Most of you have grown up in an age where information systems - computer-based systems that process and distribute information - are taken for granted. You conduct almost every aspect of your daily lives by “going online” using a computer, smart phone or other communication device. You shop, do your banking, read the news, communicate with friends and family, take and share photographs and videos, play games, get sports scores, register for classes, take classes, and on and on. So you are totally familiar with the concepts of information and information systems from the perspective of a consumer.
In this course you will be taking a different perspective – that of a company using information and information systems to provide and manage all of the services and products that it offers to its customers. An information system is a type of computer software expressly designed to support and enable one or more business processes, such as sales, inventory management, customer billing or product design, within the enterprise. Using these information systems to operate and manage a business is a lot more complicated than just texting a friend or buying a CD online. You need to understand the issues that managers face when determining how to use their information systems to operate and inform their business processes in an efficient and effective manner.
For example, accountants rely on information systems to capture data and create financial reports concerning the day-to-day financial transactions of the business. Financial managers rely on information systems to keep track of cash flow and to optimize investments and related financing decisions that may determine the success of the enterprise in the near and long-term. Marketing managers employ in-store point-of-sale computer systems and online shopping web sites to understand what their customers are buying and to measure the response rates from different marketing campaigns. Transportation managers rely on information systems to track packages as they move within the company and ultimately to customers. Manufacturing concerns use integrated information systems to manage the processes concerned with the intake of raw materials, the fabrication of finished goods and the distribution of these goods to wholesalers and retailers. Throughout this course, you will observe the use of many types of information systems in various business settings. As we progress from topic to topic, you will grow in your understanding of these applications of information technology (IT) to enable, measure, and manage business activities.
To this end our focus in MISM 2301 will remain on the business, its information management needs, and the information technologies employed to collect and use information as part of business processes. We will minimize the amount of time spent discussing technology. Instead, we will focus on the organizational and managerial needs for and use of the information itself. Once you understand this, the next logical question will be: “Where will that information come from?” In response, we will want to discuss the types of information systems that are available to business organizations, how they are used, and the kinds of information they provide. The relationship between the business’s competitive needs, its information needs, and its choices of information technology are all brought together in what we call the “Integrated Framework for Information Management” (or the “Integrated Framework”, for short).
The Integrative Framework for Information Management
The Integrative Framework encapsulates the primary learning objectives of Information Management within the Enterprise while also serving as a lens through which you may analyze and understand the ways an organization uses information to transact, manage and innovate. The Framework itself may be reduced to the following elements: