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In recent years, the science of understanding the nature of information processing and management along with the computer and technologies that disseminate, and manage information has become known as information science and technology. Technology has profoundly impacted science, business, and society, thus constructing an entity that improves access to the rapidly expanding body of knowledge in almost every discipline. Society fuels this knowledge creation, as it receives, manages, educates, and collects information. The volume and intensity of research in information science and technology have exceeded many other fields of science, and research discoveries have become the impetus behind many emerging tools and applications seen at every organizational level.
Information systems have become essential for helping organizations deal with changes in global economies and the business enterprise. Information systems provide firms with communication and analytic tools for conducting trade and managing businesses on a global scale.
Organizations are trying to become more competitive and efficient by transforming themselves into digital firms where nearly all core business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees are digitally enabled. The Internet is bringing about a convergence of technologies that is further widening the use of information systems in business and transforming industries and business models.
This project is about the understanding of a well implemented Information Systems though out the different company's layers. In addition, it considers different modules along with the management types to see how Information systems help firms manage their knowledge assets. Finally, this paper emphasizes on Toyota Company as a leading industry in the information technology field and the leading technology that is Cloud Computing.
An information system collects, stores, and disseminates information from an organization's environment and internal operations to support organizational functions and decision making, communication, coordination, control, analysis, and visualization. Information systems transform raw data into useful information through three basic activities: input, processing, and output.
The discipline of information systems (IS) is concerned with the ways people build and use computer-based systems to produce useful information and so has to deal with issues involving both people and machines; with the multitude of human and non-human entities that comprise an information system (Tatnall, 2003). From a business perspective, an information system creates economic value for the firm as an organizational and management solution, based on information technology, to a challenge posed by the environment (Laudon & Laudon, 2005)
Different kinds of systems
There are four major types of information systems in contemporary organizations. Operational-level systems are transaction processing systems (TPS), such as payroll or order processing, that track the flow of the daily routine transactions that are necessary to conduct business.
MIS is developed to primarily generate management information from operational systems, whilst DSS as defined by Gorry and Scott Morton (1971) is information systems that focus on supporting people in the unstructured and semi-structured decision-making process. A typical DSS consists of four main components: the database, the model base, the user interface and the users. Central to the DSS are the models and analytical tools that assist managers in decision making and problem solving .Concomitant with advances in the technology of computing, most DSS provide easy access to data and flexible control models with a friendly user interface design; some DSS also incorporate a variety of analytical tools and report/graphic generators. The main purpose of DSS is not to replace managers' ability to make decisions, but to improve the effectiveness of managers' decision making (Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, 2009).
Executive support systems (ESS) support the strategic level by providing data of greatest importance to senior management decision makers, often in the form of graphs and charts delivered via portals. They have limited analytical capabilities but can draw on sophisticated graphics software and many sources of internal and external information (Laudon & Laudon, 2005).
Internet technology and the digital firm
The Internet radically reduces the cost of creating, sending, and storing information while making that information more widely available. Customers can find out about products on their own on the Web and buy directly from product suppliers instead of using intermediaries such as retail stores. Some of the traditional channels for exchanging product information have become unnecessary or uneconomical, and business models based on the coupling of information with products and services may no longer be necessary. By using the Internet and other networks for electronic commerce, organizations in some industries can exchange purchase and sale transactions directly with customers and suppliers, eliminating inefficient intermediaries.
Electronic commerce is the process of buying and selling goods electronically with computerized business transactions using the Internet or other digital network technology. It includes marketing, customer support, delivery, and payment. The four major types of electronic:
- B2B (Business-to-Business): Companies doing business with each other such as manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers. Pricing is based on quantity of order and is often negotiable.
- B2C (Business-to-Consumer): Businesses selling to the general public typically through catalogs utilizing shopping cart software.
- C2B (Consumer-to-Business): a consumer posts his project with a set budget online and within hours companies review the consumer's requirements and bid on the project. The consumer reviews the bids and selects the company that will complete the project.
- C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer):there are many sites offering free classifieds, auctions, and forums where individuals can buy and sell thanks to online payment systems like PayPal where people can send and receive money online with ease. EBay's auction service is a great example of where person-to-person transactions take place every day since 1995.
