Without reading any of this week’s assigned readings, briefly describe your understanding of “information systems.” Now read the Nolan and Wetherbe (1980) article. Describe your new understanding of information systems. How is it similar or different to your prior understanding of information systems?
Before reading the Nolan and Wetherbe (1980) article, I would describe “information systems” as a system which takes data and produces information. When I think about “information systems” in the context of computers and/or technology I consider “information systems” to be a collection of hardware, software, people and process which collects, aggregates and processes raw data using automation to produce actionable information (or business intelligence).
After reading the Nolan and Wetherbe (1980) article, I think I can formulate and articulate a better definition of “information systems”, but I do not believe the basis of my definition differs much if at all. The article points out some key aspects of an information systems framework that I think I should have or could have outlined in my definition as dependencies. Adding the idea that a system requires one or more inputs, a transformation process, and some output helps to further define the requirements of “information systems”. I described the subsystems well, but I collapsed databases as part of the software subsystem, after reading the article I agree that it makes sense to separate the software and database (data repository) subsystems. The Dickson and Simmons framework provided context for subsystems I was already familiar with such as OLTP, BI, DSS and Programmatic Automation (rules engine). The Model of the MIS Transformation Process on page 7 of the article helped to clarify the the the the subsystems which make up an “information system”. The Organizational System on page 9 of the article introduced subsystems of the “information systems” which were not familiar to me. Overall I think that the context for my understanding of “information systems” is heavily focused on the technology. Coincidentally I am taking a Coursera course called “Agile Meets Design Thinking” and I can see some parallels between this article and some of the aspects discussed in this course regarding user personas, problem statements, user stories and how important these inputs are to producing relevant and meaningful output.
FIT MGT 5014 Week 1 – Case Study: Positive Impact of IS (TradeNet) on TBD
In the case study you read about the positive impact of IS (TradeNet) on TBD’s organizational structure, business process, business network, business scope, and performance. Do you think TradeNet could have had any negative impacts as well on employees, organizational culture, etc.? If it did have any negative impact on TBD, what are they and how could they be managed?
The case study clearly outlines the benefits of TradeNet and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). What is interesting is that that the case study also describes that the Trade Development Board (TDB) which was set up in 1983 to establish Singapore as a premier international trading hub was relatively successful six years after its inception. By 1989 Singapore was the seventeenth largest trader in the world managing international trades values and four times its GDP. By all accounts the TDB was successful, but the processes which were employed were labor-intensive, slow and likely error prone. The government of Singapore decided to invest in a mega project to move from a paper-based system to a system which leveraged Information Technology (IT) to facilitate Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between trade stakeholders. This system known as TradeNet revolutionized the trade administration process by connecting stakeholders and automating workflows. Table 1 on page 8, table 3 on page 14 and table 6 on page 16 of the case study clearly show the efficiency and productivity gains provided by the TradeNet information system. Table 2 on page 12 of the case study shows significant organizational change, while TradeNet was likely required for Singapore to sustain and grow their vision of being a premier international trading hub there were some negatives effects. The data indicates that there was a shift in organization structure from one large unit to four smaller units. The data also implies a skill shift as the TradeNet system moved the process from a labor-intensive model to technology-intensive model. Efficiencies resulting from TradeNet show massive gains in productivity leading to a reduction of the labor force. People typically resist change because they fear the unknown, they fear their role within the organization is diminished and this has an impact on security and organization culture. There were many positive things which TradeNet delivered but for a workforce who was operating in a labor-intensive model which relied on labor vs. the automation that information technology and information systems deliver there needs to be an approach to educating the workforce. TBD should anticipate both these organizational changes and how they would impact employees and how this might affect the organizational culture. TBD needs to be communicative with employees about the necessity of the TradeNet initiative, what it means for the organization and them. TBD should try to frame the communication to answer the question of WIIFM (what is in it for me).
Teo, H., Tan, B. C., & Kwok-Kee, W. (1997). Organizational transformation using electronic data interchange: The case of TradeNet in Singapore . Journal of Management Information Systems, 13(4), 139-165. Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218921817?accountid=27313
FIT MGT 5014 Week 1 – Contrasting the Different Levels of a Business or Organization
Using a business or organization you are familiar with, contrast the operational, managerial, and executive levels by comparing each level’s typical activities, use of IS, types of decisions made with the IS, and information needs.
I used my organization which is a technology company as the basis for contrasting the different levels of a business organization.
My organization is comprised of three core business units; these include Sales and Marketing, Engineering and Back Office.
Each of these organizations is broken into smaller business units and may or may not be aligned by market segmentation.
Sales and Marketing is segmented using a market segmentation approach: Commercial, Enterprise and HyperScale
Engineering is broken into three core business units with business units within which align with market segmentation: Professional Services, Advanced Services and Specialized Services.
Back Office consists of finance and accounting, information technology, human resources, legal and administrative departments.
Executive Level (C-Suite)
Our executive level or E-Team consists of a Chairman, CEO & President, CFO, SVP of Sales & Marketing, SVP of Engineering, VP of Human Resources, VP and General Counsel
Executive Level staff will typically leverage specialized dashboards which aggregate data from numerous locations to anticipate future impact. Executives use macro level data to pivot the organization managing for both market growth and market contraction.
An example of this is a view our SVP of Sales and Marketing uses to manage corporate sales performance. I have placed a sample of this dashboard here: https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/JyXfZX6tRDbmyIsh8a1J4Z3C9wgAU0SR0pfSSMU3rib
The trends which can be quickly identified in a dashboard such as this controls how executive level management marshals the organization.
Many C-suite level reports these are often spreadsheets produced by analysts which massage and distil the information down to exactly what these C-suite executives are looking for.
This is sometimes very high-level, but it can also be very detailed drilling in on one particular business unit in a specific geography or even a particular individual or transaction.
As an engineering business unit manager, I manage many different aspects of the business ranging from P&L to CSAT. I manage and pipeline and forecast using systems like SalesForce and Smartsheet. I leverage ServiceNow to manage service delivery and metrics. I use systems like iCIMS and ADP to manage personnel and many DSS systems such as knowledge bases, wikis, data aggregation as well analysis tools like Tableau and R, etc….
On a daily basis, I use systems such as Infor, SalesForce, ServiceNow and may other custom developed operational systems. It’s is my job to manage a revenue and gross profit which requires accurately budgeting labor costs vs. revenue.
An example Management Information System that is critical to my business is our operational alerting system. This system ingests 1000s of alerts per day, and programmatically tags, routes and escalates these events.
I have place a sample of this system here: https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/4VVywDYyz6NTQRAeaX7q7IkuwnUdJxpRH8w3D6A0iVj
This system allows us to track key metrics which are critical to our internal and external customers., metrics like MTTA (mean-time-to-acknowledge) and MTTR (mean-time-to-resolution).
Here is an an example MTTA/MTTR metric graph: https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/okjq964CLsA9OyzFB7eXDMqDeUL5jl7HJd1NKmSBzhO
My role has both strategic and tactical aspects and the information systems which I use provide me insight to manage appropriately.
There are many operational systems managing everything from the workflow of contract approvals, to order fulfillment to office supply management used across the organization. We manage a large integration center and one system which is used by our integration center operations team to manage the RTV (return to vendor) process. This system track defects, returns, the number of days outstanding, associated costs, etc… Here is an example of the RTV dashboard with data obfuscated to protect the innocent: https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/ckG20pcdtrNA2mRIL8O5V1YzwkfKpQclqV3dUQxtGWf