approach through a case study analysis which intends to set out the value of information systems to a successful organisation such as Amazon.

Therefore, the case study will illustrate how different information systems have enabled Amazon to achieve a solid competitive advantage by improving its marketing techniques and the efficiency of its distribution channels in a time in which the fast development of technologies have come to redefine the commerce model within the retail industry. Indeed, the use of Internet has changed the way in which people acquire goods and services, and nowadays there is a strong shift towards online shopping that is forcing retailers to go onto the Net if they want to remain competitive. In this regards, Amazon has been a pioneer in using information systems to anticipate changes in the retail industry environment, and in addition, it provides the perfect example of how a company can obtain value for money from information system investments.


The Business Value of Information Systems

Introduction
Business information management is essential to organisations in order to support strategic decisions. Information adds value to organisations as it allows improving products and services, reducing business costs and developing new innovations. Information systems are used in order to manage business information in such a way that allows organisations to increase profitability, to improve productivity and to gain other intangible benefits with the objective of achieving sustainable competitive advantage and company success. In addition, the use of information systems allow organisations to adapt to external changes in the business environment, otherwise they could not remain competitive....
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