Purpose of Information Systems
Information Systems (IS) are to help you and your company to find new strategies in order to gain competitive advantage in your industry. One way to do this is through adapting IS in your business. IS helps the organization to use its data, reduce workload and assist compliance with mandatory regulations.
3 Roles for IS
Information Storage and Analysis
Companies now use more advanced databases that contain all types of data about what they do. IS can store, update and analyze the information. From all the information that the agency has, they can figure out new solutions to both current and future problems. Information can also be integrated from different sources both in and outside of your company. This allows you to keep the company up to date with both internal performances and external opportunities or threats.
Assist with Making Decisions
Information Systems are all about helping you to make strategic plans for your business. The management team uses the information gathered to create plans and decisions for longevity and making more money. You use IS to measure and test all the information gathered from all sources. The analysis and comparison of market trends helps you to decide if your strategic decisions made are both adequate and are good quality.
Assist with Business Processes
IS helps businesses to create more value based systems for your company. Information Systems are integrated anywhere to measure out where tasks will make that department run better and for less money. Or it can make sure that everyone follows whatever regulations each department needs to follow to stay in compliance with government laws. It both simplifies business processes and gets rid of unneeded activities. They also add controls to employee processes. This in turn makes sure that only the ones who need to know have access to certain tasks. IS gets rid of repetitive tasks, increases accuracy and leads to better project planning and implementation.
Implementing new systems costs a lot of money. It includes not just the installation but also employee training sessions. Some employees might even resist the changes being brought on. This in turn can hinder your operations and employee turnover could increase. Just make sure to have strong leadership in place when doing this. It will help guide employees and managers through the transition while weighing cost against benefits to see if you would really like to do this.
I just love learning how things began. It’s so interesting to see how computers came to being, isn’t it? Hard to believe that in the early 1600’s the word computer was first used.
Even though there’s proof of the ancient Greeks having a form of computer which is awesome. It’s fun to see how far technology has progressed. Computer technology will always change. It’s the nature of the beast. What are you going to do to keep up to date with all the updates?
Smart cities are becoming more and more popular now. By 2050 they will be so popular that more people will live in them than out of them. I find them extremely interesting about how they can help society.
Think of how they help the environment, populated areas, and traffic. They will be instrumental in the future to creating new technologies for solar power, finding new water sources, and pollution control. Exciting times are coming. I can’t wait to see what it brings us.
Big Data. What is It?
Businesses get almost an overflow of big data every day. It’s information gathered through structured and unstructured means. Companies can use the results to make better decisions and plan strategic moves.
3 V’s of Big Data
- Volume – Information comes from many sources. Everything including business transactions to social media to machine-to-machine data.
- Velocity – Data comes in a super fast speed. So your business has to handle the speed in near-real time to act quickly.
- Variety – It comes in various formats. Anything from structured, numeric results to unstructured documents like email, video, or audio files to name a few.
Big Data is growing every day worldwide. It offers huge amounts of help to businesses that use it, but even with all the evidence, most companies are still not using it to its full potential. There’s nothing to do with how much data you have, but everything to do with what you want to do with it. Big Data can help with cost and time reductions, new product development, and smart decision-making. Combining big data with analytics can help you with tasks like finding root causes of failures in near-real time, make coupons based on customer’s buying habits, recalculate risk portfolios and sensing out fraudulent behavior before it can affect you and your company.
Who Uses Big Data
Industries carry out Big Data findings when they decide to use them. Banks use it to better understand their customers and lower risk and fraud. Education uses it to find at-risk students, make sure that students are making progress and create better systems evaluating teachers and principals. Retail uses it to market better to customers, better handle transactions, and revive struggling businesses.
Make sure to research companies that can handle your data for you. Look for cheap and huge amounts of storage, quick processors and affordable open source, distributed platforms. Look for parallel processing, large grid environments, high connectivity and virtualization. Also look for cloud computing capabilities for resource allocation arrangements.
Do your research. Don’t rush into choosing a company as you want to stay with them for years, not months. Big Data is a huge help for your company. Just make sure that you can get access to it quickly and easily, while having good security options in place to make sure others cannot.
Strategic Information Systems
Strategic information systems (SIS) are used to support and shape business competitive advantages. SIS is defined by its way to be able to change how business is conducted. It is not classified by structure, functionality of areas, or support systems. Anything that is used to change goals or processes of companies add competitive advantage, therefore becoming strategic information systems.
