Management information systems can be referred to as the way technology applies in assisting organizations to make decisions and manage their employees better. Most Managers use this concept in seeking and in the analysis of information on various organizational aspects. For example, management information Systems are used in sales, personnel, production, inventory and other factors, which apply the system. Management information systems are used in the evaluation of an organization’s performance as a whole, in various departments or individuals (Kenneth&Jane1991, p.1). Management systems, like project management and supply chain management, are most of the time added in this category of Management Information Systems. Management information systems departments are usually the same thing as Information Technology. These two terms refer to the same system and theory.
Pros of Management Information Systems
Currently, there have been significant advances in Management Information Systems. This is being reflected by evolvement of the field in methodologies, and conceptualizations. This field has greatly contributed to knowledge management, electronic commerce, and visualization of multimedia information. The relevance of managing information systems in businesses has been a catalyst for advancement and in expanding the world of knowledge systems. This has been necessitated by the presence of many software applications has also enabled application of useful information technology to businesses. There are three significant roles information systems have for businesses, these include: supporting business operations and processes, supporting decision making for managers and employees and reinforcing strategies meant for gaining a competitive advantage over competitors (TruongSinh& Chi-Trung 2011,p. 3).Information systems enable retail stores in doing jobs that are necessary for ensuring business operations are efficient. This constitutes keeping up with inventories essential for ordering in the future. These systems are also essential in tracking schedules for payments of employees by the human resource departments (TruongSinh& Chi-Trung 2011, p. 33).
In decision-making, management information systems assist employees in grading support calls incoming into an organization then later on tabulating results to comprehend methods of improving training of employees. These systems also enable teams in an org to be more innovative. Use of innovation software assists innovation workers to overcome challenges associated with psychological inertia (myopic thinking resulting from historical behaviours influence) (McLeod&Schell 2001, p.7). Under this use, Innovation software assists in communication of product designs and market requirements through disparate communities.
Another role of Management information systems is supporting strategies meant for gaining a competitive advantage over other businesses. In this role, Customer Relationship Software is an example of a way used to track clients and meet their needs. This software assists in the management and keeping track of customers. It is mainly put to use by sales teams under areas such as, email integration, lead generation and, automating workflow (Kenneth&Jane1991, p.21).
Cons of Management Information Systems
Despite the immense advantages and uses these systems bring forth, there are still several limitations linked with their application. These include expenses on implementation, which businesses have to consider when it comes to these systems. Expenses for acquiring software and hardware add to these disadvantages. Most of these technologies make conditions for these businesses to be hard, as they have to look for licences for operating the Management information systems. Therefore, businesses have to invest in training their employees to provide them with skills for using such technology. Most sophisticated technological applications and programs require authorised instructions from experts or consultants and cannot just be operated by anyone. Current Management information systems are also expensive in maintenance. For example, when there is malfunctioning within the system. Conducting such repairs is usually very expensive for many businesses (Prashant1995 p. 265)
Current Management Information Systems enable business operations to be fast. However, technological systems replace tasks that are usually performed by workers. For example, the use of automatic telephone response systems has diminished the human customer care and receptionist’s jobs. Thus through such technologies, workers are eliminated or alienated.
Security Breaches are rampant with these systems. Storage of data in electronic databases makes communication more efficient than when such information is stored manually. Retrieval of data and information with a simple press of a button is a threat to businesses. This makes them vulnerable to security breaches most particularly through the Internet. Individuals barred from a business’s private information may access data from its management information system if proper steps are not kept in place to protect such. Information can easily be tempered with, altered or destroyed with management Information systems (Prashant1995 p. 267).
Management Information Systems are essential for speeding operations of a business and with greater accuracy but are also disadvantageous as they are expensive and vulnerable to security breaches.
Kenneth, C & Jane, P 1991, Management Information Systems: A Contemporary Perspective. Second Ed. New York: Macmillan.
McLeod, J & Schell, G 2001, “Management Information Systems 8/E.”Marketing Information System.” New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Prashant, C 1995, “A dialectic view of information systems outsourcing: pros and cons.” Information &ManagementVol.29, No. 5: 265-275.
TruongSinh, T & Chi-Trung, H 2011, Information System Adoption. Finland: TruongSinh Tran.