Discuss some of the six (6) primary roles that information systems play in organizations. Provide at least 1 example of information systems in one of these roles in a current organization.
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The information system is vital for any organization be it for survival or to keep up with the competition or to even get ahead of it in the current age. We can find a small family-owned restaurant to a fitness gym all making use of the information system in some way for their business (Wallace, 2015). Bigger cooperation makes use of such technologies to bring innovation and get ahead of the competition. Decision making, operational management, customer interaction, collaboration on teams, strategic initiatives, and individual productivity are the six major roles of information systems in an organization (Wallace, 2015). The the following discussion post looks into two of those roles relating to Often Serious Technologies.
Information System (IS) helps in the decision-making process by providing business intelligence which can be used to analyze and understand the current trend, user habits and a lot more. This also helps counter the decision-making pattern of managers and executives based on their gut feeling alone. IS helps make informed decision and strategies for better success rate (Powell & Dent-Micallef, 1997). Relating this scenario to my current working environment, the organization I’m with heavily uses IS for decision making purpose. The use of data generated by the information system in place is used as a medium to get the knowledge and warn general people along with the government about the risk level of water in rivers. The system analyzes the level of water to do so. Also, rather than playing a guessing game on the amount of rainfall, the organization has placed stations around Nepal and in other country offices on the amount of rainfall on a particular day in collaboration with its partners. That helps analyze the information and make concentrated strategies for agriculture (crop harvest cycle). Aside from that, there is a magnitude of usage within the organization for decision making including for formulating web and social media strategies by analyzing user pattern, identifying the need of a new project/initiative, GIS analysis and much more.
Information System has opened a whole new world by enabling people and organization to collaborate with teams from any part of the world. With tools like Skype, Office365, TeamViewer and even the power of self-developed systems, teams can now communicate and collaborate on projects while discussing, sharing files, remotely access the desktop to name few actions from anywhere. Again relating this point to the organization I’m at. The organization has its head office in Nepal but presence in some way in other country offices. Many staffs are often on travel thus the collaboration aspect becomes significant. Skype is often used to have a meeting and discussion with remote staff or when someone is on travel and need to discuss something. Along with that, SharePoint platform is used to build the intranet which houses most of the organization information that is to be shared internally. Office365 is used for collaboration while editing documents. This is of significance as anything going out of the organization need to go through an editing process to ensure quality. Going back and forth on the document via email or in-person is tedious and time-consuming so rather a system is built such that the editor and the writer can seat together virtually to ensure that the quality is met. So, the information system enables collaboration between teams to ensure that the organization can conduct meetings, share document, interact virtually and even work remotely to ensure that the crucial organization function can be performed from anywhere and anytime.
Powell, T., & Dent-Micallef, A. (1997). Information technology as competitive advantage: the role of human, business, and technology resources. Strategic Management Journal, 18(5), 375-380.
Wallace, P. (2015). Introduction to information systems (2nd ed., pp. 2-4). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson.
Information system (IS) and information technology (IT) are two different things but closely interlinked. The system is developed with the help of the technology. For example, excel is a technology while the financial statements produced with its help is the system. Let us look at the six primary roles that IS plays in an organization.
1. Decision making
In an organization or business the managers need to make decisions all the time. The decision must be backed by quality judgment of the situation and its implications. Data collected, compiled and presented in a simple way helps managers understand the position of the organization and take appropriate decisions. For example the final report of a company shows the companies sources of funds and it applications for return. If there is more source of funds available then the manger has to find good investment opportunities. Similarly restaurants can see the most ordered dish and beverage which helps the manger to promote it more.
2. Operations management
Information system is used to manage every day operation in an organization such as employee monthly salary, taxes, attendance, leave records, record income and expenses, receivables, procuring goods and inventory management to name a few. (Wallace, 2015) Daily tasks or operations management to keep records or follow up on supplies, creditors, and inventory is made easier with the help of IS. For example software used by IME money transfer helps people to send money from one place to another, department stores such as Bhatbhateni, big mart use software to track their stock and keep record of daily transactions.
3. Customer interactions
IS also helps in customer interaction. Few forms of customer interactions based on IS that I use are ATM machines, recharge card in mobiles, monthly bill or registering complains in the Nepal Telecom etc. Thus the implication of the use of IS for customer interaction is gaining more popularity. With online shopping in hamro bazar, sasto deal, flipcart etc. are some of the more successful organizations that have used IS for customer interactions.
4. Collaboration on teams
IS has made the world a smaller place. With connectivity available communication has increased a lot. People can conduct meeting from different countries through skype. Friends and family members can keep in contact through facebook, celebrities and even head of states can reach out to the general people through the use of Twitter. IS has made this possible.
5. Strategic initiatives
IS helps in taking strategic initiatives for competition in the market. For example here in Nepal, NCELL a private company had to face NTC, owned by the government, as a competitor. It was very difficult to get a sim from NTC. People waited in line whole day to get a sim card. NCELL provided sim cards in every small cyber shops. In addition various facilities like Rs. 20 loan, mms, call recording, 4G etc. were provided by NCELL. This increased its hold in the telecommunication market.
