Many companies have attempted to immerse themselves into the healthcare industry in the past, although few have been successful in reducing healthcare costs. Amazon recently announced its healthcare alliance with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, and it is argued that Amazon is the key component of this partnership, due to the company’s foundation of efficient operational procedures, strong customer focus, and technological integration. Chunka Mui’s Here’s How Amazon Could Disrupt Healthcare emphasizes several capabilities that Amazon has brought to the retail industry that will enable the company to disrupt the healthcare industry. Mui makes the interesting point \that if integrated into healthcare, Amazon’s comprehensive customer records, personalized user experience, price choice and transparency, and reliable reviews will lead the company to a future of vast amounts of patient health data to analyze, personalized health pages, cost options, and trustworthy ratings of healthcare providers. However, do you think that this is enough to make Amazon stand out as a player in healthcare? What roadblocks might arise for the future of this healthcare alliance?
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?