Enterprise Resource Planning
An enterprise resource planning system (ERP system) is a comprehensive information system that collects, processes, and provides information about all parts of an enterprise, automating business processes and business rules within and across business functions partly or completely.
Alternatively, an ERP system may be defined as a set of integrated information systems rather than as one system. This depends on the perspective of the viewer. For the user, an ideal ERP system will behave like one enterprise-wide information system, with one database, and one common user interface. Nevertheless, such a system may be composed of many subsystems and many databases, as long as they are well integrated. (Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, 2009)
An ERP system integrates information, processes, functions, and people into one coherent system (Brady et al., 2001). Such a system supports all horizontal business functions and all vertical levels of a business (operational, tactical, and strategic).
Toyota Information Systems
Toyota is one of the leaders in manufacturing cars, this example shows the system implemented in the Manufacturing and Production Module:
In March 2002, Toyota signed an agreement to purchase $800 million to $1.2 billion in software, hardware, and services from France's Dassault Systems S.A. and IBM to link Toyota's 56 plants in 25 countries and its 1000-plus suppliers.
IBM will supply
- Services, and
- Additional software to link this system with other systems in the company
The Design-collaboration software, called Catia, will enable Toyota's designers to:
- Collaborate with each other and with far-flung suppliers that are also design partners.
- Construct 3-D designs on the computer and then test these digital designs for manufacturability- determining whether the design of individual parts and assemblies of parts makes them easy to install as the car is being assembled
Catia will also enable Toyota to reuse design for parts, such as a hood. The car maker's engineers will be able
- to search a library of existing hood designs,
- use the software to change the shape and contours of a design, and
- Automatically test the design for manufacturability.
The Dassault's Production-Support Software, called Delmia, will:
- Let separate engineering teams use designing and manufacturability data to create a plan that specifies the order in which parts are to be installed in a car as it moves down a production line.
- Toyota ultimately hopes to use that plan to digitally model the entire factory environment, specifying :
- What's done at each step in the production process;
- Which tools, Supplies, and Parts are required
- The number of people stationed at each assembly stop, and
- Once the design, production plan, and factory-floor strategy fit together, Toyota can transmit the specifications for the new car model to its production and supply-chain management systems. (Dassault's Website)
In our daily life no one questions the necessity of privacy protection. Nevertheless, our privacy is often put at risk. The first problem has to do with the fact that privacy itself is a concept difficult to define. As a matter of fact, in many countries the concept has been confused with data protection, which interprets privacy in terms of the management of personal information.
In Toyota system, you can imagine how important is the data safety, especially in the competitive world we are living in .In other words, those draws and shapes have to be in a secured area so not be copied or damaged. The Dassault's System is implemented in a way to deal with external threats. To work toward a 'restricted area' concept, Toyota may use the Biometric innovation. Biometrics is an emerging technology for automatic human identification and verification using unique biological traits (Woodward, Orlans, & Higgins, 2002). These traits include face, fingerprints, iris, voice, hand geometry, handwriting, retina, and veins.
ERP implementation projects continue to present risks to adopting organizations. Continuing ERP spending demonstrates that most organizations have concluded that the benefits resulting from such implementations outweigh the substantial risks and cost of ERP systems. To overcome those obstacles, the latest development in providing IT solutions is through implementing Cloud Computing.However, Toyota has build their information systems so strongly and based on the Japanese principles , personally I do not think that they are in need of this technology(Cloud Computing) .In the future , with the emerging challenges they may go toward Cloud Computing.
- Brady, J., Monk, E. F., & Wagner, B. J. (2001). Concepts in enterprise resource planning. Boston: Course Technology.
- Dassault web site (2009), Available at: http://www.3ds.com/company/news-media/press-releases-detail/release//single/1159/?no_cache=1[Accessed on14th October 2009]
- Gorry and Scott Morton (1971) "A Framework for Management Information Systems", Sloan Management Review, Fall 1971.
- Khosrow-Pour, M. (2009) Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (8 Volumes)Idea Group 2009
- Laudon and Laudon(2005),Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm (9th Edition),Prentice Hall
- Tatnall, A. (2003). Actor-network theory as a socio-technical approach to information systems research. In S. Clarke, E.
- Woodward, J. D., Orlans, N. M., & Higgins, P. T. (2002).Biometrics. Berkeley, CA: McGraw-Hill.