Topic – E-Business and E-Commerce and Information Systems
Literature Review 3
Analysis and Discussion – Amazon.com 5
In the past couple of decades, with the emergence of E-Commerce as a profitable business venture, we have seen an exponential growth in the number of E-Commerce portals worldwide.
This project aims to analyse the past, present and future trends in Information Systems with reference to such enterprises. Management information system (MIS) refers to
“providing data, collecting in a systematic way, processing, storing, widening and enhancing of the information to execute the managing activities in an effective way and profitably.” (Anderson & Post, 2006)
The focus of this endeavour is on gathering knowledge regarding Information Systems, and reaching a set of conclusions as to their advantages and disadvantages.
In context, we shall take into account one of the most popular E-Commerce websites in the world – Amazon.com, and attempt to distinguish the aspects of Information Systems as approached by the company.
Firstly, the basic idea of what exactly an MIS means is discussed. As mentioned earlier, a Management Information System is a tool employed by the managerial body of an organization to analyse and detect various trends and activities within the company. Apart from storing vast amounts of data in an easily accessible manner, these systems also provide an examination and outcome of the information gathered, with respect to various fields of concern. Basically, the MIS provides a cluster of thorough, result-oriented information, which provides the management with an idea of the company’s success in the realm of web-based interaction. (Koymen, 2012)
The basic characteristics of a successful Management Information System are as follows:
– The MIS also offers comprehensive information that is required for an organization to run smoothly and efficiently.
– An MIS is actually any kind of system that provides the aforementioned information for decision-making purposes; however, in the present scenario, it is viewed and used more as a software application than in any other form.
– Essentially, the MIS is the facilitator that provides the right information, to the right person, at the right place and time, in the right form, and finally, at the right cost.
– MIS acts a facilitator providing the appropriate information, people at the required point of time, in the required form at appropriate prices.
An MIS provides aid in decision-making in the following fields:
– Quality Analysis
– Cost and Budget Analysis
– Risk Analysis
– Market and Stakeholder Analysis
– Inventory Analysis
– Stakeholder, Behaviour and Feedback Analysis
– SWOT Analysis
In the present market scenario, the MIS provides a great amount of aid to businesses of all kinds and sizes, given the drastic hike in the use of wireless technology, various security and accounting laws, and of course, changes in the approach and content of media and advertising. Seeing this, it is certainly not surprising that the capital investment in Information Technology on the whole has increased remarkably over the past few decades. (Saini, 2012)
On the other hand, there are tools ensuring the success of the Information System itself; these are software that analyse every aspect of an Information System and provide automated results in terms of success or failure of that particular system with reference to the organization. The most popular instance of such tools is the DeLone & McLean IS Success Model, which has been functional and widely acclaimed since its launch in 1992. An updated version of this model, then, is applied quite frequently to various E-Commerce sites for a reference of success of their IS. (DeLone & McLean, Measuring e-Commerce Success: Applying the DeLone and McLean Information Systems Success Model, 2004)
The original form of this particular model, that is, the D&M IS Success Model, was based on earlier work done in related fields by a number of different individuals, including Shannon and Weaver s(1949) and Mason (1978). The fundamental aspects covered by this model were – Technical Success, Semantic Success and Effectiveness Success, through “Systems Quality,” “Information Quality,” as well as “Use, User Satisfaction, Individual Impacts” and “Organizational Impacts” respectively. (DeLone & McLean, The DeLone and McLean Model of Information Systems Success: A Ten-Year Update, 2003)
The updated version related to the model, then, involves a combination of some old and some new fields, putting together a total of six areas of concern in terms of MIS Success. These areas include – System Quality, Use, User Satisfaction, Net Benefits and Information Quality, Service Quality. The main improvements made in this version of the model are – firstly, the inclusion of Service Quality in the set, as an important factor of measurement, and secondly, the blending of individual impacts and organizational impacts into one common denominator – Net Benefits. (DeLone & McLean, Measuring e-Commerce Success: Applying the DeLone and McLean Information Systems Success Model, 2004)
In case of Amazon, however, this model is replaced by their own unique and distinct archetype – the combination of S3 (Simple Storage Service), AWS (Amazon Web Service) and SAS (Smart Analytic Search). These three processes create a very strong Management Information System for the company, as we shall discuss below. (Koymen, 2012)
Analysis and Discussion – Amazon.com
Amazon.com has displayed a lot of potential over the past couple of decades, since its inception in 1995 at the hands of American Jeff Bezos. The original idea was to provide books to any and every individual, at competitive prices as compared to the physical market, and with delivery anywhere within the States. With the passage of time, though, Amazon grew into the vast, internationally acclaimed company that spans over more than 45 countries today.
In terms of Information Systems, Amazon made use of separate website and order fulfilment systems, so as to improve security, with an enormous database on Digital Alpha Servers. By the year 2000, they recognised the need of the hour and made the smart move to revamp the entire system, spending a whopping $200 million on the new one. The processes included Analysis Software from ‘Epiphany,’ Logistics from ‘Manugistics,’ DBMS from Oracle, and a B2B integration system from Excelon.
