Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Amazon: IT “Is” One of Many Businesses

When thinking of technology companies, traditional players such as Apple, IBM, or Microsoft first come to mind, with overlapping and non-overlapping product offerings between them. Amazon, however, has carved a space for itself within this industry throughout recent years. At its inception, Amazon’s IT organization likely served as a necessary utility while also providing business value in maximizing the efficiency of its supply chain which the internet retailer leveraged to associate its brand with quick purchasing and delivery. As Amazon furthers what appears to be a jack-of-all-trades strategy in terms of its business, the firm has produced its own IT-reliant products such as the Echo device and has begun offering IT infrastructure services to both enterprise and non-enterprise clients with Amazon Web Services. By doing this, Amazon transformed its IT Organization into one that more directly generates revenue for the firm (IT ”is” the Business). What makes the firm unique in comparison to the above mentioned competitors, however, is the diversity of its lines of business that also require its resources. Can Amazon compete with other technology companies in the long term while maintaining a competitive edge in its other businesses?

One Response to Amazon: IT “Is” One of Many Businesses

  • You’ve done a good job of discussing amazon’s various revenue models, and how the firm fits under multiple IT roles/structures. That is a gripe I have with the IT structure and roles framework… it is very rare that a firm fits clearly into one of the four roles. More commonly, there is an argument that a firm fits with two or even three of the IT roles. Still, I think its a somewhat useful tool for understanding how firms use IT to drive value. And I agree with you that Amazon best fits with It “is” the business.

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