ENTERPRISE INFORMATION SYSTEMS ON AN ORGANIZATION'S PERFORMANCE?
What is the effect of enterprise information systems on an organization's performance?
There is need for any organization operating in today's rapidly changing and competitive business environment to be dynamic and flexible in its daily operations Hevner, March, Park, & Ram, 2004.
Using enterprise information systems, an organization is able to improve its business efficiency and reduce costs. Embracing information technology will allow an organization to succeed in the rapidly changing business world. Information technology has made it possible for organizations to develop information systems that allow for effective communication, support decision making, and provide mutual understanding amongst the staff members.
Modern business comprises of complex multicomponent systems, the primary component being information technology. Each business has its own unique financial and economic activities, but there are problems which would face all business. Some of the problems include marketing, financial resources, and procurement Targowski, 1988.
One of the best solutions for these problems is implementation and using enterprise information systems within an organization. There are many systems of the enterprise kind that that have been designed and developed in the recent years. These systems provide a comprehensive management of the key organizational aspects. Enterprise information systems provide managers timely and complete information enabling them to make management decisions and ensuring that data is exchanged effectively within the organization Lederer & Sethi, 1988()
There are many acronyms that come up when people are speaking of business efficiency and improving the competitiveness of their enterprises. Some of the acronyms include SCM, ERP, PLM, and CRM. These names are derived from various concepts and management techniques that have been used by successful enterprises. Many enterprises are shifting to the use of solutions that integrate information, business processes, and people for effective management of all business areas Breath & Ives, 1986.
ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning is one of the solutions that businesses are implementing for the integration of all their departments and business areas.
Definition of enterprise information system
Any computing system of the enterprise class is referred to as an enterprise information system. These systems are capable of handling large data volumes, provide high service quality, and can support any organization type large or small Chen, 1995.
An enterprise information system will provide a platform which enables the organization to coordinate and integrate its business processes. The enterprise information system is a single system that is used all through the organization. The system will ensure that information is shared across all the managerial hierarchies and functional departments within the organization. The system will create a data structure that will be used within the organization. Enterprise information systems eliminate information fragmentation, which is mostly caused by using multiple systems within the organization.
The enterprise information system will provide a set of services that are well-defined to the clients Hevner et al., 2004.
The services are presented to the clients as either remote or local interfaces. Information systems bridge the gap between computer science and businesses by using theoretical foundations of computation and information for studying the various business models, and their related algorithmic processes.
The main purpose of any enterprise information system is the provision of leadership services in information technology by supporting the organizations technological goals, and a customer service focus that is proactive. The systems collect data across the whole organization. The data may be collected from various databases and is presented in a single way. Reports will be generated based on a predetermined format.
The enterprise information system is usually housed in many data centers to ensure its availability every time. The system would have enterprise software that would have applications that cross organizational borders like customer relations management. The enterprise information system will provide a set of services that are well-defined to the clients. The services are presented to the clients as either remote or local interfaces.
The research proposal will deal with two important topics, which are the overall performance of companies that are currently using an enterprise system, and investigating the enterprise system effects within the organization. These topics have been chosen as they will address the research question well and provide more insight on the advantages of using an enterprise system in the management of an organization.
This research proposal will attempt to emphasize the role played by information technology in an enterprise. It will also attempt to demonstrate how an organizations management can use enterprise systems to improve their business productivity, reduce decision making time, and reduce operating costs.
Implementing an enterprise system is time consuming and expensive. This makes many organizations to prefer using their current systems. The systems the organization use, are not integrated, and this creates a major problem for decision makers as they have to get their information from many different systems which delays decisions. Lack of integration also causes the organization to have repetitive work as the same data has to be replicated across all the other systems. There is also a possibility of data integrity loss as there is no way of validating the data in the different systems. The reports generated by the various systems also vary and this causes their interpretation to be different.
The research will provide managers and key decision makers with information which would make them opt for a single integrated system, instead of having different systems across the various functional areas of their organizations. Researching how the organizations that are currently using enterprise systems have improved their organizational performance, will beneficial to other scholars too. The research can be used for educational purposes to teach business students on the importance of leveraging information technology in the business environment. The research will also study the effect of automating the whole organization as compared to automating only specific departments within the organization.
This chapter details the research methodology that will be used when conducting the study. It also describes the geographical area for the study, study design, study population and sampling procedures. It also gives information on the tools the researcher can use to collect the data and the methods used to ensure consistent validity and reliability of the instruments. It also details the procedure of analyzing data collected and its presentation to form the results of this study.
The research will use a quantitative approach. A quantitative study is defines as objective, formal, and systematic study that attempts to test and describe existing relationships as well as determine the causes and effects relationships amongst the variables Suri & Clarke, 2009.
A survey which collects original data describing the study population that is too large for observation requires a descriptive survey design.
The qualitative study was chosen because the information is to be obtained from a sample of people by self-reporting data based on questions set by the investigator in the questionnaire. Since the results of a qualitative study are a more accurate reflection of the populations' characteristics, this is the reason it was chosen for this research proposal. To meet the research study objectives, study, the qualitative study design was chosen.
The study will take place in three organizations that have implemented and use an enterprise information system, and in three organizations that have not implemented any enterprise information system. All the organizations will be based in the United States.
Study population and sampling
A study population is defined as the elements such as events, objects, and individuals who meet the sample criteria for inclusion in the research study Creswell, 2002.
For this study, the population will include top management, middle managers, and a select number of employees within each organization. According to Hakim, 2000()
a sample is the elements of the study selected for the intention of getting information regarding the total population they represent. The total number of the sample will be 210 respondents, who are divided into 35 respondents per organization. This sample size has been conveniently selected Jiroutek, Muller, Kupper, & Stewart, 2003.
Convenience sampling consists of respondents in the right place and at the right time as the study was taking place. The investigator will have to find subjects who will meet the sampling criteria to participate in the research study.
For a respondent to be included in the study, they have to be employees currently working in the organization been studied, and have worked in the organization before the implementation of the enterprise information system. The other criterion is the subject is a top or middle manager of the organization been studied. The respondents have to be vetted to ensure they use and understand the enterprise information system been used within the organization. For the organizations that have not implemented the enterprise information system, the criteria will be respondents will have to be top or middle managers who are resistant to change and employees who have worked in the organization for a minimum of 3 years. The respondent for the study could be of either race or gender. The most important consideration for the…