Finally, Amazon developed a whole new set of processes, based on the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Model. (Imran, 2014)
The S3 (Simple Storage Service) is a system created to make data storage and retrieval easier for Amazon, especially in a global format. The accessibility of data is hence, no longer an issue for Amazon’s management, business partners, and developers. As the name goes, the service in itself creates an environment of simplicity in terms of feeding, storage and retrieval of data.
The AWS (Amazon Web Service) allows partner retailers to upload information and advertise their products on an individual basis, making the website the facilitator between buyers and sellers, thus creating a common platform and greater opportunity for all parties involved. The AWS, therefore, enables retailers to access a vast amount of relevant data, at affordable prices, and in a reliable manner.
The SAS (Smart Analytic Search), on the other hand, is the process that ensures reduction of fraudulent procedures on or around the area covered by Amazon. This system tries to detect behavioural patterns displayed by frauds and makes sure that they are unable to access the mass of data within the storage system. It also looks into customer personalization options and service quality on behalf of the company. (Koymen, 2012)
As such, it seems like Amazon have understood every aspect of analysis and security when it comes to the area of E-Commerce. The three processes work together in a smooth manner, trying to ensure maximum customer satisfaction, best quality service provision, retailer satisfaction, and of course, thorough security, leaving out no major loopholes whatsoever. We can certainly say that Amazon has received and built a large amount of trust from its stakeholders, and for good reason. With Management Information Systems such as these, it would be very difficult to falter at any level whatsoever, despite potential challenges.
To conclude, we can only say that in all, the question of Management Information Systems is one that covers a large area in many different aspects of E-Commerce. However, with the world moving towards an almost completely digitalized age, it would be unprofitable to the extreme for any company to not move ahead with time. Considering the variety of options available when it comes to Management Information Systems, one can only suggest that a company selects a certain model based, at the very least, on the nature of its dealings, the volume of customers and retail clients, and the overall security requirements.
While it may be suitable for certain organizations to employ conventional forms of MIS in a one-size-that-fits-all manner, it would certainly be more beneficial to look into the actual requirements inherent in the company, distinguish between the more unique facets of it, and apply more customized, unconventional methods to achieve the desired goals. Then again, there remains the concept of ‘Simple Brilliance;’ simplifying each process down to its bare essentials would most certainly aid any organization, not just with reference to Information Systems, but with any kind of commercial or business-related process.
The instance of Amazon here exemplifies the use of perfectly complementary Management Information Systems according to business requirements. The division of S3, SAS and AWS distinguish the various aspects of business-related MIS modelling as per specific requirements of the Amazon.com web portal. However, it is to be noted that such distinctions can be applied to any E-Commerce site as such, along with certain basic customizations according to its specifications.
The overall requirements of a business on the managerial level, with reference to what precisely the management would look for in terms of data analysis, on the basis of the specific kind of portal or business involved, are all aspects that must be taken into consideration while developing an Information System.
Given the ever-growing world of internet-based commercial systems, it has become increasingly important for businesses of this nature to maintain a very good analysis and secure storage of data modules, especially considering the possibility of widespread fraudulent practices on the internet.
The importance of such systems; more specifically the security systems, is a point that must be stressed constantly at any given point of time. While the probability of internet frauds is very high, making both, portals and end users susceptible to these issues, the fact remains that a well-structured security based system can reduce the risks of exposure of data to a very high extent.
All in all, there are many ways to look at Management Information Systems, but what matter eventually are the specific requirements of the organization itself, combined with the functions of the system, in order to ensure a smooth-running and efficient scheme, which takes care of every aspect of the managerial requirements, which are company-specific and business-specific at the same time.
Anderson, D., & Post, G. (2006). Management information systems : solving business problems with information technology. Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
DeLone, W., & McLean, E. (2004). Measuring e-Commerce Success: Applying the DeLone and McLean Information Systems Success Model. International Journal of Electronic Commerce , 31-47.
DeLone, W., & McLean, E. (2003). The DeLone and McLean Model of Information Systems Success: A Ten-Year Update. Journal of Management Information Systems , 9-30.
Imran, A. A. (2014, June 4). A Study on Amazon: Information Systems, Business Strategies and E-CRM. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from www.researchgate.net: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/261440748_A_STUDY_ON_AMAZON_INFORMATION_SYSTEMS_BUSINESS_STRATEGIES_AND_e-CRM
Koymen, T. (2012, September 18). MANAGING INFORMATION SYSTEMS – Critically evaluation of using of the Management Information Systems at Amazon.com. Retrieved October 20, 2014, from www.slideshare.net: http://www.slideshare.net/TolgaKoymen/kcb-14508-managing-information-assignment
Saini, S. (2012, November 16). Management information system. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from www.slideshare.net: http://www.slideshare.net/sikandersaini77/management-information-system-15207283