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What is Information System?

30 Nov

Thanks to all who have taken part in our social networking. The topic on “Information Systems” has being very informative and rich in academic materials. Ideas have being exchanged and new knowledge acquired. For me, the whole exercise has broadened my previous narrow experience social media forum. I now clearly understand the difference between Information System and Information Technology and their relationship, and also their individual and collective roles in companies and organisations in terms of achieving comparative advantage. Information system has changed the way companies and organisations do business. Information system has proved the world a “global communication village”, hence companies, organisations, and individuals can nowadays transact businesses all over the world without physical contact. What will this method of result to?
1. Cost saving
2. Time saving
3. Minimise both air, road, and rail accidents etc.
4. Gain comparative advantage
5. Realise business strategy,
And many more.

This programme is very encouraging and should be repeated.

Good luck to every blog member!

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Information Systems: To Recap

30 Nov

As a final blog, I would like to give a brief and swift thanks to all involved in the thread entitled ‘What is an Information System?’ I have encountered a wealth of knowledge and have spent a considerable amount of time appreciating the works of both my own team and the opposing team. I suppose I’d like to summarise the points which became known to me throughout the course of the 6 weeks.

Here’s a brief list of the points I took from the blogs:

  • Information Systems involve People, Process, and Technology
  • Information Systems are different from Information Technology
  • Information Systems have been in existence longer than I had originally believed
  • They have the capability to allow a company to gain a competitive advantage
  • I.S needs to be implemented and utilised properly and efficiently, otherwise they can fail magnificently.
  • I.S is important to benchmark against other companies but also to provide a figure of merit.
  • Business Models need the use of I.S to provide a workable template.
  • Information Systems are essential to the business world of today.

 

Thanks for listening.

Jamesdaly1990.

Why are Information Systems so important to the success of organisations? When can an Information System deliver (sustained) competitive advantage to organisations?

30 Nov

As I want to wrap up this period of blogging, I would like to use that opportunity to thank the organiser of this forum, he/she is a think-tank, and an epitome of wisdom. I equally share my respect with those students who during this blogging exercise remained focused, very careful with their choice of words, such that nothing offensive was observed by me from all the blogs I have read so far, congratulations. Contributions are not educating, but also full of humour and fun indeed. Cheers to you guys!
I agree with the opinion of Turban et al, (2006), in which he stated, that strategic information system is characterised by its ability to significantly change the way in which companies and organisations conduct their business. This blog will explain in detail, how information system can help organisations achieve competitive advantage. According to Michael Porter (1980), information systems exist to help organisations achieve their goals and objectives, and organisation’s goals and objectives are determined by its competitive strategy which in turn determines the structure, features, and functions of information systems. Nevertheless, organisations tend to examine their industry structure in order to determine a competitive strategy, and that strategy determines value chain, and the value chain in turn determines the business process. Finally, the form of business processes determines the structure of an information system. http://www.prenhall.com/behindthebook/0132337770/pdf/Kroenk_Chapter%203%20Combined.pdf

In strategic information systems, are embedded, the following features; decision support system, enterprise resource planning, database systems, and the real-time information systems which intend to sustain a rapid-response and quality indicators.

In the recent time, companies and organisations are beginning to recognise the external use of information systems as competitive weapons. The above assumption can be attributed to factors such as; decline in the cost of supporting ITs, structural changes in the economy due to global competition, and finally, the deregulation of some industry sectors such as, transportation and financial services.

In particular, “customer resource life cycle” is a model that best explain the use of information systems technology in competitive strategy. The customer resource life cycle model considers the relationship between a firm and its customers and how such change can be improved through strategic application of information system technologies. (Blake Ives and Gerald P. Learmonth, 1984).

Feel free to give your comments.

Why are Information Systems so important to the success of organisations? When can an Information System deliver (sustained) competitive advantage to organisations?

30 Nov

I would like to congratulate the rest of us that have taken part in this interactive social media. How I wish this forum will continue to be active even at the end of our ISBP programme, I believe we shall then make use of the forum more than the Facebook and Twitter.

Information systems are so important to the success of organisations, particularly, in delivering sustainable competitive advantage. In recent time, information systems have dramatically changed the way companies and organisations do business, it’s no more business as usual approach. This blog after reading it will convince all my audience to accept the fact that, without information systems, management of companies and organisations can hardly achieve a healthy and sustained competitive advantage.

