MANAGING budget. (George M. Markus, 2010). The way

                                                

 

                                             

                                              
MANAGING INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY

 

 

 

 

                                                               
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                   Course

                                                             
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         Introduction

          The type of information needed by
decision makers in an organization is directly related to not only the level of
management involved in the decision making process but also the amount of
structure in the decision situation faced by managers. (O’Brien, p. 393) This
levels of management must be supported by information technology for it to be
successful. Executives at the strategic management level develop policies,
strategies and the overall goals of the organization. Business unit managers on
the other hand at the tactical level of management develop short term medium
range plans, budgets and allocate resources while monitoring the performance of
their departments. Operating managers at the operational level of management
develop short range plans usually weekly schedules and direct the use of the
allocated resources within the budget. (George M. Markus, 2010). The way in
which information systems have been classified is due to an attempt to conform
to how the duties and responsibilities have been divided within the
organization and since most organizations are hierarchical in nature, classification
of this systems tend to follow the hierarchy. Information systems have always
been seen as a driver of efficiency since it has proven to be more productive
for those who use it compared to those who don’t.  (Isenberg, 1984). The objectives of
information technology in an organization are always focused towards improving
decision making, creating a competitive edge and operational excellence. These
objectives can only be achieved by creating an understanding to improve
research in practice, methods and techniques of information technology within
developed and developing systems. This essay therefore covers the different
types of information systems under strategic, tactical and operational levels,
justify the integration of various stand -alone information systems and challenges
that always arise during deployment of the information system then offer
recommendations on the same.

 

 

                                                  
Types of information systems

                                                             
Strategic level

         This is the top most level of
management involved in the formulation and implementation of an organizations
goals on behalf of the stakeholders with major focus on the availability of
resources and surrounding environment. Its mandate is to provide an overall direction
to the firm and develop plans that aid in fulfilling the firms’ objectives.
(Nag, R et.al.,2007) Decisions here are usually responses to strategic
questions like for example who the target customer is for the produced products,
where are the customers located and what do they consider as value, what
differentiates the company from competitors in the eyes of the customer and
suppliers etc. Information systems at this level support strategy for
competitive advantage.

                                               Executive support system (ESS)

        ESS is designed to help senior
management to make strategic decisions. It collects, analyses and makes a
summary of key external and internal information used within the business. It
compares and highlights trends in important variables for purposes of
monitoring performance to identify opportunities. (John Fralick, 2014). With
globalization and intense competition increasing the need of fast and accurate
decision making, the use of this systems by executives has become a very
important component of their decision making behavior. (Hugh J. Watson, 2007).  Wellness Inc., is a healthcare distribution
company. When Paul Dawnson who is its current president joined two years ago,
it had been ruined by problems. It was its first time in a decade that it was
heading for a loss, during the past year, Dawnson and his associates have
utilized a computer based information system to reorganize their sales
approach, analyze markets, restructure and sell part of a manufacturing unit
and change their product mix. The use of this tool has revolutionized Wellness
and turned it into a profitable company.

                                                          
Tactical level

             Executive
management relies heavily on this level to make the right decisions. Managers
at this level are responsible for overseeing the regional market and making
decisions on how to achieve the short term goals of the organization. (Jeff
Stein, 2006). Decisions here might involve marketing a new product and
communicating with the lower management. The plans that are arrived at this
stage are always directed towards some functions like production, where a
possible objective could involve quality improvement and measurable efficiency.

                                          Management Information System (MIS)

            This system provides
information inform of reports and then displays it to managers. The information
is usually specified in advance to meet expectations. They are used by middle
managers to help ensure smooth running of the organization on a short term
basis. It provides highly structured information that permits managers to examine
an organizations performance by assessing current with previous output. Some
examples of MIS include inventory control systems, sales management systems, budgeting
systems and management reporting systems. (Kenneth C., et al., 2009). This
system reports information related to cost and profitable and unprofitable
projects while identifying individual accountability on both current and the
past. MIS is useful in forecasting and long term planning. It creates a
structural database and knowledge base for all people in the organization.
Verizon cooperation for example uses a web based digital dashboard that relays
to manager’s accurate real time information about customers’ complaints and
network performances. Managers use this information to inform customers of the
repair work, assign repair resources then restore services promptly.

                                                 
Operational level

        This level directly deals with
employees. Manager here accomplish the objectives of tactical management.
(Sophie Johnson,2009) Operation decisions affects daily tasks and are usually
handled by lower level of management. Managers at this level are supposed to
identify what impact their decisions will have on them and other involved
parties like the customers. Departmental leaders at this level make decisions
on employee related issues such as promotions, overtime, hiring, training, pay
rate etc.  (Jeff Stein, 2006)

                                       Transactional processing system (TPS)

       It’s designed to process daily
transactions accurately. The transaction TPS systems that an organization might
have include, system to calculate the weekly tax and payroll, billing systems
for sending invoices to customers, stock control systems and purchasing
systems. Automated and semi-automated information is usually obtained by means
of tracking low level activities and operations which are very basic.

