Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019)

installing several computers can improve business processes and efficiency. In 2003, Nicholas Carr wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review that questioned this assumption. Entitled “I.T. Doesn’t Matter.” Carr was concerned that information technology had become just a commodity. Instead of viewing technology as an investment that will make a company stand out, Carr said technology would become as common as electricity – something to be managed to reduce costs, ensure that it is always running, and be as risk-free as possible. The article was both hailed and scorned. Can I.T. bring a competitive advantage to an organization? It sure did for Walmart (see sidebar). Technology and competitive advantage will be discussed in Chapter 7.

Sidebar: Walmart Uses Information Systems to Become the World’s Leading Retailer


Registered Trademark of Walmart, Inc. Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, earning 8.1 billion for the fiscal year that ended on January 31, 2018. Walmart currently serves over 260 million customers every week worldwide through its 11,700 stores in 28 countries. 6 In 2018 Fortune magazine for the sixth straight year ranked Walmart the number one company for annual revenue as they again exceeded $500 billion in annual sales. The next closest company, Exxon, had less than half of Walmart’s total revenue. 7 Walmart’s rise to prominence is due in large part to making information systems a high priority, especially in their Supply Chain Management (SCM) system Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019) pg. 17

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