What make information system so essential and vital today for every organization? Why heavy investment in information systems and information technologies are still continuing and increasing day by day? The trend today is all set to form an effective and efficient mechanism for improving business processes and achieving overall organizational strategies.
In this report we aim to evaluate and analysis the relationship of information system and information technologies with organization and effect of organizational culture in information system development.
Information system is the mean by which the people of organization utilize technologies, obtained, process, store, and spread information internally and externally. We can also explain information system in broader way.
“Combination of hardware, software infrastructure and trained personnel organized to facilitate planning, controlling coordination and decisions making.”
Nature of information system
Before defining organizational information system, the term system, information and management or organization must briefly be explained. A system is a combination or arrangement of parts to form an integrated whole. A system is a plan or method of doing something, on other hand information is what is using in the act of informing or the state of being informed. Management can be defines as planning, organizing, directing and controlling the bossiness operation. Now if we merge all these concepts it becomes management information system. Management information system is that system which allows manager to make decision for the successful operation of the business. Management information systems consist of computer resource, people, and procedure use in modern business organization.
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Division of information system
An information system consists of four parts: procedure, hardware, software, and data. There are different types of systems within an organization, for example: transaction processing system, decision support system, office system, knowledge management system, and office management system. All these systems design to perform tasks for which human brain are not well suited, such as: handling large amount of information, performing complex calculation and controlling many simultaneous processes.
Every organization always consider and trying to achieve main objectives set by top management or at the time of organization formulation. That is why, now in a new modern world every organization invests heavily to adopt a new information system to achieve these goals.
Strategic role of IS:
Information systems always support business operations and processes. Its help organization or business to conduct all function and activities properly. Information system support decision making for managers. Now a day the role and impact of information system direct boots the efficiency and performance of the business. With new advancement of technology a new concept develops in organization which can be define as strategic information system. Dr. Charles Wiseman first introduced the concept of “Strategic information system” or SIS into the field of information system in 1982-83. Almost any data processing system may be called “Strategic” if it aligns with computer strategies of business and with organization strategies
When any organization implements the strategies through computer, can be define as strategic information system. They are the systems which apply on business strategies in such a way that computer system has an impact on the organization affiance and performance. Organizational information system develops to support to business activities. Organizational information system now become an integral and vital part of business, and directly influences on market share and all others aspects of profitability. At strategic level, through information system organizational planner can analysis and plan new direction for business.
Need of Parallel Strategy: In this scenario every organization must focus and analysis one main strategy which is call parallel strategy. Parallel strategy can be define as “a save and conservative conversion approach where both the old system and its potential replacement are run to gather for a time until everyone assured that the new system working correctly. This approach can be useful for those organizations that planned to convert its manual system into digital information system.
Strategic objective of IS
There are six main strategic objective of INFORMATION SYSTMEN are:
Functional excellences through monitoring efficiency, productivity, and change in management behaviour through modern technology.
Create opportunities and for product and services through new technology.
Improved and speedy communication internally and externally within an organization.
Quick and improve decision-making.
Achievement of Competitive advantages.
Survival of organization with help of information system and technology.
Operational or functional role of IS:
In every organization there is main four-system need to be monitor and control for smoothly run of the business at operational level. The performance of all department depend on system and its show overall performance of any organization. At operational level there are four main systems working together along with other resources of organization like people etc. For example at operational level systems are:
Financial information system.
Manufacturing information system.
Human resource information system.
Marketing information system.
The financial management information system provides financial information to all financial managers within an organization including the chief financial officer. Financial system keeps of organization’s financial assets and funds flow.
Manufacturing information system provides all manufacturing information of production department. This information system deal with planning, developing and production of product and service
On other hand human resource system are concerns with activities related to worker, managers, and other individual employed by organization. This system maintain employee records; track employee skills, job performance, and training ,and support for employee compensation and career development Next vital system is sale information systems which support managerial activities in the area of product development, distribution, pricing decision, promotional effectiveness and sale forecasting. Management analyzes historical and current financial activity, projects future financial needs, and monitors and controls.
Development of information system:
A new information system is develop as a solution to some type of problem or set of problem the organization face at different level on various occasions. There are two main reasons for new development of information system. Theses reason might be:
Top management or manager realize that the organization is not performing as well as expected.
Top management realize that the organization should take advantage of new technology and opportunities to perform more efficiently.
An information system support daily, short term, and long term activities of users. It includes store clerk, sale representatives, accountant, manager executive etc.
When information requirement change, the information system must meet the new requirement. Understanding information system is vital to all professionals. In today’s organization manager and employee at all level work together and use information system. Both are connected directly and indirectly.
Socio-technical entity: one important thing need to know about information system development is that an information system is a social and technological entity, and arrangement of both social and technical elements.
The development of organizational information system not only involves, hardware, software, programmer, and communication, but also includes change in jobs, knowledge, skill management policies, and processes within organization.
Development of organizational information system change organization as whole and change the decision making process as well.
Before development of information system, the builder of system must understand how a system will affect the organization as whole, focusing particularly on organizational conflict and change.
A new system can be technically successful but failure in social and political process of building new system can fail the whole system.
The development of any information system always enhances the real picture in information service in the organization and help information management having a more participatory role in the operation of the organization. In every organization there are three general types of information systems develops and use to keep the business running smoothly. They are financial system, operational system and strategic system. All theses system further subdivided into different system and this division depend on the needs of organization.