Due to advancement in information provision, companies and organisations have likewise, furthered their development of information system and information technology strategies that relate to their business strategies, and which can equally support their corporate missions (Rogerson et al., 1994). There are however, three main information systems developed for general use, those are; financial systems, strategic systems, and operational systems. As top company’s management careless about the relationship between information system functions and corporate strategy, there arose problems in achieving strategies. According to Holsapple et al., (2000), modern companies and organisations nowadays are becoming knowledge-based enterprises with proactive knowledge management needed for competitive advantage.

Knowledge management has proved a major factor in competitive environment; as a result, companies must concentrate on their information system in order to achieve competitive advantage. Management of organisations need information system in place for both business operations and financial and non-financial aspects, such as decision making, to perform their management role effectively.

Leave your comments lads!

Nobody Will Notice The Slow Death of Dissemination, They Will Be Too Busy Listening

29 Nov

Organisations no longer need to focus on disseminating information, it is too shallow a primary goal. Either at public private or discrete operative contexts, social enterprises are more comfortable operating as curators. They are experts at providing the contexts, stimulus and governance to bring out the best of their key stakeholders, whether internally or externally. Employees, suppliers, distributors, customers are no longer groups to be coerced and manipulated. They are groups to be listened to, influenced by and directed by. Old top down and chamber orientated techniques which advanced individual and collective self orientations will increasingly be outmanoeuvred by new and re-plasticised businesses who know how to respond and reciprocate through sharing and constructive dialogues.

Considerable amounts of information is getting lost all the time or its dissapating as a result of ever deacreasing attention cycles. Often the strains placed on people researching and writing pieces combined with other onerous tasks can result in the acquired knowledge being underexposed. For instance, articles may not be uploaded onto the Internet after having been forwarded onto publication editors. Reports may be delayed and only done in infrequent batches. Other organisations with a mutual interest in the results may not be even informed at all. Without already receiving public attention organisations are merely dropping research and information will be unproductive. Modern information and communications bombardment and white noise result in less and less of the population accessing information without proactive effort or specialist interest. Even basic two way approaches will begin to look dated compared to more collaborative infrastructure and community frameworks as attention clusters around dynamic automation and choruses of support and:or criticism.

One key aspect which increasingly is becoming a key distinction for value creation is whether communal and communications clusters operate within highly narrow and specialised ‘silos’ or whether they strive to either in aggregate or through representatives work pro actively with other communities. There is nothing wrong with groups working, thinking and advancing within a very narrow band. Through the Internet and our global age the advantage of the long tail in terms of distribution of ideas and commerce rewards this behaviour and even makes it economically viable. However, from an business perspective the motivating factor is to motivate expansive, competitive and sustainable organisational change. Without integrating the specialist information and knowledge in an integrated manner with other stakeholder groups and chambers there is a significant loss.

To create a successful vision and productive strategies it is important to involve all stakeholders and ensure that all leaders are participating in the decision making process. Hopefully there is a committment to cooperating and relaying decisions to all appropriate areas of their organisation. Regular meetings between policymakers help to acknowledge and deal with any strains created as a result of difficult reforms and identify and widen openings for positive and consensual improvements. Practically, project websites, where project can be shared and ideas explored in a supportiive is highly recommended to aid decision making and focus on key strategic cores and public relations activity.

A classic historical example of the value of connecting disarate groups and ideas is the legacy of Desiderius Erasmus, author of In Praise of Folly. One of the great stabilising forces in Europe during the 15th and 16th Century, he helped carry Europe intellectually of the dark ages and provided enough oxygen not only for the Renaissance but for the carrying and synthesis of post Roman ideas and explorations (which is why Europe’s scheme for EU students learning abroad is an aptly named initiative) and the re-acceptance of stigmatised and forgotten classical texts. Through serving as an interlocutor, he channelled ideas from academics and key figures to the time, meshing disperse geographical and scholastic ideas into a discussion which not only fed into how Reformation and Counter Reformqtion developed in Europe but also the context with which these warring ideas could interact and reach dialogue once the embers of conflict within Europe died down.

Returning to contemporary business requirements, organisations need to have an understanding regarding how their value to other groups functions not only on a profit level but in an age powered by informatics on a communications level. Doing this effectively necessitates identifying relative values and returns of both internal and external forums, mediators, champions and detractors. Executives who suggest social entrepreneurship status but who are unable to do so are likely to be misaligning the business models or strategies through poor goals or benchmarking. Otherwise they are misrepresenting themselves.

It is highly important that the risks of any project to introduce and improve social entrepreneurship are laid out in advance so that they can be effectively addressed should the project run into difficulties. A framework for assessment should be used to evaluate the efficiency of any work. This can include qualitative as well as quantitative results. As mentioned, in a previous post covering technology, invention and competition, it is common for organisations to engage in lateral assaults on rival’s business revenue streams using aggressive (or even zero-cost) pricing schemes. It is conceivable for business models to support similar competitive advantages concerning dialogues and even open innovation approaches to undermine competition and enlarge the outer core sphere of an organisations competencies, to cross subsidise core strategic areas.

