Information Technology in an Organization
In today’s society there are many organizations small or large that use information systems. Information systems are used to track transactions, assist management in decision making, and support the overall flow of information in the organization. In general, information systems process data into information and knowledge. Understanding how information flows through an organization will set up future success and a competitive advantage for an organization.
In order for an organization to have a smooth flow of information through information technology (IT), the organization must first have a stable information infrastructure. According to (Turban and Volonino 2010) information infrastructure consists of the physical facilities, services, and management that support all computing resources in an organization. The main components of an infrastructure are computer hardware and software, networks, information management personnel, and databases. Stability in an information infrastructure refers to up-to-date computing software and in some cases hardware.
Architecture is the process and product of planning, designing, and construction, usually of buildings and other physical structures. Information architecture is a high-level map or plan of the information requirements in an organization. An information architecture is designed so that an organizations information technology satisfies the needs of the organization, such as time and budget requirements. When preparing the information architecture the designer plays a critical role in determining the organization’s needs, such as organizational goals, and pain points. This will determine what different types of information systems to provide to the organization. “The IT architecture reduces the risk of buying or building information systems that are incompatible and unnecessarily costly to maintain and integrate.” (Turban, 2013).
Once agreed on the types of information systems the organization will use, the organization can process information smoothly and efficiently. Information must flow in different directions to support the different information needs of management. According to College of Information Sciences and Technology (2013) information flows in an organization in two-ways: Vertical information flow and horizontal information flow. “The vertical movement of information implies the transfer or communication of information up and down the various levels of management, including workers, supervisors, middle managers, and top managers. Horizontal information flow involves the communication and transfer of information between departments, divisions, and/or employees at similar levels of the organization.”
Most organizations have functional areas or departments such as accounting, finance, production/operations, marketing and sales, and human resources. These departments each have unique information needs. For example, a human resource department recruits, hires, and administers benefits to employees. These departments work simultaneously and the information flows vertically and horizontally. Each of these departments use information to promote the benefit and growth of the organization. This, ensures the financial success and survival of the organization.
There are many organizations that use information systems. As explained earlier an organizations needs will determine compatible and necessary information systems. Most organizations rely on a combination of different information systems. If a company needs to track business transactions such as employee payroll, product sales, customer orders,