Examining the Contribution of Information Technology Toward Productivity and Profitability in U.S. Retail Banking
There has been much debate on whether or not the investment in Information Technology (IT) provides improvements in productivity and business efficiency. Several studies both at the industry-level and at the firm-level have contributed differing understandings of this phenomenon. Of late, however, firm-level studies, primarily in the manufacturing sector, have shown that there are significant positive contributions from IT investments toward productivity. This study examines the effect of IT investment on both productivity and profitability in the retail banking sector. Using data collected through a major study of retail banking institutions in the United States, this paper concludes that additional investment in IT capital may have no real benefits and may be more of a strategic necessity to stay even with the competition. However, the results indicate that there are substantially high returns to increase in investment in IT labor, and that retail banks need to shift their emphasis in IT investment from capital to labor.
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