                                Integration of stand -alone information
systems

      This are systems that operate
independently and are not connected to any electric transmission or
distribution network. They do not require any other device to function. A fax
machine for example does not need a computer, printer or modem the way a
printer requires to be fed data from a computer. Printers in this case are not
stand alone as they depend on the computer for data to function. They can’t
function independently.  A standalone
business application is limited to a specific functional area, for example in
an accounting function, the application does not seamlessly integrate with
other functional areas. The best example of a stand -alone information system
is the Practice Management System that is used in hospitals. It deals with
daily routine affairs of the hospital like scheduling appointments for
patients, processing their billings, compiling their demographic information
and even maintaining a list of those who have been insured. This system ensures
that payables and receivables are well defined for purposes of cost
minimization. This system enhances productivity and this can be witnessed in
any organization that uses it. It is simple and user friendly in that it
permits the user to complete his work in a short duration of time. It also
allows flexibility in booking appointments due to the scheduling aspect that is
part of it. Since this system is easy to use, only few mistakes can be detected
when billing as it allows you to correct immediately which makes its usage
simple and straight forward.  Review
Criteria is a personal computer (PC) application program used in evaluating inpatient
admission appropriateness under state-specific guidelines, (Angell M, 1985). It’s
a frame-based expert system. In stand-alone operation, the user of Review
Criteria enters demographic and clinical information in text form. The expert
system uses menus to narrow the textual descriptions to a set of coded
descriptions of the patient diagnosis and treatment. Based on the treatment
plan, Review Criteria makes a recommendation about the appropriateness of
inpatient admission and returns codes representing the specific criteria met or
unmet that led to the decision. (Kuperman G.J, 1991). It is however very
important to select the best stand- alone practice management systems. The selected
system for example should be easier to use without requiring any computer
expertise. It should also be compatible with other software’s that you intend
to use and allow easy retrieval of information basing on your requirements.

           

                           Challenges to deployment of
information systems

            Information systems are powerful
tools that can help your organization to achieve so much and aid in meeting the
organizations goals. It makes you to have the ability to make valid decisions
and discover trends in the data your company generates. (T.D Wilson, 1989)
These systems however are not 100% dependable as they are also faced with a
variety of challenges which include among;

             Human challenges. This occurs when
there are challenges in the use of resources to engage in user education,
inability to employ experts who efficiently accomplish the information
technology capabilities and inability to recruit the qualified staff. (Petri
Aaltonen, 2002) These people lack the required skill needed to efficiently
utilize the information systems available.

Management
challenges. Aligning information strategy to a business strategy has proved to
be a challenge. Management is not able to identify the gap between where the
organization is and where it intends to go. A lot of persuasion has to be done
to convince managers to implement the suggested systems. (A Lederer and v Sethi,
2003).

           Environment
challenges. This involves factors which are less visible and naturally
uncontrollable. They include factors like organizations culture, behavior, and
even poor coordination and distribution of responsibilities. (Petri Aaltonen,
2002). Negative attitude of senior and middle level management towards the
deployment of information systems has also been a challenge.

 

           Technical challenges. This involves
factors to do with the hardware and software’s of the information systems. It
becomes a challenge since there is need for regular updating of software’s and
it’s also an expensive affair migrating from old to new systems.  (Ossai, E., & Degoke, 2014).

                                                    

                                                     
  Recommendations

         Management should involve employees in
strategies involving information technology implementation since they are the
ones that directly use the systems

         Management should also provide
internal training for technicians of information system who will be responsible
for managing them by making sure they perform the intended tasks and software’s
are always updated regularly to be up to date.

        Management should look for ways of
dealing with the organization culture by rewarding success in terms of those
who effectively use the system in their respective departments and achieve
their intended goals.

         Provide adequate information systems
to share and facilitate knowledge distribution among departments so that every
employee should have the chance to share views for purposes of reducing
miscommunication between various departments.

         Top management should implement suitable
business strategies with the use of information technologies that support the
organization and make the best use of its resources and as a result, reach its
goals.

                                                             Conclusion

           Information systems have proved to
be more helpful when utilized than when not used. The benefits of using them
outweighs the disadvantages. Organizations have been able to reap maximum
profits and attain their intended goals much easier while also setting a competitive
edge against potential competitors. Managing information has become easier as
large rooms to keep files are no longer required. An organization therefore
does not need to have a lot of resources in terms of buildings where files have
to be stored. Security of vital documents has also been safeguarded. Due to a
lot of hierarchy in most organizations, decision making used to be a very big
challenge since middle level managers always brushed shoulders with top
managers in terms of management decisions but with the implementation of
information systems like Decision support and executive support systems,
decision making has been simplified and made much easier. With the availability
of readily information about sales data, insights about what customers are
buying mostly and what quality of products they prefer is easily predicted
hence the organization only produces goods and products that conform to
customer requirements. This has helped to cut down costs related to wastages in
producing products that stay on the shelves long enough until they expire when
they have not been purchased. This has also made inventory management much
easier as only what is required is produced. Since customers want products and
services to be provided exactly when they need them, with the help of
information systems, customer intimacy has greatly been boosted. This is
because these information systems have offered one on one interaction between
every customer and the organization. Any customer who is not satisfied with the
organization can easily file a complaint and be addressed almost immediately. Managing
of this information systems however has proofed to be a challenge for many
organizations. Using them without having the knowledge of how you are supposed
to utilize them can bring more loses to your organization than the much
intended profits. The organization needs to be more aware of the issues
associated with the management reduce project failures instead of spending much
resources on operating systems.

 

                                                   
REFERENCES

   Alter. S (1980); Decision Support Systems; Reading MS; Addison-Wesley Goslar, M.; Green
  G.;
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  Isenberg,
Daniel “How managers think”,
Harvard Business Review, November–December 1984.  Laudon, Kenneth C.; Laudon, Jane P. (2009). Management Information Systems: Managing
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  Nag, R.; Hambrick, D. C.; Chen, M.-J (2007).
“What is strategic management, really? Inductive derivation of a consensus
definition of the field” (PDF). Strategic Management Journal. 28 (9):
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Peterson,
H (1982); Developing computer solutions for your business problems; Englewood,
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Petri
Aaltonen Heini Ikävalko, “Implementing
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– 418. 2002.

Porter,
Michael E. (1996). “What is Strategy?”. Harvard Business Review
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Tekworld;
Application Development, Business Intelligence, C#, Case Study, Consulting,
Data Management, Financial services, MS .Net, MS SQL Server

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