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More than just eCoal, eSteam and ePower: The Modernizing Dynamics of Change also includes:

  1. Introduction
  2. Economic requirements: Catalyst for Invention, Innovation and Progress
  3. Not Just Invention: Change Through The Desire to Innovate, Re-imagine and Expand
  4. New Tools, New Patterns, New Thoughts: the Great Dialogue

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Other sections of Dialogue, Governance and Reform in the Web 2.0 Age series includes:

  • Nobody Will Notice The Slow Death of Dissmeination, They Will Be Too Busy Listening
  • The frictions of competition and cooperation to strategic thinking;
  • The Hot and Cold Wars: Relationships and conflicts between big and small, propriety and open source.

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Other blog posts in the Order From Chaos miniseries include:

  1. Order From Chaos: Performance Management and Social Media Analytics in the Age of Big Data;
  2. Abstraction, Perspective and Complexity: Social Media’s Canon of Proportions;
  3. Logic, Computation and (f*(k?) Meming: On2logi+k,ing;
  4. Transposition, Catalysts and Synthesis: Playing with iMacwells eDemon.

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If you have any suggestions, relevant links or questions to add flavour to this series then please join the dialogue below or contact me via Twitter:

 

When can an Information System deliver (sustained) competitive advantage to organisations?

29 Nov

We in our group, and in fact, across the entire blogging spectrum, have undoubtedly, collectively discussed among other topics, the various aspects of information system, ranging from its definitions, to why it is important to the success of organisations, and finally, we are here to unravel, when it can deliver (sustained) competitive advantage to organisations. Good stuff! This is a laudable exercise, and remarkable experience to me, participating actively for the first time, in such a strong group of an academic cum social media, as an interactive forum. It has not only improved my research capabilities and knowhow, but also exposed me to knowing how objective people could view, or rather express their individual opinions on a singular topic.

Information system, defined as process, people and technology, has thrown a greater challenge to companies and organisations seeking to compete in the contemporary business environment. http://www.facultyjournal.com/webmaster/upload/__Paper4.pdf

I thank ah88rockybay and agblogail for their efforts to highlight more on the competitive advantages organisations derive from information systems. However, I will continue from where they stopped, and further highlight some among the numerous tangible and intangible benefits that give competitive advantage to organisations through information systems.

According to Bakos J. Y. et al (1998), opportunities from IT can be analysed from the perspective of organisation trying to improve efficiency and effectiveness on the current status. It can also, be analysed as a firm’s inner-person striving to out-manoeuvre other participants in a competitive rivalry. And finally, it could be analysed as an outsider investigating entry to an industry.
Further to the above declaration, Rockart and Scott Morton (1984) identified that three main opportunities that are capable of creating competitive advantage are; improve each value adding function, connect with customers and suppliers in order to increase their switching costs, and finally, create new business approach by way of services or products.
http://www.facultyjournal.com/webmaster/upload/__Paper4.pdf

Information system helps to reduce redundancy and obsoleteness in organisations. It enables organisations adequate and efficient stock and inventory management.
Give your comments!

Drawbacks of Information systems and technology

28 Nov

Drawbacks associated with Information systems and technology

This blog draws a lot of information from this link and is largely based on this particular link http://www.smallbusinessbible.org/advan_disadvan_informationtechnology.html

Information technology and information systems may be the crown jewel of our era and point to the advancement of the human race but there are countless drawbacks to IT/IS’s that leave people wondering if the good outweighs the bad.  Some disadvantages of information technology include:

Unemployment – While information technology may have streamlined the business process it has also created job redundancies, downsizing and outsourcing. This means that a lot of lower and middle level jobs have been done away with causing more people to become unemployed. Although unemployment created and employment created because of IT is nowhere near in comparison as IT has definitely produced vast quantity of jobs. Change unfortunately is relentless and in business terms you have to move with progression or be left behind.

Privacy – Though information technology may have made communication quicker, easier and more convenient, it has also bought along privacy issues. From cell phone signal interceptions to email hacking, people are now worried about their once private information becoming public knowledge. Considerable amount of people are unaware of the efforts large companies go to collect data on people and the use and selling of this data. In retrospect ideas such as online cookies which advertise the web users interests can be seen as a good thing but one could wonder if personnel information digestion is a good thing in the hands of large corporations whose primary interest is to get you to spend your hard earned money.