Technical and Human participation in System Development:
Effective system development requires team effort. For every system development project, the organization build a team work on that system or project from beginning to end. That team consist on stakeholder, users, manager and various support personnel. Without the involvement of human no system can be successful at technically level. System development should involve representative from each department. This include nontechnical and IT professionals. The role and responsibilities of member of the system development team vary organization to organization. Following factor are very vital for system development:
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Stakeholder: all individuals who directly or indirectly affect on organization and they get benefit from system development project. Manager who has highly visible role as system sponsor are key stakeholders because they work hard for system success and ultimately receive some credit or blame. System member or human are very important for new system because they responsible for using system and make it successful.
System analyst: A system analyst is a professional who specializes in analysing and designing organizational system and is responsible for designing and an information system for organization. Depending on the size of organization, the task perform by system analyst may vary, so without system analyst the development of information system not possible. They are the key professional who utilizes technology to develop a successful system for organization. They also deal and control all technical issue relate to information technology. In every organization networking of departments are only possible with combination of system analysts and new technology.
Technical specialists: the technical specialists are responsible for installing and maintain local networks. The database specialists assist systems analysts and programmers in
Developing or modifying applications that use the company’s database; the database administrators administer and control an organization’s data and information resources; the data warehousing specialists develop and design enterprise-wide applications, for data mining; the data communications specialists evaluate, install, and monitor data communications equipment and software and is responsible for connections to the Internet and other wide area networks.
Software programmer: A software programmer is a professional who use computer language such as C++, Java, Perl, PHP, and visual basic. Computer programmer are responsible for making computer programme to satisfy user requirement, they take the plan from system analyst and build necessary software. It’s clearly show that for success of any system depend on combination of human and technical resource. As human they participate in system development process, define their goal, and achieve the objective of development of information system.
Human can play role as nervous within the organization. Human involvement is vital for any project. For example in case of any problem only machine or computer cannot do anything.
Organizational Culture and Information System
Organizational culture is personality of any organization. Culture is comprised of the assumption, values, norms, and tangible sign of organization member and their behaviour. Culture is one of those terms that difficult to express distinctly but everyone know it when they sense it. For example a culture of large organization is totally different form the culture of hospital or culture on university. The concept of culture is very important when organization attempting to develop a new information system.
During last decade, the impact of national and organizational culture on development and use of information technology increases rapidly. Meanwhile many information technology scholars argue that organization need to understand culture difference if they want to deploy new information system. For this purpose it is vital to know the relationship between technology and culture.
The world becomes global market with interaction and communication between people of different cultures. In fact global activities are facilitated by current advanced technology and communication. With rapid increase in technology we are now seeing that same technology being used by different people of different culture.
Impact of organizational culture on development of IS process
An increasing number of information system applications are implemented across national and cultural boundaries. During this development or transfer process many of these applications encounter problems which can be attribute to the difference between cultures of organization. Culture consists of several elements of which some are implicit and others are
Explicit. Most often these elements are explain by terms such as behaviour, values, norms, and basic assumptions.
Several studies have suggested that values are important category of culture. Values and practice are acquire early in life through childhood socialization and education then stable in nature but they can change over time and theses change reflects on culture.
Hofstede’s national model
Like all human activities, culture influences on development of information system in different ways. Because of numerous aspects of culture has received particular attention. Hofstede’s main research on national culture is principally describe in “culture’s consequences. The work of Hofstede stands out for the connection of design activities to national culture and organizational forms. His primary data were extracted from a pre-existing bank of employee attitude surveys undertaken around 1967 and 1973 within IBM subsidiaries in 66 countries is the basis for a significant theoretical explanation of the influence of culture on information system design. Geerd Hofstede developed four dimensions of culture such as uncertainty voidance, masculinity, power distance, and individuality influence in information system design. In addition, he compared the designs of geographic information systems in German and US countries.
Because of the wealth of data and deep theoretical interpretation, his work has received much attention in the field than other fields Hofstede tried to examine the role of national culture in information system design. He constructed his model on review of sociological theories and work including Kluckho HN (1952, 1961), Parson (1951), Parson and Shils and Weber. In addition, Hofstede’s model has been widely used in management research. Hofstede’s four dimensions of national culture including:
â€¢ Uncertainty avoidance: the extent to which future possibilities are defend against or accepted
Power distance: the degree if inequality of power between a person at a higher level and a person at a lower level.
Individualism: the relative importance of individual goals. Compared with group or collective goals.
Masculinity: the extent to which the goal of men dominate those of women.
Uncertainty avoidance is the focus on information systems in decision support systems. It is considered with power distance because of interaction effects. On the other hand, individualism and masculinity have little importance and relevance to German and US countries. According to Hofstede, in Germany and the USA, both characterized by low power distance, there are two possible ways to keep organizations to gather and reduce uncertainty.
This research report suggested that culture’s role is dependent on several factors and it is an important topic of research for information system. Results show that competitive environment as well as the nature of itself affects the impact that culture values will have over the transfer process. Finally, it can be said that when culture is in agreement with the IS, the consequences may be as
It allows us to know if the implementation of IS will be satisfactorily accepted
It lays down the patterns forth usage of information. Thus, it helps identify which information is important, where it may be obtained and above all, to whom it must be supplied
It is an important means of communication, both inside and outside the firm and it allows us to assess the effectiveness of IS applied to telecommunications.
It creates cohesion among the members of a firm, as it explains the way things are done in a firm
It allows the creation of a social control within a firm. For instance, the implementation of IS, and the correct predisposition of corporate members towards such IS, is hardly controlled merely by means of formal measures. Cultural roles are also very important in this respect.
It may help increase the satisfaction of all internal collaborators of the firm, for it facilitates environmental adaptation and internal integration, thus reducing the anxiety created by IS
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