Thebusinessvalueofinformationtechnology(IT)hasbeendebatedfaranumberofyears. Someauthors have found iarge productivity improvements attributable to computers, and casual observation suggests that IT has generated some benefits for consumers. However, others continue to question whether computers have had any bottom line impact on business performance. In this paper, we argue that productivity, consumer value and business performance are actually separate questions and that the empirical results on IT value depend heavily on which question is being addressed and what data are being used. Applying methods based on economic theory, we are able to test the relevant hypotheses for each of the three questions, using recent firm-level data on IT spending by 367 large F i s . Our findings indicate that computers have led to higher productivity and created substantid value for consumers, but that these benefits have not resulted in measurable improvements in business perfomance. We conclude that while modeling techniques need to be improved, these results are consistent with economic theory, and thus there is no inherent contradiction between high productivity, high consumer value and low business performance.
Hitt, Lorin; Brynjolfsson, Erik; and Walsham, Geoff, "The Three Faces of IT Value: Theory and Evidence" (1994). ICIS 1994 Proceedings. 69.