Reasons Information Management is Likened/Linked to a System

REASONS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IS LIKENED/LINKED TO A SYSTEM

Abstract: While management information systems can be used by any and every level of management, the decision of which systems to implement generally falls upon the chief information officers (CIO) and chief technology officers (CTO). These officers are generally responsible for the overall information/technological strategy of an organization including evaluating how new information/technology can help their system. They act as decision makers in the implementation process of new MIS. Once decisions have been made, IT directors, including MIS directors, are in charge of the technical implementation of the system. They are also in charge of implementing the policies affecting the MIS (either new specific policies passed down by the CIOs or CTOs or policies that align the new systems with the organizations overall IT policy). It is also their role to ensure the availability of data and network services as well as the security of the data involved by coordinating IT activities.

Upon implementation, the assigned users will have the appropriate access to relevant information. It is important to note that not everyone inputting data into MIS need necessarily be management level. It is common practice to have inputs to MIS be inputted by non-managerial employees though they rarely have access to the reports and decision support platforms offered by these systems. This term paper therefore, examined the reasons why information management is likened/linked to a system.

Introduction

Today, data is one of the most important assets to any organization and managing information is extremely crucial to the success of the system/organization. So, management of information is important, just like that for supporting technology and processes. The information in an organization consists of data in various formats, and also includes the data from email and social media. Also, information is key for organizations to stay on trend and get ahead of the competition. Insights gained from the data are extremely useful in the formulation of important decisions that drive the growth of the business.

Here are a few key benefits:

  • Greater ROI on the information resources implemented.
  • Easy exchange of information made possible.
  • Well-integrated information systems that support the business operations.
  • Discovering what’s hidden in the data becomes easier.
  • Adherence to the standards that define management of information.
  • Availability of real time insights for forecasting, planning, and evaluation.

In today’s Information Age, it’s important that your enterprise understands how to manage all of your business-related content in an effective, compliant manner. After all, according to an AIIM report, “poor content management practices [can] result in taking too long to find content (62%), duplicated efforts (52%) and insufficient re-use (46%).” Your organization’s records manager is likely responsible for working with the IT department to ensure that all of your data and records are stored in such a way that your information is protected, while still being easily accessible to authorized individuals. If your enterprise loses its records manager, you may find that the remaining members of your team are unaware of the specific policies and procedures that are currently in place, or how to enforce them moving forward. Overall, it’s crucial that your entire organization understands the importance of information management.

What is information management?

Information Management is about ensuring that information is available to the right person, in the right format at the right time. This can be a complicated process. It involves a range of domains such as information governance, information asset management, information security, records management and information access and use management.

Clearly, Information Management is about managing information, but that isn’t the end of the story. We don’t manage information simply for the sake of it – all government information is managed for a purpose and that purpose is to make every bit of data and information count towards a business outcome.

What is system?

A system is a group of interrelated components working together towards a common goal, by accepting inputs and producing outputs in an organized transformation process. The interrelated components which are systematically arranged to form a system are called subsystems. In simple words, system is a set of elements which operate together to accomplish an objective. Systems may be physical, like the sun and its planets; biological like the human body; technological, like an oil refinery; and socio-economic, like a business organization. System concepts underlie the field of information systems.

Also, system can be defined as a group of interrelated or interacting elements forming a unified whole. It may be either physical or abstract. An abstract system is an orderly arrangement of interdependent ideas or contracts. But a physical system is defined as a set of elements which operate together to accomplish a goal; it is made up of objects such as land, building, machines, people and other tangible things. A system can also be understood as an organized or complex whole, an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole.

Brief History of Management Information System

The history of information management can be traced back to the industrial exhibition of Paris in 1801. There, Joseph Marie Charles Jacquard introduced the world to punch cards. These cards, which were similar to the computer punch cards used through much of the 20th century, were used in weaving looms to make intricate patterns in cloth.

In the past, MIS was often a system that ran independently of other company systems. At one time, it would be found almost exclusively on mainframe computers and the information it processed was used exclusively by management. Today, MIS is often used interchangeably with information systems (IS) as well as information technology (IT).

Kenneth and Jane Laudon identify five eras of Management Information System evolution corresponding to the five phases in the development of computing technology: 1) mainframe and minicomputer computing, 2) personal computers, 3) client/server networks, 4) enterprise computing, and 5) cloud computing.

