Web-Based Information Systems: eBay Overview and Comparative Essay
In this essay, you will provide an overview of the server-side and client-side hardware and software requirements of your information system. You will then focus the bulk of your essay on analyzing the competitive advantage that your information system provides to users of the system (or to the company who created and maintains the system) and on proposing your own recommendations for improving and enhancing the information system with additional features and functionality.
Web Based Information Systems: eBay Overview and Comparative
Web based Information Systems: eBay Overview and Competitive Advantage
An information system can be defined as a software system that captures, transmits, stores, retrieves, manipulates, or displays information, thereby assisting people, companies and organizations or other software systems. Information systems have been supportive to banks when they are processing payments, governments in collecting taxes, supermarkets in stocking their shelves and the list continues to various sectors. Companies and organizations offer goods and services to customers to make money. In the process of offering products, most organizations accumulate huge volumes of data. Therefore, these data must be stored, managed and processed since it plays a vital role in the organizations (Chang, 2006).
Web-based information system uses Internet web technology for conveying information and services to its users. It is a software system and is used to publish and maintain data by hypertext principle. Web-based information system is the combination of one or more web applications, and specific functionality-oriented components. Basically, in this type of information system, web browser is used as a front end and all the databases are used as a back end. In this case, eBay forms the bases of this discussion (O’reilly, 2007).
eBay is the worldwide web-based online marketing site where buyers and sellers come together to trade. It starts with the seller posting the item they are selling on eBay. Online auction is done, the bidding process opens at a price the seller specifies. Bids are then placed by the buyers on the item until the listing ends and the buyer with the highest bid wins. Also, there is an option of buy it now listing, where the first buyer willing to make a purchase according to the seller specified price gets the item (Barbu, Thomas, & Danauda, 2009). eBay is an web based information system where buyers and sellers interact to do trade.
Server-Side Hardware Requirements
Hardware is vital to the server-side to ensure that the information system is functioning properly and always updated according to the current technological dispensation. For eBay system, the Server-side must have hardware like a computer system for maintenance and update of the system. Other hardware may include devices for internet connection to enhance communication between employees of the company and customers. Power backups are also necessary to avoid power breakdown which could cause inconvenience (Chang, 2006).
Server-Side Software Requirements
The software used on eBay’s server farms varies. This is because eBay is huge and offers a lot of services which has enabled it to accommodate a wide range of software needs. Concerning the operating systems, any of their servers is configured to run any version of Windows server. For web server software, there are many different options that could fit it (Chang, 2006).
Client-Side Hardware Requirements
Here, the device required is not much or complicated since it only need to have a capability to run the popular web browsers. Therefore eBay can be accessed from devices like a desktop or laptop computer, tablets, and Smartphones. The most recommended is a device that has a minimum of an Intel Core Duo Processor or equivalent to be able to access eBay. Also for streaming, eBay recommends an internet connection speed of more than 900Kbits/sec to stream a video (Chang, 2006).
Client-Side Software Requirements
eBay can be accessed through most of the browsers available as long as they have the capability to stream a video. eBay recommends a browser that supports HTML5, such as the latest version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Opera. As for operating systems, eBay recommends Windows 7 or Mac OS 10.7 and their newer versions (Chang, 2006).
Competitive Analysis of the System
When it comes to eBay web-based system, its competitive advantage has made it a successful online marketer. One of the competitive advantages is that it was the first to enter the market, hence making it difficult for the rivals to compete with it. This has enabled it to create a brand name in the midst of competition. The second competitive advantage is eBay has introduced a buy it now option which was initially offered by ioffer.com, hence being able to suppress competition.
The third eBay’s competitive advantage that has made it outstanding is its same-day delivery market. The eBay Now platform which is currently only available in the UK manages deliveries from the stores to its customers on a 24/7 schedule. Dispatching and delivery is based on customer preference. This made eBay Now to experience a dramatic growth in UK with a coverage of 85% and they needed to refurbish their service platform to support the growth by acquiring Neo4. The fourth competitive advantage eBay has is that it mainly focuses on small business sellers which it describes as those who created its community. These small businesses bring a human touch to the marketplace and continue to make eBay a truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience (Barbu,Thomas, & Danauda, 2009)
Recommendations for Improving the System
The following recommendations for improvement can be incorporated in the eBay information system. First, eBay needs to improve by paying attention to the design and layout of its site. This is because the site pages are cluttered, confusing, and idle. This improvement could improve the experience of everyone shopping on the site. Second, eBay needs to look into the labeling, categorizing, and photographing of the products posted. Most of the products are poorly labeled, categorized, and photographed, hence making it difficult for buyers to find the product needed since they need to search longer to find it.
Information system makes it easier
for organizations to process their data and convey it in an understandable
manner. Web based information systems use internet technology that helps the
organizations to communicate their information. Every information system
requires hardware and software to support it.
Barbu, A., Thomas L., Danauda B.(2009). Comparison of ebay.com and alibaba.com Retrieved from : http://www.thomasliquori.me/Word%20Files/eBay_and_Alibaba.htm
Chang, K. T. (2006). Introduction to information systems (pp. 83-84). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
O’reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Communications & strategies, (1), 17.