Information Systems

Information system deals with data of the organizations. The purposes of Information system are to process input, maintain data, produce reports, handle queries, handle on line transactions, generate reports, and other output. These maintain huge databases, handle hundreds of queries etc. The transformation of data into information is primary function of information system.
These types of systems depend upon computers for performing their objectives. A computer based business system involves six interdependent elements. These are hardware (machines), software, people (programmers, managers or users), procedures, data, and information (processed data). All six elements interact to convert data into information. System analysis relies heavily upon computers to solve problems. For these types of systems, analyst should
have a sound understanding of computer technologies. In the following section, we explore three most important information systems namely, transaction processing system, management information system and decision support
system, and examine how computers assist in maintaining Information systems

COMPONENTS OF INFORMATION SYSTEM

The 5 components that must come together in order to produce a Computer-Based Information system are:

People, hardware, software, data, and networks are the five basic resources of information systems. People resources include end users and IS specialists, hardware resources consist of machines and media, software resources include both programs and procedures, data resources include data and knowledge bases, and network resources include communications media and networks. Data resources are transformed by information processing activities into a variety of information products for end users. Information processing consists of the system activities of input, processing, output, storage, and control.

ROLE OF MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

The role of the MIS in an organization can be compared to the role of heart in the body. The information is the blood and MIS is the heart. In the body the heart plays the role of supplying pure blood to all the elements of the body including the brain. The heart work faster and supplies more blood when needed. It regulates and controls the incoming impure blood, processed it and sends it to the destination in the quantity needed. It fulfills the needs of blood supply to human body in normal course and also in crisis.

The MIS plays exactly the same role in the organization. The system ensures that an appropriate data is collected from the various sources, processed and send further to all the needy destinations. The system is expected to fulfill the information needs of an individual, a group of individuals, the management functionaries: the managers and top management.

Here are some of the important roles of the MIS:

  1. The MIS satisfies the diverse needs through variety of systems such as query system, analysis system, modeling system and decision support system.
  2. The MIS helps in strategic planning, management control, operational control and transaction processing. The MIS helps in the clerical personal in the transaction processing and answers the queries on the data pertaining to the transaction, the status of a particular record and reference on a variety of documents.
  • The MIS helps the junior management personnel by providing the operational data for planning, scheduling and control , and helps them further in decision-making at the operation level to correct an out of control situation.
  1. The MIS helps the middle management in short term planning, target setting and controlling the business functions. It is supported by the use of the management tools of planning and control.
  2. The MIS helps the top level management in goal setting, strategic planning and evolving the business plans and their implementation.
  3. The MIS plays the role of information generation, communication, problem identification and helps in the process of decision-making. The MIS, therefore, plays a vital role in the management, administration and operation of an organization.

IMPACT OF THE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

MIS plays a very important role in the organization; it creates an impact on the organization’s functions, performance and productivity.

The impact of MIS on the functions is in its management with a good MIS supports the management of marketing, finance, production and personnel becomes more efficient. The tracking and monitoring of the functional targets becomes easy. The functional managers are informed about the progress, achievements and shortfalls in the activity and the targets.

The manager is kept alert by providing certain information indicating and probable trends in the various aspects of business. This helps in forecasting and long-term perspective planning. The manager’s attention is bought to a situation which is expected in nature, inducing him to take an action or a decision in the matter.

Disciplined information reporting system creates structure database and a knowledge base for all the people in the organization. The information is available in such a form that it can be used straight away by blending and analysis, saving the manager’s valuable time.

The MIS creates another impact in the organization which relates to the understanding of the business itself. The MIS begins with the definition of data, entity and its attributes. It uses a dictionary of data, entity and attributes, respectively, designed for information generation in the organization. Since all the information systems use the dictionary, there is common understanding of terms and terminology in the organization bringing clarity in the communication and a similar understanding of an event in the organization.

The MIS calls for a systematization of the business operations for an effective system design. This leads to streaming of the operations which complicates the system design. It improves the administration of the business by bringing a discipline in its operations as everybody is required to follow and use systems and procedures. This process brings a high degree of professionalism in the business operations.

The goals and objectives of the MIS are the products of business goals and objectives. It helps indirectly to pull the entire organization in one direction towards the corporate goals and objectives by providing the relevant information to the organization.

A well designed system with a focus on the manager makes an impact on the managerial efficiency. The fund of information motivates an enlightened manager to use a variety of tools of the management. It helps him to resort to such exercises as experimentation and modeling.

The use of computers enables him to use the tools and techniques which are impossible to use manually. The ready-made packages make this task simple. The impact is on the managerial ability to perform. It improves decision-making ability considerably high.

Since, the MIS work on the basic system such as transaction processing and database, the drudgery of the clerical work is transferred to the computerized system, relieving the human mind for better work. It will be observed that lot of manpower is engaged in this activity in the organization. Seventy (70) percent of the time is spent in recording, searching, processing and communicating. This MIS has a direct impact on this overhead. It creates information –based working culture in the organization.

IMPORTANCE OF MIS

It goes without saying that all managerial functions are performed through decision-making; for taking rational decision, timely and reliable information is essential and is procured through a logical and well structured method of information collecting, processing and disseminating to decision makers. Such a method in the field of management is widely known as MIS.