The first era (mainframe and minicomputer) was ruled by IBM and their mainframe computers; these computers would often take up whole rooms and require teams to run them — IBM supplied the hardware and the software. As technology advanced, these computers were able to handle greater capacities and therefore reduce their cost. Smaller, more affordable minicomputers allowed larger businesses to run their own computing centers in-house.

The second era (personal computer) began in 1965 as microprocessors started to compete with mainframes and minicomputers and accelerated the process of decentralizing computing power from large data centers to smaller offices. In the late 1970s minicomputer technology gave way to personal computers and relatively low cost computers were becoming mass market commodities, allowing businesses to provide their employees access to computing power that ten years before would have cost tens of thousands of dollars. This proliferation of computers created a ready market for interconnecting networks and the popularization of the Internet.

As technological complexity increased and costs decreased, the need to share information within an enterprise also grew—giving rise to the third era (client/server), in which computers on a common network access shared information on a server. This lets thousands and even millions of people access data simultaneously. The fourth era(enterprise) enabled by high speed networks, tied all aspects of the business enterprise together offering rich information access encompassing the complete management structure.Every computer is utilized.

The fifth era (cloud computing) is the latest and employs networking technology to deliver applications as well as data storage independent of the configuration, location or nature of the hardware. This, along with high speed cellphone and wifi networks, has led to new levels of mobility in which managers may access the MIS remotely with laptop, tablet computers and smartphones.

TYPES OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

Management Reporting System

A management reporting system is a database designed to report on the finances and operations of all levels of management in an organization. A company’s management reporting system is commonly used by middle managers to generate regular reports comparing current and past financial performance to determine financial growth and to track how the middle managers themselves are performing. Upper management uses the data generated by the reporting system to compare the company’s current financial position and its efficiency of operations against its predetermined goals for the company.

Process Control

A process control system monitors a business’s physical or industrial processes such as metal fabrication, petroleum processing or automobile assembly. The control system is constantly collecting data and is programmed to generate regular reports on system performance. A manager looks to the process control reports to tell how often, over the course of a set period of time, a particular event occurs during the production process, or how often over that period of time the company deviated from a repetitive production process. This information is key to tracking the overall efficiency of production and the safety of machinery and employees.

Sales and Marketing

A sales and marketing system supports management in executing and tracking the effectiveness of the organization’s sales and marketing functions. These include:

  • developing products
  • forecasting sales
  • compiling and tracking the advertising outlets and schedules
  • managing distribution channels
  • pricing, discounts and promotions
  • implementing effective advertising and sales promotions

Reports also tell managers which items are selling and which aren’t and how well each individual product in the company’s inventory is selling at each retail location.

Inventory Control

The inventory control system tracks everything having to do with inventory, including sales, spoilage, theft, and inventory on hand, which allows management to determine when individual items are getting low and need restocking, either in the company’s warehouse or in any of its individual retail locations. It tracks movement of inventory into the warehouse, from warehouse to store, store sales and returns.

Accounting and Finance

An accounting and finance system tracks an organization’s assets and investments and compiles all data for financial reporting required by law for such functions as payroll, federal, state, and local taxes and pension funds. This system provides all the reports necessary for periodic financial audits and annual reports if the organization or institution produces them. The accounting and finance system also facilitates the daily posting of routine transactions such as sales income, returns and bank deposits and transfers. All monthly financial statements, such as the balance sheet and the profit and loss statement, are generated from this system. These statements are necessary for middle and upper managers to track current financial success against past performance and against predetermined goals for future growth.

Human Resources

A human resources information management system supports the daily management and tracking of employees and recruiting. These systems track some financial elements of human resources that overlap the accounting and finance system such as payroll, benefits and retirement, but the human resource system is much more than that. It can streamline communication between employees and HR by providing an electronic hub for HR policies, legal compliance notices and mandatory training events. It can automate employee timekeeping, track work attendance, calculate available and used leave and let employees request vacation or sick leave, all without a manager’s physical involvement. The recruiting function is also automated through the human resources management system through resume collection and analysis for identifying qualified potential hires.

Office Automation/Enterprise Collaboration

An office automation, or enterprise collaboration, information management system enables managers to control the flow of information throughout the organization. Any electronic communication device or medium used in the organization by managers to communicate with other managers, with their employees, or for employees to communicate with each other falls under the umbrella of the office automation information system. These devices and media can include land-line phones, cell phones, Internet, Intranet, multimedia, voice mail and email, file sharing and video conferencing.