Lack of job security – Industry experts believe that the internet has made job security a big issue as since technology keeps on changing with each day. This means that one has to be in a constant learning mode, if he or she wishes for their job to be secure. This fact of the disadvantages of IT/IS has been around since the introduction of all technology and one must not forget that life is a continuous learning cycle and that you must adhere to it or be left behind.

Dominant culture – While information technology may have made the world a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating another weaker one. For example it is now argued that US influences how most young teenagers all over the world now act, dress and behave. Languages too have become overshadowed, with English becoming the primary mode of communication for business and everything else. Loss of language and culture is never a good thing, yet IT/IS is also masterful at retaining knowledge of culture, language and unique practices, so it is therefore down to people to retain their identity or cultural identity.

http://www.smallbusinessbible.org/advan_disadvan_informationtechnology.html

Competive advantages of Information systems and technology

28 Nov

This blog draws a lot of information from the following links and is largely based on these particular sources i.e.  Hemmatfar,M. Salehi, A. 2000, Competitive advantages and Strategis Information Systems and http://it.toolbox.com/wiki/index.Strategic_Info_System.html and htp://www.smallbusinessbible.org/advan_disadvan_information technology.html

The question of whether IT/IS provided advantages to businesses was a question that was at the forefront of academic and business theory for a large part of the last 20 years, through academia such as Brynjolfsson, Hitt and Carr who questioned the productivity of IT/IS or even if the “IT mattered” when the resounding evidence demonstrates that IT/IS has been one of the greatest advantages to business since the television or radio in terms of advertisement. In this blog one hopes to demonstrate the advantages of IS in business through highlighting areas such as strategic information systems, as SIS’s are touted as the best practice to benefit from IT. A definition of SIS’s is “a system that helps companies change or otherwise alter their business strategy and or structure”.

SIS’s which give competitive advantage to businesses

1) Decision support systems enable management, operations, and planning levels of an organization to develop a strategic approach to align IS or IT with an organization’s business strategies. The system can be wholly computerised or a combination of person and computer relations.  Decision support systems are used in projecting revenue figures, comparing sales figure between quarters and as inventories of information assets.

2) Primarily Enterprise resource planning solutions that integrate/link the business processes to meet the enterprise objectives for the optimization of the enterprise resources. ERP’s consist of the following characteristics and attributes according to John Wiley. “ An integrated system that operates in real tiem ( or next to real time), without relying on periodic updates. a common database which supports all  applications. A consistent look and feel throughout each module. Installation of systems without elaborate application/ data integration by the IT department.”

3) Database systems with the “data mining” capabilities to make the best use of available corporate information for marketing, production, promotion and innovation. The SIS systems also facilitate identification of the data collection strategies to help optimize database marketing opportunities.

4) The real-time ISs that intend to maintain a rapid-response and the quality indicators.

SIS’s are primarily any factor which changes a facet of an organisation for the better of the company. One may consider the common forms through which a company can gain competitive advantage e.g. a product at a lower price, taking an already existing idea/product and improving it (Apple iPod’s vs. other mp3 players), a product or service for a niche market. SIS can give businesses a competitive edge through the practice of better business strategies in relation to data manipulation to receive the best knowledge from data, as without proper application uncoordinated data can look like jargon. Also they give the ability to forecast profits/losses and an ability to plan better plan for next quarters and strategically use business resources at the right time through the best use of business intelligence.

(Scources here have beeen gathered from Hemmatfar,M. Salehi, A. 2000, Competitive advantages and Strategis Information Systems and http://it.toolbox.com/wiki/index.Strategic_Info_System.html

Advantages awarded through the use of Information systems and Information Technology

  1. Globalization: Information Technology and Information systems have made the world a smaller place, with divisions such as language and geographical barriers being made redundant in relation to aspects such as international trade, international relations and the sharing of information, ideas and news.                                                                                            Image of IS/IT Globalisation

Communication: Information systems and technology have produced cheap and instant communication via the email, mobile communication devices, video conferencing for instance messages and communications now occur within milliseconds. Video conferencing and video chats demonstrate major bonuses in relation to international business and even relatives and friends keeping in touch while at same time being able to provide a form of closeness or cohesion unavailable through messaging and audio devices.

Image of the progression of communication

Cost Effectiveness: Information systems and technology have revolutionized business in the late 20th and early 21st century, with the creation of vast amounts of new markets, increased productivity, management practices and work practices and changing the direction of stagnant businesses into money making machines. Information Systems have created vast amount of jobs, have allocated businesses the opportunity of being open 24/7 through the application of company webpage’s.

 

Bridging Cultural Gaps: Information systems and technology enable people all over the world to express views, opinions, ideals and their unique cultures to the far corners of the earth and when exchanged lead to a progression of people all across the globe. IS and IT allow people to hear about human plight and hardships across.

htp://www,smallbusinessbible.org/advan_disadvan_information technology.html

Security as Competitve Advantage

28 Nov

As the deadline for this assignment draws close, I would like to leave you loyal followers with a question to ponder over the Christmas festivities. Can security provide competitive advantage?

As the amount of data being stored increased exponentially, Security is a big factor. Play stations security breach last year cost them $170 million, highlighting the importance and impact of having secure data.

There are differing opinions on this topic. This particular author (http://blog.blackfoundry.com/2012/04/04/security-as-a-competitive-advantage) believes that security is not a competitive advantage for the following reasons:

There is a difference between vulnerabilities we all share and vulnerabilities a particular firm has.

Security is not a motivator for purchasing products or services.

It is best to say as little as possible regarding threats to your system.

With Vendors, a lot of emphasis is being placed on trust, and this trust goes hand in hand with security. As pointed out by blogger “steepletoes” in his Qumas case study, it is the vendor’s responsibility. In that particular case, he spoke of how Qumas used the firm SunGaurd to perform its security function. Does this show that security is taken for granted and therefore not a position for firms to base their strategy on?

However, when Stefan Elephant, CEO of Heartland Security Solutions, was asked does he believe security is a competitive advantage he replied “absolutely”. He also speaks of how technology must be developed for hardware encryption, and of other threats to systems. )http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/08/heartland-security-mastercard-technology-cio-network-elefant.html)

Lumension CEO Pat Clawson has cited competitive advantage as a “good strategic play”, stating “it’s about creating a business that will be here for the long haul because you’re protecting your data”. It might be worth noting that both Pat Clawson and Stefan Elephant are CEO’s of security companies.

What do you think? Can security a competitive advantage?

 

More than just eCoal, eSteam and ePower: The Modernizing Dynamics of Change

28 Nov

Part 1 of More than just eCoal, eSteam and ePower: The Modernizing Dynamics of Change

There have been significant economic and societal gains as a result of the symbiotic improvements to the capabilities of technological and computational development and how individuals and groups harness this raw potential. Unimaginable outcomes and possibilities, previously out of the reach of even elites and nation states have today become readily available and even ordinary. We should not only celebrate this, we should learn from the inventive, innovative and social drivers that powered this change.

In order to convey the scale of social transformations that these refined and newer tools provide I felt it appropriate to draw parallel with the Industrial Age and reinforce how our pushing against the boundaries of possibility today is not without precedent. It also helps shine light regarding how leaders should be thinking of the future and how to relate businesses and organisations to change.

Three clarifications help explain technology’s contribution to business model and strategic challenges:

  • At some point even the most basic of tools and infrastructures had to be conceived, formed and manipulated, reconfigured and re-engineered;
  • Invention and innovation is usually determined through need or to satisfy a specific outcome. However, history highlights that serendipity or un/expected re/discovered models and applications of tools can provide the most significant breakthroughs. Either evolutionary or revolutionary, great jumps can come from the most written off and neglected cul-de-sacs of human (and today, computational) enquiry.
  • Whether ancient or modern, man’s great inheritances have been received and expand upon tend to be under appreciated. Similarly, the great leaps forward in our age usually lose cache through the triumph of familiarity and pervasiveness.

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Serving as part of the Dialogue, Governance and Reform in the Web 2.0 Age series, supplementary posts will include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Economic requirements: Catalyst for Invention, Innovation and Progress;
  3. Not Just Invention: Change Through The Desire to Innovate, Reimagine and Expand;
  4. New Tools, New Patterns, New Thoughts: the Great Dialogue;
  5. Nobody Will Notice The Slow Death of Dissmeination, They Will Be Too Busy Listening;
  6. The frictions of competition and cooperation to strategic thinking;
  7. The Hot and Cold Wars: Relationships and conflicts between big and small, propriety and open source.

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Other blog posts in the Order From Chaos miniseries include:

  1. Order From Chaos: Performance Management and Social Media Analytics in the Age of Big Data;
  2. Abstraction, Perspective and Complexity: Social Media’s Canon of Proportions;
  3. Logic, Computation and (f*(k?) Meming: On2logi+k,ing;
  4. Transposition, Catalysts and Synthesis: Playing with iMacwells eDemon.

 

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If you have any suggestions, relevant links or questions to add flavour to this series then please join the dialogue below or contact me via Twitter:

 

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