The competitive strategy is how the company is going to compete in the future. What the goals will be, and new plans and/or policies needed to implement everything. The advantage is being able to measure cost, quality and speed over competition. SIS assists businesses gain the advantage through adding to strategic goals of organizations. It is also measured through the increase in performance and productivity, therefore making them more powerful than the competition.
The digital economy is affected all the time as changes in technology occur. This causes change in business models in order to keep up. The core business isn’t changed to keep up with the digital economy even though it feels like it has. For the most part, businesses use the tools offered by the Internet, but nothing else. There are two questions to ask here…
Where does my competitive advantage come from in my business and industry?
How can information technology and the Internet help?
How is SIS Looked at Now?
Most companies consider SIS more of an outwardly focused tool. It aims at increasing direct competition and is visible to all. Now it is more used internally. It focuses on employees’ productivity, smoothing business processes, and helping to make strategic decisions and isn’t visible to all.
Role of IT in Strategic Management
- Innovative Applications
- Competitive Weapons
- Changes in Processes
- Links with Business Partners
- Cost Reductions
- Relationships with Suppliers and Customers
- New Products
- Competitive Intelligence
How To Use The Internet As a Tool
The Internet is the most important tool in competitive intelligence. It is so easy to look up information on the competition. The information that is gathered then can be analyzed further by what is called intelligent agents and data mining. Both deal with software products to help them do their job. Here are some ways to do research on the competition:
- Review Competitor’s Web Sites
- Analyze Related Electronic Discussion Groups
- Examine Publicly Held Financial Documents
- Market Research on Your Own Web Site
- Use Information Delivery Services like My Yahoo
- Use Corporate Research Companies
There are numerous other ways to gain competitive advantages over your competitors. The key is to gain and maintain a sustainable strategic advantage that can be held for years to come. It is suggested that people, technology and shared risk and responsibility will help keep the advantage now. It is so difficult to otherwise as there is so much innovation occurring now.
Define Information Systems
What exactly is an Information System (IS)? Let’s look at the definition here…an information systems focus on networks of hardware, software that people and organizations use daily to handle their data and information. These components are used in order to gather, analyze, store and disseminate information. The information in turn helps to support strategic decisions being made for the agency.
As for a competitive advantage, it can go either way. It seems that there’s an ongoing debate as to how much of an advantage IS gives, if at all. But as an example, Walmart has used it to a great advantage. One key to success for them was implementing a brand new supply-chain management system. It’s unique for them only to where suppliers can go in and review how well their products are selling at Walmart, in any of their stores at any location. Suppliers can petition them if they feel products are being sold to quickly so inventory levels can be increased for their products. It’s pretty interesting how it all works…so Walmart can drive prices down and respond to the market more quickly due to this new management system.
The Main Goal
The main goal of IS is to be able to change data into information that can be used in strategic decision making. Databases are what is considered collections of related information. Examples of this are MySQL and Microsoft Access, where data is inputted and organized into records as one example. A database has to be created in order for an IS to be built that will work correctly. The question is, where can big data be collected, sorted out and put into reports?
Competitive advantage is when said company can sustain profits over average for the industry they’re in. Differentiation comes to play also. The key is to learn how to use information systems to build competitive advantage. This is where SISP comes to play. The information system has to try to do one or more of the following:
- Deliver products or services at lower cost
- Deliver products/services differentiated from others
- Assist companies to focus on specific markets
- Allows for innovation
Examples of IS falling into this category are:
- Electric Data Interchange – Integrate supply chain electronically
- Collaborative Systems – Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint, or Cisco WebEx
- Decision Support Systems – Helps companies to make strategic decisions
It has been shown through studies that information technology (IT) has assisted in increasing differences between companies instead of reducing them. Technology has sped up and heightened the amounts of differences. It also helps with increasing good management abilities in organizations. Through figuring out the right types of innovations to include with the upgrades, it can greatly increase competitive advantage in their industry.
Questions to Answer
What the company in question has to answer before upgrading anything though is, what exactly has to be changed in order to allow for competitive advantages? Is it the hardware that needs to be upgraded? CPU’s hard drives, devices? Or does the software have to be upgraded? Which new programs need to be implemented and to which department? What languages do the programs need to be written in? What kind of databases will be used? Are they going to create all new programs tailored specifically for them and maybe suppliers like Walmart did? These are just some of the questions that have to be answered before they begin anything, or there will be a mess of confusion at some point.