Reasons Information Management is Likened/Linked to a System

There are different types of information systems and each has a different role. Business intelligence (BI) systems, for instance, can turn data into valuable insights. This kind of technology allows for faster, more accurate reporting, better business decisions and more efficient resource allocation. Another major benefit is data visualization, which enables analysts to interpret large amounts of information, predict future events and find patterns in historical data.

Information management is about ensuring that information is available to the right person, in the right format at the right time. This can be a complicated process. It involves a range of domains such as information governance, information asset management, information security, records management and information access and use management.

Clearly, information management is about managing information, but that isn’t the end of the story. We don’t manage information simply for the sake of it – all government information is managed for a purpose and that purpose is to make every bit of data and information count towards a business outcome. To do this, information management brings together a range of resources including data, information, technology, information systems, business processes and, perhaps most importantly people.

Organizations can also use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to collect, manage and analyze data across different areas, from manufacturing to finance and accounting. This type of information system consists of multiple applications that provide a 360-degree view of business operations. NetSuite ERP, PeopleSoft, Odoo and Intacct are just a few examples of ERP software.

Like other information systems, ERP provides actionable insights and helps you decide on the next steps. It also makes it easier to achieve regulatory compliance, increase data security and share information between departments. Additionally, it helps to ensure that all of your financial records are accurate and up-to-date.

In the long run, ERP software can reduce operational costs, improve collaboration and boost your revenue. Nearly half of the companies that implement this system report major benefits within six months.

A management information system provides the data to identify non-performing areas and leads to the following benefits:

  • Helps to achieve a higher level of efficiency: Managers have the information needed to identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Improves the quality of decisions: Better availability of information reduces uncertainty and lets managers make more rational decisions based on reliable data.
  • Promotes better communications between departments in a workplace: When managers, department heads and employees are sharing the same information, there is better communication between them to identify problem areas and find mutually agreeable solutions.
  • Provides a platform to explore different scenarios for various alternatives and economic environments: Management is able to explore various alternatives to see the possible results before making decisions and commitments.
  • Improves employee productivity: Employees are more productive because they don’t have to spend time gathering the data that management wants. A well-designed MIS will gather all the data without any more input from employees.
  • Strengthens a company’s competitive advantage: Running a more efficient business by reducing and eliminating weaknesses and non-performing areas increases a company’s competitive advantage over its rivals.
  • Reveals more data about customers: With more data about the needs of customers, management is better able to improve customer service and design more effective marketing and promotional campaigns.
  • It Facilitates planning: MIS improves the quality of plants by providing relevant information for sound decision – making. Due to increase in the size and complexity of organizations, managers have lost personal contact with the scene of operations.
  • It Minimizes information overload: MIS change the larger amount of data in to summarized form and there by avoids the confusion which may arise when managers are flooded with detailed facts.
  • MIS Encourages Decentralization: Decentralization of authority is possibly when there is a system for monitoring operations at lower levels. MIS is successfully used for measuring performance and making necessary change in the organizational plans and procedures.
  • It brings Co ordination: MIS facilities integration of specialized activities by keeping each department aware of the problem and requirements of other departments. It connects all decision centers in the organization.
  • It makes control easier: MIS serves as a link between managerial planning and control. It improves the ability of management to evaluate and improve performance . The used computers has increased the data processing and storage capabilities and reduced the cost.

At the end of the day, information systems can give you a competitive advantage and provide the data you need to make faster, smarter business decisions. Depending on your needs, you can opt for transaction processing systems, knowledge management systems, decision support systems and more. When choosing one, consider your budget, industry and business size. Look for an information system that aligns with your goals and can streamline your day-to-day operations.

Summary

Management information systems give business owners the ability to collect, process and interpret data. Data sets can include nearly all aspects of business operations, including sales revenues, production costs and employee output. Information systems Management employ information technology to collect and communicate all the information a company or institution uses to operate. Each department or function of an organization produces its own operational and financial data and as a result has its own information system to keep track of it all. There are as many types of management information systems as there are departments or functions in an organization, but there are a few specific systems that almost every organization or institution needs for the whole entity to operate smoothly.

References

Gerald H. (2008).Management-Hub.com: Various Advantages of Information Management Systems Texas A&M University.

James, W. (2007).  Fundamentals of Information Systems Cengage Learning: Principles of Information Systems Inc.: Management Information Systems (MIS). KOC University:

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