Intelligent Information Systems: Meeting the Challenge of the Knowledge Era

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Intelligent Information Systems: Meeting the Challenge of the Knowledge Era

MIS is a hierarchical subset of information systems. MIS are more organization-focused narrowing in on leveraging information technology to increase business value. Computer science is more software-focused dealing with the applications that may be used in MIS. 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 technology strategy of an organization including evaluating how new technology can help their organization. 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.

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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.

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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. The following are types of information systems used to create reports, extract data, and assist in the decision making processes of middle and operational level managers.

The following are some of the benefits that can be attained using MIS: [9]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Business intelligence Business performance management Business rule Corporate governance of information technology Data mining Predictive analytics Purchase order request Enterprise architecture Enterprise information system Enterprise planning system Management by objectives Online analytical processing Online office suite Real-time marketing.

Information Systems for Business and Beyond. What level of shortfall do you suggest? A cynic might contend that the people in these situations were taking advantage of or abusing the systems. My point is that much of the benefit of many of the decision support systems in my sample was of this sort. Decision support systems also help managers negotiate across organizational units by standardizing the mechanics of the process and by providing a common conceptual basis for decision making.

During my survey, managers frequently commented that consistent definitions and formats are important aids to communication, especially between people in different organizational units such as divisions or departments. In a number of instances, the development of these definitions and formats was a lengthy and sometimes arduous task that was accomplished gradually over the course of several years, but which was also considered one of the main contributions of the systems.

Meeting the Challenge of the Knowledge Era

For example, one of the purposes of some of the model-oriented systems in my sample was to estimate beforehand the overall result of decisions various people were considering separately, by filtering these decisions through a single model. In these cases, the system became an implicit arbiter between differing goals of various departments. As a result, issues were clarified and the negotiation process expedited.

The production foremen I mentioned earlier noted the same kind of facilitation. Monetary savings are obviously a very important and worthwhile rationale for developing computer systems, but it should be clear at this point that the EDP-style assumption that systems should always be justified in these terms does not suffice in the area of decision support systems. Equally obvious, there is a definite danger in developing a system simply because someone thinks it makes sense, especially if that someone is not the direct user of the system.

In fact, the systems I cited as my first, second, and fifth examples began this way and encountered resistance until they were repositioned as something that users would want in order to become more effective. This sort of overoptimism was present in the history of almost every unsuccessful system in the sample. The message is clear: try to take advantage of the creativity of technical experts, but be sure that it is channeled toward real problems.

The challenge, of course, is how to accomplish both of these goals. There are a number of ways, which I shall now discuss. Despite the common wisdom that the needs of users must be considered in developing systems and that users should participate actively in implementing them, the users did not initiate 31 of the 56 systems I studied and did not participate actively in the development of 38 of the The results, illustrated in Exhibit II, are not surprising.

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  4. Intended users neither initiated nor played an active role in implementing 11 of the 15 systems that suffered significant implementation problems. But it would be wrong to infer from these findings that systems should be avoided totally, if intended users neither initiate them nor play an active role in their implementation. For one thing, 14 of the 25 systems I studied in which this was the pattern were ultimately successful. More important, many of the genuinely innovative systems in my sample, including 5 of the 7 that I described earlier, exhibited this pattern.

    On the other hand, many of the systems initiated by users do little more than mechanize existing practices.

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    One way to do this is to devise an implementation strategy to encourage user involvement and participation throughout the development of the systems regardless of who originated the concept. Examples of successful strategies follow. Impose gracefully: Marketing and production managers in a decentralized company did not relish the extra work format changes and data submission requirements needed for a yearly budgeting system, which top management was installing.

    Initially, they were especially unenthusiastic because they thought the system would not really help them. So at every stage the designers made a point of developing subsystems to provide these middle managers with sales and materials usage information that had never been available. This quid pro quo worked well; instead of seeing the system as a total imposition, the manager saw it as an opportunity for them to take part in something which would be beneficial to them.

    Run a dog and pony show: Central planning personnel in two companies designed systems for budgeting and financial analysis. In one company, the system never caught on despite lengthy training demonstrations for divisional staff and other potential users. In contrast, the training program for the system in the other company fostered immediate and active involvement. In order to attend the workshops, people were required to bring their own financial analysis problems.

    They learned to use the system by working on these problems. When the workshops ended, many users were enthusiastic: not only did they know how to use the system, but they had also proved to themselves that it could help them. Use a prototype: Two ever-present dangers in developing a system are creating a large, expensive one that solves the wrong problem or creating one that some people in the organization cannot live with.

    Either can happen, not only when the system is designed without consulting the user and affected parties, but also when there is no one having enough experience with the particular kind of system under consideration to clearly visualize its strengths and weaknesses before it is built. Implementers of a number of systems in my sample avoided these traps by building small prototypes, which gave the users something specific to react to. As a result, the large-scale version could be developed with a realistic notion of both what was needed and what would fly in the organization.

    A similar approach, also successful, was simply to build systems in small pieces that could be used, changed, or discarded easily. Hook the user with the responsibility: Each new module or application developed as an outgrowth of one of the three sales information systems I mentioned earlier goes through three stages. The first stage consists of general, uncommitted discussions of any current problem areas with which user groups are concerned. Following research by the management science staff, the second stage is a brief formal problem statement written in conjunction with the user group.

    In addition to describing the problem, this statement goes over the methodology and resources that will be required to respond to it.

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    The third stage is a formal request for authorization of out-of-pocket expenses. Sell the system: In one of the companies I studied, a marketing analysis group used a direct selling procedure to convince people of the merits of a sales forecasting system. The system was adopted. In another company, management had a real-time system installed for monitoring the largely automatic production of an inexpensive consumer item in order to minimize material loss due to creeping maladjustments in machine settings.

    During the initial installation, the implementation team discovered suspected, but previously unsubstantiated, cheating by piecework employees; more pieces were leaving many machines than were entering them.