Internet and Web Information Systems


It appears obvious, but bears repeating: Without Internet and Web technology, there would be no electronic commerce, e-business, e-learning, etc. Furthermore, business affairs and strategies in these areas remain highly dependent on innovation such as the emergence of the Web services standards.

With Internet and Web technology, entire industries can be reorganized to release efficiency gains and create value. This process is driven by competitive pressure, as well as by the global nature of the Internet.

Usually, it is not just a single piece of technology, but rather a set of information technology (IT) components integrated into an information system (IS) or platform that changes business processes and industry economics. The Web is a very good example. It consists of the HTTP, HTML, and URL standards, the Web browser, Web servers, and many more components.
These components have to be organized and integrated into an IS so that their use can create value. The manner in which this is done is described by the IS architecture.

As information systems and in particular, software are becoming more important, so too is IS architecture design. In many industries, companies have implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to tightly integrate fragmented islands of automation. However, ever-increasing competition requires changes in architectures to resolve the tension between ease of integration and flexibility.

In industries such as computers and cellular/mobile communications, architecture design can win technology wars. Competitive success goes to the firm that can impose architectural control over a newly emerging space. Often this includes the definition of interface standards. The Microsoft Corporation antitrust ruling in the Federal Court has revealed how software standards and control of software application interfaces can shape the structure of on an entire industry and the strategic options within the industry. With its control of the PC operating system and application programming interfaces, Microsoft can influence higher-level applications ("application barrier to entry").

With software becoming the "factory," one key to success lies in the alignment of IS architecture design with a firm's business strategy.

I investigate the role and capabilities of IS architectures and their impacts on business strategy and performance.

Research in this Research Area is supported in part by a grant from .


Figure: E-Business Architecture Elements

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Copyright 1999-2007 Dr. Chris Schlueter Langdon

Last modified: May 13, 2007