In today’s world of ever increasing complexities of business as well as business organization, in order to service and grow , must have a properly planned, analyzed, designed and maintained MIS so that it provides timely, reliable and useful information to enable the management to take speedy and rational decisions.

MIS has assumed all the more important role in today’s environment because a manager has to take decisions under two main challenges:

First, because of the liberalization and globalization, in which organizations are required to compete not locally but globally, a manager has to take quick decisions, otherwise his business will be taken away by his competitors. This has further enhanced the necessity for such a system.

Second, in this information age wherein information is doubling up every two or three years, a manager has to process a large voluminous data; failing which he may end up taking a strong decision that may prove to be very costly to the company.

In such a situation managers must be equipped with some tools or a system, which can assist them in their challenging role of decision-making. It is because of the above cited reasons, that today MIS is considered to be of permanent importance, sometimes regarded as the name centre of an organization. Such system assist decision makers in organizations by providing information at various stages of decision making and thus greatly help the organizations to achieve their predetermined goals and objectives.

On the other hand, the MIS which is not adequately planned for analyzed, designed, implemented or is poorly maintained may provide developed inaccurate, irrelevant or obsolete information which may prove fatal for the organization.

In other words, organizations today just cannot survive and grow without properly planned, designed, implemented and maintained MIS. It has been well understood that MIS enables even small organizations to more than offset the economies of scale enjoyed by their bigger competitors and thus helps in providing a competitive edge over other organizations.

The following are the most important reasons to have a good management information system:

  • To control the creation and growth of records

Despite decades of using various non-paper storage media, the amount of paper in our offices continues to escalate. An effective records information system addresses both creation control (limits the generation of records or copies not required to operate the business) and records retention (a system for destroying useless records or retiring inactive records), thus stabilizing the growth of records in all formats.

  • To reduce operating costs

Record keeping requires administrative dollars for filing equipment, space in offices, and staffing to maintain an organized filing system (or to search for lost records when there is no organized system).

It costs considerably less per linear foot of records to store inactive records in a Data Records Center versus in the office. [Multiply that by 30% to 50% of the records in an office that doesn’t have a records management program in place], and there is an opportunity to effect some cost savings in space and equipment, and an opportunity to utilize staff more productively – just by implementing a records management program.

  • To improve efficiency and productivity

Time spent searching for missing or misfiled record is non-productive. A good records management program (e.g. a document system) can help any organization upgrade its record keeping systems so that information retrieval is enhanced, with corresponding improvements in office efficiency and productivity. A well designed and operated filing system with an effective index can facilitate retrieval and deliver information to users as quickly as they need it.

Moreover, a well managed information system acting as a corporate asset enables organizations to objectively evaluate their use of information and accurately lay out a roadmap for improvements that optimize business returns.

  • To assimilate new records management technologies

A good records management program provides an organization with the capability to assimilate new technologies and take advantage of their many benefits. Investments in new computer systems whether this is financial, business or otherwise, don’t solve filing problems unless current manual record keeping or bookkeeping systems are analyzed (and occasionally, overhauled) before automation is applied.

  • To ensure regulatory compliance

In terms of record keeping requirements, China is a heavily regulated country. These laws can create major compliance problems for businesses and government agencies since they can be difficult to locate, interpret and apply. The only way an organization can be reasonably sure that it is in full compliance with laws and regulations is by operating a good management information system which takes responsibility for regulatory compliance, while working closely with the local authorities. Failure to comply with laws and regulations could result in severe fines, penalties or other legal consequences.

  • To minimize litigation risks

Business organizations implement management information systems and programs in order to reduce the risks associated with litigation and potential penalties. This can be equally true in Government agencies. For example, a consistently applied records management program can reduce the liabilities associated with document disposal by providing for their systematic, routine disposal in the normal course of business.

  • To safeguard vital information

Every organization, public or private, needs a comprehensive program for protecting its vital records and information from catastrophe or disaster, because every organization is vulnerable to loss. Operated as part of a good management information system, vital records programs preserve the integrity and confidentiality of the most important records and safeguard the vital information assets according to a “Plan” to protect the records.  This is especially the case for financial information whereby ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are being deployed in large companies.

  • To support better management decision making

In today’s business environment, the manager that has the relevant data first often wins, either by making the decision ahead of the competition, or by making a better, more informed decision. A good management information system can help ensure that managers and executives have the information they need when they need it.

By implementing an enterprise-wide file organization, including indexing and retrieval capability, managers can obtain and assemble pertinent information quickly for current decisions and future business planning purposes.  Likewise, implementing a good ERP system to take account of all the business’ processes both financial and operational will give an organization more advantages than one who was operating a manual based system.

  • To preserve the corporate memory

An organization’s files, records and financial data contain its institutional memory, an irreplaceable asset that is often overlooked. Every business day, you create the records, which could become background data for future management decisions and planning.

  • To foster professionalism in running the business

A business office with files, documents and financial data askew, stacked on top of file cabinets and in boxes everywhere, creates a poor working environment. The perceptions of customers and the public, and “image” and “morale” of the staff, though hard to quantify in cost-benefit terms, may be among the best reasons to establish a good management information system.

 

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