The eBay Way - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Business & Finance
04:35 PM

The eBay Way

The Web's premier auction spot has changed the way it develops critical technologies, explains eBay's VP of systems and architecture.

Much has been said about how CIOs struggle to align their technology investments with their business objectives. At eBay, technology is integral to the business, so in a very real sense we don't have to deal with a lot of the hurdles faced by many other Fortune 1,000 IT departments.

There are few role models or best practices for us to follow, says Barrese -- Photo by Jeffery Newbury

There are few role models or best practices for us to follow, says Barrese

Photo by Jeffery Newbury
Of course, we do have challenges. Because of the nature of our business, there are few role models or best practices to follow. When you build so much from scratch, you also create new problems that have to be addressed without a legacy safety net to fall back on. More often than not, we--along with some other leading IT companies such as, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo--must simultaneously develop new technologies, business models, and operational conventions. In many ways, it's like building airplanes while in flight. This situation forces us to take chances and make leaps of faith that many technology leaders would find too risky. The big advantage, however, is that this environment encourages--in fact, demands--that our business-unit and technology leaders inject a continuing stream of innovation into everything we do, and that's what our corporate culture is all about.

These business realities fostered a fertile environment that let us build the world's largest and most efficient online marketplace. Along the way, our technologists have developed and finalized an impressive number of domestic and international patents, and have several hundred additional patents in various stages of approval. This is making us a leading IT software developer as well. Where we can, we like to buy or partner on software development. However, given our size, scale, and business demands, buying off-the-shelf technology usually isn't an option for us.

We deal with a vast range of IT imperatives daily. For instance, eBay hosts 100 million concurrent listings, which are updated at a rate of 500 times per second and searched 3,800 times per second. Our more than 233 million users--a number that increases at a rate of 130,000 users per day--generate more than a billion daily page views. To put that in perspective, we've created and have to maintain a tech platform that supports a transactional volume higher than Nasdaq's.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 4
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2019 State of DevOps
2019 State of DevOps
DevOps is needed in today's business environment, where improved application security is essential and users demand more applications, services, and features fast. We sought to see where DevOps adoption and deployment stand, this report summarizes our survey findings. Find out what the survey revealed today.
9 Steps Toward Ethical AI
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/15/2019
How to Convince Wary Customers to Share Personal Information
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/17/2019
The Art and Science of Robot Wrangling in the AI Era
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  6/11/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll