Information System is an integrated set of components for the collecting, storing, processing and communication of information. In today's modern business world many organizations, firms and individuals rely on information systems to manage their personal and business operations. Examples of these operations in today's world are reliable to computerized information which is used to process financial accounts and to manage human resources, also highly reliable to individuals for the purpose of study, business, investment and much more...
Herman Hollerith is the forefather to the development of computerized information system. The UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer) was one of the first computers used for information processing in the 1951 by the US for administrative use and 1954 for commercial use. The 1970s personal computers were introduced and brought advantages to small businesses and individuals which quickly contributed to the invention of the World Wide Web. This quickly brought about a computer network system which gave birth to digital human communications as we know as email and electronic conferences, purchasing of goods, the buying and selling on the web.
Information Systems has enabled a profound influence over society which has quickened the pace of daily activities, has changed life. Information and its powerful knowledge have become the world's major economic resources with such opportunities Information System have exposed new threats.
Information Systems main components are computer hardware which are micro computers and super computers which are used form household to corporate users. Software which is known as the Operating System and Application Software which works hand in hand with hardware.
Databases aid individuals with the organization of records, telecommunications that is used to connect or network computer systems. Information can be transmitted via a network infrastructure known as LAN, WAN, MAN, CAN1 etc. The Internet is a network of networks, connecting millions of computers located on every continent. Through networking personal computer users gain access to information resources, such as large databases to human resources who share their professional or private interests.
The human resources and procedures are the people who are major components whom must be qualified in the operating and maintaining of an Information System. Such technical personnel's include operations, development managers, systems analysts and computer programmers.
Information systems are divided in three layers: support operations, knowledge work, and management in organizations. See (Appendix 1) the overall structure of organizational information systems1.
The impacts of Information Systems in the organization have significantly lower the cost of communication among workers and firms thus enhancing organizations. This has aid organization to communicate efficiently which has led to fewer hierarchical layers in the organizational structure. Thanks to information System the core of such organizations can be nothing more than a single entrepreneur supported by fewer employees which allows organizations to facilitate interaction of widely dispersed business units.
The Information System has been a major factor in the economy and society. This has lead to the growth of international business and corporations. This has lead organizations to invest in other information systems and allowing a number of growing organizations to embrace electronic commerce via the internet. The use of such information system has become so persistent in the economies and societies at large that has several ethical and social issues such as individual privacy which involves the right to control personal information this is generally perceived as an undesirable loss of independence, government and business organizations, property rights information accuracy and much more 2.
Which comes down to how Information System can be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization?
When looking at the 21st century and the incident of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. We see clearly with this incident the misuse of information and its consequences at the end result. The Attorney General therefore ordered a major refocus and restructuring of their Department. Their main actions taken to improve were: Information Sharing where agencies are to fully and freely share existing information or information being gathered under the USA Patriot Act 2001were pertaining to terrorist activities and treats.
Information Analysis- all agencies must assess and improve their intelligence study wherever possible, improving Coordination to prevent terrorism. The Attorney General and Strategic Management Council of the Justice system developed ten goals to strengthen their ability to deal with terrorism which are followed according to the Justice Department Refocuses Efforts3.
In order to utilize information system effectively, the organization hierarchical needs to consider three imperative areas of information system. That is organization, management, and technology. An information system creates value for the firm as an organizational and management solution with the help of the technology posed by today's unstable business environment.
In present organizations Knowledge Management and Networked Environments are being overlooked to discuss a wide range of Knowledge Management issues in the organization. These issues are on educating employees on customer, the promise of e-commerce to customer knowledge and linking them to the pursuit of innovation. By putting knowledge networks into play to improve the quality of information and building towards developing collective intelligence.
The involvement of the general management in Information Systems is efficient and effective factor to business success. Wal-Mart at present is a business testimony of using Information System to improve their service, quality and speed and productivity. Wal-Mart was able to develop and reconstruct their inventory management department by giving suppliers access to its inventory system. Suppliers are able to monitor the database automatically send shipment when inventory items are low, thus eliminating the need for purchase orders which speeds delivery time, lowers Wal-Mart's inventory carrying costs and stockout costs.
General Managers must become competent in information systems. Therefore they must allow themselves to develop on their ability to think inductively and the ability recognize how powerful Information System is to any organization. By recognizing the strength of this system business are able to direct and support business strategies globally. Support products globally which develops the center of competencies to the business, creating easy and flexible manufacturing operations, the sharing of company resources. This in return reduces risk associated with currency conversions allowing investors to trade on the global market 24/7. This system clearly enables global expansion and organization needs to conform to this application.
Information System enables change in the organization structure and with it implemented in the organization information can be made readily available. Information System contributes significantly to organization effectiveness by providing supported decisions at every managerial level through the development of the executive information systems, the overall assessment for support systems, for individuals and groups. The information system contributes to the efficiency of the organization by lowering internal cost through computerized information, task support and communication support.
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- Hayek, F. A. "The Use of Knowledge in Society." American Economic Review, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1945.
- Information System Structure: 2009 Encyclopdia Britannica [Online]. 13 Dec. 2009 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-art/287895/55237/Structure-of-organizational-information-systems-Information-systems-consist-of-three
- Lynda M. Applegate, F. Warren McFarlan, and James L. McKenney,. (1999).Corporate Information Systems Management: Text and Cases, 5th edition (1999),
- Justice Department Refocuses Efforts: 10 Goals to Strengthen their ability to deal with terrorism [Online]: http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa110801a.html [cited] 13 November 2009.