6. Individual productivity
Productivity is highly increased by IS but the user should be able to understand its effectiveness. For example excel is very useful for accountants and finance personnel but there are a lot of features in it. If people do not understand these they cannot make full use of it. Another example is our own Westcliff GAP website. Students login, have option to do research with LRIN, post assignments, track grades etc. This has made it very easy and increased individual productivity in this MBA course.
These are the six primary roles of IS in an organization.
Wallace, P. (2015). Information System in Action. In P. Wallace, Introduction to Information System (pp. 4-9). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
In order to achieve strategic objectives, there is no substitute for right information at right time in any business, be it multinational companies, small businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, volunteer organizations, self-employed entrepreneurs, universities and colleges or any institutions. So these organizations use information systems to ensure the availability of required information at right time and place. Information system is the combination of people, technology, hardware, software, networks, policies and procedures that aims on storing, retrieving, transforming and disseminating the information within and outside the organization (Wallace, 2015).
Some of the primary roles of information systems in an organization includes:
Information system assists the managers or staffs at decision making level to make the best possible decision in given circumstances by providing relevant information. It depicts past trends, patterns and scenarios. The analysis of historical information is helpful in predicting future and making more rational decisions. The business intelligence system is used for decision making purpose that helps the managers to utilize the information collected from external and internal sources for the benefit of the organization. The information system makes sure that the decisions are data driven for longevity and prosperity of the organization, not based on the gut feelings or assumptions of the decision maker (Davoren, 2018).
For example: I work in an organization that provides health care at home. On daily basis, we need to make decisions regarding the placement of nurses. The information system facilitates this process by providing the list of nurses who are occupied and those who are available for duty. The decisions regarding the increment in salary and other benefits, purchase of logistics, discounts provided to clients are also backed up by the information system.
Information system provides means to interact with the customers that helps in customization of the services and relationship building. Customers look for the platform where they can provide feedback to the company, share about their experiences with the organization and its products and find assistance from the company in problem solving. It is made possible through the use information system. Information system makes it easier for the customers to reach to the company through web-based front services and online self-service. The increasing use of social media is also helping in this.
The chat bot is the most common example for this. These days almost every organizations have chat bot in their website where the customers can request for information, ask questions or clarify their doubts by interacting with the system. They will get reply within few hours that may or may not be automated.
In addition to these, the information system also plays significant role in operations management, collaboration on teams, strategic initiatives and individual productivity. It aims on maintaining efficiency, reducing costs and maximize profit through the use of available information.
Davoren, J. (2018, June 27). The Three Fundamental Roles of Information Systems in Business. Retrieved from Chron: smallbusiness.chron.com/three-fundamental-roles-information-systems-business-23681.html 61
Wallace, P. (2015). Introduction to Information Systems (Second ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Modern businesses simply cannot complete without the power of an information system. Information systems store, update, and even analyze the information, which the company can then use to pinpoint solutions to current to future problems. Furthermore, these systems integrate data from various sources, inside and outside the company, keeping the company up to date with internal performance and external opportunities and threats (Wallance, 2015). Information System helps a company make adequate use of its data reduce work and assists with compliance with the various mandatory regulation. The GAP portal is one of the suitable examples of MIS system. School management system, Hospital management system, Pumari are the popular MIS tools in Nepal.
Many organizations use the information system to formulate strategic plans and make decisions for the organization’s durability and prosperity. In a corporate houses business information system to evaluate information from all sources, including information from external references such as Reuters or Bloomberg, which provide information on the general economy (Chatterjee, 2010). Information system eliminates repetitive tasks and increases accuracy, allowing employees to concentrate on more high-level function. An information system can also to better project planning and implementing through effective monitoring and comparison against established criteria.
The major role of information system in business are:
Making Decision: Decision making is one of the essential management tasks. Decision-making process is data - intensive. A manager may need various reports, business documents, analyze and direct communication in order to get prepared for making an effective decision. Managers get informed via information systems, oral communication and possibly in another way.
Strategic Information System: It applies information technology (IT) with the firm’s product, service, and business process to help the organization to gain a strategic advantage over the competition.
Knowledge Management System: Knowledge Management system is a knowledge-based information system to support creation. Organization and dissemination business knowledge to employees and manager throughout the company.
Operation Management: It focuses on an operational and managerial application in support of business function like accounting and marketing.
Executive Support System: is a reporting tool that provides quick access to summarized reports coming from all level of organization and departments such as accounting, human resources, and operation. This system provides critical information in a wide range of internal and external source in the easiest way to display to manager and executives.
We can conclude that information system is an important part of the business organizations which provides timely and accurate information to the business managers and helps them in taking appropriate decision. For the success of an information system, it is suggested that proper planning is very important in any information system because without planning nothing is possible.
Chatterjee, I. (2010). Management Information. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi.
Wallance, P. (2015). Introduction of an information system. USA: PEARSON.