Starting with the accounting and financial management system which will be the center of the IT architecture for the music store, the advantages of this type of system are its ability to quickly generate financial reports, track inventory positions, and report on incoming supplier deliveries. In short this system acts as the central coordination point for all activity in the store from a financial standpoint, coordinating accounts payable, accounts receivable and payment schedules for suppliers and all expenses. The Microsoft AX Platform is well-known as a scalable platform for stores looking to automate their accounting and financial management systems (Lamont, 2008). The downsides or drawbacks of this system are its cost, the large amount of time it takes to keep the records current, and also the time it takes to learn each new edition of software.
The second system that is required is for tracking the customer activity both within the store and online. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems' benefits are the ability to create highly effective and targeted selling programs, the ability to track which promotion is generating with sale, and the ability to fine-tune product and promotion strategies to customers. There is also the advantage of being able to get up and running with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) versions of CRM quickly as well, as Salesforce.com has been able to build nearly a billion-dollar business on (Limbasan, Rusu, 2011). The downsides of this type of system is the high cost to keep its information current, the costs involved in creating a more effective series of strategies over time that reflect customers' changing needs using analytics (Limbasan, Rusu, 2011) and the high cost of integrating these systems with e-commerce ordering systems to track purchases (Sarapovas, Cvilikas, 2008). They are invaluable however in understanding how and why customers buy products and their analytics can help define future strategies for selling with a very high level of precision when analytics are used.
An e-commerce system is also going to be invaluable for the retail store as well, as the unique product mix of music will be popular with fans globally. Having a website will drive retail traffic to the store and also serve as a secondary selling channel as well. The advantages of e-commerce and online catalog management systems are their ability to quickly report product introductions, manage pricing and specific aspects of a given music's unique characteristics, and also complete a transaction entirely online (Sarapovas, Cvilikas, 2008). The disadvantages are that