Information and computing systems

Introduction

As an information technology (IT) major, you will study the ways in which information and computing systems support business, research, and communication needs. IT is where technologies and concepts from both ends are integrated to build and administer an information infrastructuresystems, networks, applications, hardware, and software. As a result, IT majors develop a breadth of knowledge through introductory courses in a range of subjects. They then acquire in-depth understanding by concentrating elective courses on a particular area. Information Technology (IT) is a branch which has recently been derived from computer science. It simply refers to the use of computer and other technologies for the management of vast information. This branch develops technologies (software or hardware) for information management and also solves information management strategies by planning and studying the requirement scenario.

Technology is vital for competitive advantage, and is a major driver of globalization. As far as concerned, recently, there were a number of significant improvements in the technology's world. The more technology's development appeared; the higher dependent in human activities on the technology. Form each family to a national, form a small business as an off-license, a retailer to the enormous company as the co-operation enterprise, a wholesaler, all of them are now using an information systems as a living-tool and interested in every information about changing in its technology. It is no doubt about an importance of information systems in organisation operation. However, to understand more specifically about utilising and managing information systems to enhance business today in each level of management, the fully exploration will be introduced through this paper.

Information systems

Information system is a useful general term which used to describe about the way organisation manage their information successfully. Through this paper, a general idea about information system will be introduced as well as the appropriateness of information system's application in each level of management.

Information technology has been defined by the Information Technology Association of America, or the ITAA as being the study, design, development, implementation support and/or management of any computer based information systems. This relates particularly to software applications and computer hardware. Information technology deals with using electronic computers and software to convert, store, protect, process, retrieve with security or transmit any information. What began many years ago as a term that many had no awareness of to a term that has skyrocketed to include several aspects of computing and technology. IT is a wide based term and encompasses many areas. Professionals in information technology may perform a wide variety of tasks that range from installing computer applications to designing widely complex computer networks and information databases.

Everything from data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, software design, database design and management and administration of systems is included in the term of information technology. When covering the aspects of IT as a whole, the use of computers and information are typically associated.

The information technology utilization of in company information system can mature into competitative advantages, and IT reduced in efficiencies, and increase the production. The information technology provide to customers new and better services. While on the path to exploiting the advantage of IT, companies have encountered various obstacles which have delayed success or have even turned project into complete failures, such as budget overshoot, end user resistance, poor integration with existing system and processes, technical implementation problems, and future upgrade and maintenance issues. the important problems usually arise from poor management decision making and planning. The effective management and efficient utilization of IT can make their company distinguish between other competitors in the market. G, 2007).

Levels of Management

The term "Levels of Management' refers to a line of demarcation between various managerial positions in an organization. The number of levels in management increases when the size of the business and work force increases and vice versa. The level of management determines a chain of command, the amount of authority & status enjoyed by any managerial position. The levels of management can be classified in three broad categories: -

  1. Top level / Administrative level
  2. Middle level / Executory
  3. Low level / Supervisory / Operative / First-line managers

Top-level manager.

It consists of board of directors, chief executive or managing director. The top management is the ultimate source of authority and it manages goals and policies for an enterprise. It devotes more time on planning and coordinating functions. As referred to a highest level of manager in organisation, these information systems in this level will be used to serve a number of purposes which could support them in decision making proves as well as setting a direction for company in long term and short term.

Enterprise resource planning:
  1. Overview:
    • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) with the characteristic of flexibility and quick response is considered the excellent solution for business to access to information at the earliest possible time. This would help business serve customers better and enhance quality standards.
    • ERP is real-time monitoring of business functions, which authorize timely analysis of key issues:
      • Quality
      • Availability
      • Customer
      • satisfaction
      • Performance
      • Profitability
  2. Running organization using ERP system:
    • Develop demand forecast: to some extent similar to demand planning of supply chain management e-commerce
    • Deduct demand forecast from inventory:
    • Determine essentials for production: list of requirements for raw materials and packaging materials
    • Check inventory for raw materials:
    • Schedule production: using above data to regulate production schedules
    • Evaluate need for additional production resource:
    • Financial forecasting: prepare profit and loss statement to assess firm's prospective profitability (Stair R & Moisiadis F, 2008)
  3. Advantages and Disadvantages:
    • Advantages:
      • Elimination of costly, inflexible legacy systems
      • Improvement of work process
      • Increase in accessing to data
    • Disadvantages:
      • Expense and time in implementation
      • Difficulty integrating with other systems
      • Risk of using one vendor
      • Risk of implementation failure
  4. Leading vendors of ERP systems;
    • Oracle with Oracle Manufacturing software
    • SAP America with SAP R/3 software
    • PeopleSoft with PeopleSoft software
    • Ross Systems with iRenaissance software
    • QAD with MFG/Pro software
Middle manager

The branch managers and departmental managers constitute middle level. They are responsible to the top management for the functioning of their department. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. In small organization, there is only one layer of middle level of management but in big enterprises, there may be senior and junior middle level management. In this level of management, the information required to be supportive and effective decision-making is essential for every organization. Specifically, strategic planning set the course for decision-making, helping decision-makers to achieve their objectives. Information systems also assist with strategic planning and problem solving.

Management Information Systems (MIS):

The major role of MIS is to provide managers with insight into regular operations of the organizations. Hence, they can control, organize and plan more effectively and efficiently.

