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Managing Information Systems

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The aim of this assignment is to see the requirements for developing and managing a comprehensive Management Information system for an organisation.

In today's business environment it is getting harder and harder for organisation's to not only survive but to compete against other organisation's. Information technology plays a big part in helping companies compete and survive. Companies that have branches or franchises need to make sure that they can communicate with the head office so that orders can be passed down. Most of a mangers time is spent

1 Passing information and ideas upwards to senior management to aid their decision making

2 Providing other department managers with information which will help them do their jobs more effectively

3 Passing information down wards to subordinates

4 Conveying attitudes or creating them

5 Receiving and interpreting facts and data

6 Communicating with people out sides the company e.g. suppliers.

The manager needs resources to aid him with the task mentioned above.

Management information systems and decision support systems are two such resources.

Computers and information systems play critical roles in the operation of most organisations. All organisations, from factories to banks, are highly dependent on information for their day-to-day operations. The vast quantity of information that large corporations and government agencies need to operate, and the speed with which that information is created and used, makes computer-based information systems critical to such operations.

What is a Management Information System?

There are different definitions of a management information system:

"Management Information system products produce information products that support many of the day-to-day decisions Ð'-making needs of management. Reports, displays, and responses produced by such systems provide information that managers have specified in advance as adequately meeting their information needs." Taken from Management Information Systems Third edition by James A. O'Brien PG 370

"Management information system can be defined as a network of computer based processing procedures that are integrated with manual and other procedures to provide timely, effective information to support managerial planning and control" Taken from Computers and Information Systems by O'leary/Williams second edition pg 435.

"Management information systems at the management level of an organisation that serve the functions of planning, controlling, and decision making by providing routine summary and exception reports" Taken from Management Information Systems 4th edition by Laudon, and Laudon

"Management information system is Interrelated components working together to collect, process, store and disseminate information to support decision making co-ordination, control, analysis and visualisation in an organisation" Taken from Laudon and Laudon, 1999, Ð''Essentials of Management Information Systems', 3rd edition, Prentice Hall.

From the above definition of a management information system the following overall conclusion can be reached:

A management information system is a collection of people, tasks, systems, software, and technology used to provide routine pre defined information that is available to all members of the organisation that need to have access to it. Management information systems provide a variety of reports and displays to management. Management information systems (MIS) retrieve internal information about an organisation, and share to those who require it.

What are the uses of a management information system? :

"Strategic-level systems help senior managers plan the firms long term course of action.

Ð'* "Strategic-level systems help senior managers plan the firms long term course of action.

Ð'* Tactical systems help the middle managers supervise and coordinate day-to-day business activities.

Ð'* Knowledge and data workers use knowledge systems to design products, streamline services, and to cope with paperwork,

Ð'* Operational systems deal with day to day production and service activities."

Taken from' Information Systems a Problem Solving Approach' Laudon and Laudon 1997

Taken from

What are the advantages of management Information System?

Regular reports help managers perform their duties for example a summary report of sales figures of a particular period in the year would allow managers to predict sales figures for the coming year and plan ahead. This would not only help the manager of the store but it would also allow the person in charge of purchasing stock, distribution, transportation, and finance to plan ahead of time as well. The head of stock would have an idea of how much raw materials to buy, distribution manager would have an idea of where to send it to the parts of the organisation which are most likely to utilise it the most.

Characteristics of Management Information System

1. Management Information Systems support structured and semi-structured decisions at the operational and management control levels.

2. They are generally reporting and control oriented. They are resigned to report on existing operations and there fore provide day-to0day control operations.

3. The systems also rely on existing corporate data and data flows.

4. However Management Information Systems have little analytical capability

5. On the other hand they generally aid in decision making using past and present data

6. Management Information Systems are relatively inflexible

7. The systems posses an internal rather than external orientation

8. Information requirements



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