information systems gives some experience that is useful in the corporate setting such as knowing about interesting apps, being able to use a variety of technologies for different purposes, and being familiar with the ups and downs of networking. But in a corporate setting, information systems must be enterprise-ready. They must be scalable for large number of employees; they must be delivered in an appropriate manner for the enterprise; they must be managed with corporate guidelines, and sometimes governmental regula- tions, in mind. Issues like security, privacy, risk, and architecture take on a new meaning within an enterprise, and someone has to manage them. A similar phenomenon occurred in the early days of database applications. Individuals who used a personal computer version of a database assumed they understood databases, but they ran into issues when they try to integrate enterprise-level data from multiple users. That required a different architecture and skill set. Enterprise-level managing and using information systems require a unique perspective managers develop over time.
Consider the now-historic rise of companies such as Amazon.com, Google and Zappos. Amazon.com began as an online bookseller and rapidly outpaced traditional brick-and-mortar businesses like Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Waterstones. Man- agement at the traditional companies responded by having their IS support personnel build Web sites to compete. But upstart Amazon.com moved on ahead, keeping its leadership position on the Web by leveraging its new business model into other marketplaces, such as music, electronics, health and beauty products, lawn and garden products, auctions, tools and hardware, and more. It cleared the profitability hurdle by achieving a good mix of IS and business basics: capitalizing on operational efficiencies derived from inventory software and smarter storage, cost cutting, and effectively partnering with such companies as Toys “R” Us Inc. and Target Corporation.2 More recently Amazon.com changed the basis of competition in another market, but this time it was the Web services business. Amazon.com Web services offers clients the extensive technology platform used for Amazon.com, but in an on-demand fashion for developing and running the client’s own applications. Shoe retailer Zappos.com challenged Ama- zon’s business model, in part by coupling a social business strategy with exemplary service and sales, and they were so successful that Amazon.com bought them.
Likewise, Google played an important role in revolutionizing the way information is located, changing the playing field for advertising and publishing business models. Google began in 1999 as a basic search company but quickly learned that a unique business model was a critical factor for future success. The company changed the way people thought about Web content by making it available in a searchable format with an incredibly fast response time and in a host of languages. Further, Google’s keyword- targeted advertising program revolutionized the way companies advertise. By 2001, Google announced its first quarter of profitability, solidifying the way the world finds information, publishes, and advertises.3 More recently, Google expanded into a com- plete suite of Web-based applications, such as calendaring, e-mail, collaboration, shopping, and maps and then enhanced the applications by combining them with social