  • Inputs to a MIS: comprises both internal and external resources
    • TPS and ERP systems with related databases
    • Data warehouses and data marts
  • Outputs of a MIS: a collection of reports allocated to managers
    • Scheduled report: produced periodically
    • Key-indicator report: summary of critical activities
    • Exception report: produced automatically when unusual action happened
    • Demand report: giving certain information at someone's request
    • Drill-down report: supply increasingly detailed data about a situation
  • Recommended software for MIS:
    • Microsoft Access and SQL
    • Oracle (Stair R & Moisiadis F, 2008)
Decision Support Systems (DSS):

A DSS is an organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases, and devices used to support decision-making and problem solving.

  • Capabilities of a DSS:
    • Support for problem-solving phases
    • Support for different decision frequencies
    • Support for different problem structures
    • Support for various decision-making levels
Components of a DSS:
  • The Database
  • The Modelbase
  • The Dialogue Manager
Expert Systems:
  • Components of an Expert System:
    • The Knowledge Base and Inference Engine
    • The Explanation Facility
    • The Knowledge Acquisition Facility and User Interface
  • Applications of Expert System:
  • Credit granting & loan analysis: KPMG Peat Marwich uses an expert system called Loan Probe to review its reserve, decrease the risk of uncollectible loan

    Games: Proverb is an expert system designed to solve crossword puzzles (Stair R & Moisiadis F, 2008)

First line manager as operational manager:

Lower level is also known as supervisory / operative level of management. It consists of supervisors, foreman, section officers, superintendent etc. According toR.C. Davis, "Supervisory management refers to those executives whose work has to be largely with personal oversight and direction of operative employees. In other words, they are concerned with direction and controlling function of management. Information systems in this level are used to support operational managers by monitoring the day-to-day's elementary activities and transactions of the organization

Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) Computerized system that performs and records the daily routine transactions necessary to conduct the business; these systems serve the operational level of the organization
  • TYPE: Operational-level
  • INPUTS: transactions, events
  • PROCESSING: updating
  • OUTPUTS: detailed reports
  • USERS: operations personnel, supervisors
  • DECISION-MAKING: highly structured

Appropriateness for E-bay enterprise's information systems.

As far as concerning, the case of E-bay enter prise should be considered fully. A typical example of using information systems in this company is mention to E-commerce systems.

E-commerce is a new procedure of conducting business that is any business transaction executed electronically between parties such as:

  • Companies and consumers
  • Consumers and other consumers. (HighPosition, 2008)

With new application of technology, E-Commerce has transformed many areas of lives and careers. One of the most fundamental adjustments E-commerce brings to is the method in which companies interact with their vendors, customers and other business partners.

Business-to-consumer: (B2C)
  • It is the business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce that customers can straightaway with an organization instead of transacting through intermediaries between firms and the end consumer as the conventional way. (HighPosition, 2008)
  • For instance customers can interact directly with technology equipment supplier such as Apple or Sony only by accessing to online store on the Internet and obtain appropriate goods or services with the real prices. Although there are still risks about security, i.e. credit card numbers stealing when shopping online, B2C is gaining board acceptance due to an increasing number of online shoppers lately(HighPosition, 2008)
Business-to-business: (B2B)
  • Other type of e-commerce is business-to-business e-commerce, in which the participants are businesses.
  • This would bring larger opportunities for organizations from purchasing at low cost worldwide or providing enterprises the chances to operate and expand their market globally. (Stair R & Moisiadis F, 2008)
  • A typical example of B2B is Alibaba website - the world largest online JB2B marketplace. Through this, supermarket system such as Aldi can negotiate with its vendors to minimize cost.
  • In addition, this type of e-commerce offers great possibilities for developing countries to participate in worldwide marketplace therefore; assist to lessen the gap between rich and poor nations.
Consumer-to~consumer: (C2C)
  • One of important e-commerce types is consumer-to-consumer (C2C) that is the marketplace in which contributors are individuals, with one serving as the buyer and the other as the seller.
  • This manner of conducting business is getting more and more popular, often carried out through web auction sites such as EBay. In fact, emerge of such an auction website as EBay enables individual to make their own business through selling personal items.
  • More important, the growth of C2C e-commerce is accountable for reducing the use of classified pages of newspaper to advertise and do personal business. (HighPosition, 2008)

Conclusion

Overall, some basic models of information systems have been introduced briefly. Hence, a general idea bout importance of information systems should be achieved. Moreover, the benefit of utilising information systems successfully is clear so that it is strongly recommended that each level management should achieved at least a basic task of managing its information in order to lead an organisation to success.

Recommendation.

Organisation should not underestimate a role of information systems as mentioned.

E-bay should improve its hardware as software as soon as possible in order to providing a higher service's quality. Utilising well information systems will enhance E-bay operation profitably.

References

  • HighPosition (2008), E-commerce systems and Natural Search [Online] Available at: http://www.highposition.net/search-friendly-ecommerce-systems/ [Accessed on18th October 2008]
  • Stair R & Keynolds G (2007), Principle of Information Systems^ 8th edn, Thomson, Berkshire, p345.
  • Stair R & Moisiadis F (2008), Principle of information Systems, 7th edn, Thomson course Technology, pp304-340.

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