Information Systems Have Changed the Way We Collaborate and Work in Significant Ways
Introduction to Information System within an organization
Computers are continuously being used in organizations since the appearance of first ever application of this technological equipment that could be helpful in supporting organizational work. It is unavoidable in modern and up-to-date organizations where there is diversity in the organizational work and all related activities. In the early years, Information System was a relatively easy task that was easy to explain but with improvement in system and advancement in technology, it has become quite difficult to explain the functions and role of IS in the organizations. Information systems are playing a vital and expanding role in organizations (brien, 1975).
Information System was established on the basis of management, computer science and organizational theories. It also aimed to focus on the use of computer at personal level as well as in organizations. Information System plays a vital role as a field of inquiry. It is interested in using the available resources in promoting organizational aims, operations research, accounting and above all it emphases on the use of computers in society and organizations (Stahl, 2008). It is the study of corresponding network of hardware and software that is used by individuals, as well as organizations to collect, screen, process, produce and distribute data. In the past few decades, technological advancement has evolved drastically. It has performed several tasks such as giving the opportunity to connect and collaborate beyond borders. It has performed various task in global market such as increasing the pace of business, allowing far-reaching collaboration, flattening of the market, bringing innovation in business and changed the way to connect and sell to the clients (Cegielski & Rainer, 2007). It also plays a vital role in helping the managers and workers in analyzing the problems. On the whole, Information System tends to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all businesses (brien, 1975).
Overall analysis of advantages of Information System
Over the past few decades, Information System has played a vital role in improving and revolutionizing the efficiency of business by mechanizing transactions and handling accounts. It has given rise to increased globalization, effective communication, improved cost effectiveness, helped in bridging the cultural gap and creation of employment opportunities (Power, 2005). On the contrary, IS reduces the need of human effort, although it has created employment opportunities but reduced the human need in an organization. The employment opportunities are created but the work done by ten people in the past is now being done by only two people. Hence human need is reduced (Power, 2009). Although this will increase cost efficiency of the organization but will negatively affect global job market.
Role of Information System in Organizations
Organizational system and information system are interlinked. Both influence and affect each other. Information System is built with the core purpose of serving the business firms positively. It is a complex system dependent on several factors such as organization's structure, business strategies, political circumstances, and culture and management decisions. It has become an important tool that affects every minute working of the bigger organizations. Over the past two three decades, Information Systems has altered the basic economics of the organization under which it used to operate all its functions previously. It has changed the cost of capital as well as cost of information. Information technology has greatly improved and mechanized the structure of the organizations that has in turn reduced manual work load ( Lecuit, 1999). This reduction in labor work has resulted in decline in middle managers and clerical workers. Two to three decades back, organization depended on labor for basic chores which are performed by computers these days. This has reduced the burden of hiring extra labor by the organizations and this in turn reduces the expenses of organizations, thus increasing profits. On the contrary, it creates unemployment.
Every organization is developed to excel in the market, to make huge profits and to gain competitive advantage over the other competitors in the market. Competitive advantage is referred to the strategic advantage that one business entity has over its rival entities within the industry (Sanchez & Heene, 2010). With the changing trends of the market, a firm can gain competitive advantage over other rivals only if it keeps on evolving itself with information system. The widening scope of information system is the result of increasing interdependence business plan, rules, and procedures on one side and Information Systems software, hardware, databases, and telecommunications. Secondly, evolvement of IS in organizations is the result of increased intricacy and opportunity of system projects and applications. Over the years, IS has gained an integral position in organizations because of rising power and decreasing cost of computer technology. Even small scale organizations have increased the use of IS in their work to improve their standard and quality of work. Information System can perform several tasks which are as follows:
Automation of Manual Tasks
Information Systems can be helpful in mechanizing manual tasks of the organization. Computerization can have productive results as it can save time, money and resources and improve organizational workflow. Several Information Systems are designed to serve this purpose. There are robotic information systems used in medical services to logistical information systems that help in mechanizing warehouses and distribution systems (Fortune & Peters, 2005). All this is cost effective but as it increases unemployment which in turn affect economy as a whole.
Support of a Multi-Processing Environment
Another salient feature of Information System is time-sharing application. It aids in creating a multi-processing environment. This feature improves the efficiency of the system as it processes, develops and assesses transactions simultaneously. These application helps in saving time and resources as numerous departments can have access concurrently (King & Lyytinen, 2006).
System partitioning is another important feature of Information System that is used to partition the layout of an information system. This helps in creating a stable and efficient usage of the system. This prevents overloading of the system; hence slowing down of system performance is avoided. System partitioning is sustained by a procedure of "preventive maintenance" which guarantees the efficient and competent working of system partitioning. Providing Data for Decision Support is one of the most important and effective role of Information System. Data is collected through transaction processing and query routines. This system gives the opportunity to executive management to examine numerous matters of an organization and make situations with the help of information system for a desired outcome. The results thus obtained are used in improving productivity by making them an integral aspect of organizations' objectives and goals.
Knowledge Management in Information System
Knowledge management is a sensible combination of people, procedures and technology involved in designing, capturing and applying the intelligent structure of an organization (Petrides, 2004). In information systems, it has been assumed that knowledge management has positive effects for organizations. However, this is not completely true. Knowledge is ambiguous in this case: while too less might result in expensive mistakes, too much might result in undesirable accountability ( Schultze & Leidner, 2002). Despite the problems linked with explaining and recognizing knowledge, knowledge has become a chief aspect in organizations. Organizations are applying knowledge management practices and technologies with the intention to increase their value, productivity, and competitiveness. These implications are made while considering knowledge as a useful tool. Negative aspects of knowledge are ignored. Positive as well as negative consequences of knowledge and its management must be considered in organizations. It is assumed that Information System can perfectly evaluate results but this is not completely true. For instance, probabilities interpreted by Information System can result in misleading interpretation; hence, human knowledge is necessary for interpreting correctly. Human knowledge and information needs are dynamic ( Oz, 2009). They keep on evolving with the discovery of new information. Moreover, it should be clearly understood that knowledge is linked to people; it needs commitment, and is hard to separate from the person.
Procedures, like search and retrieval are applicable only in well-defined situations. Search engines are dependent on the context or otherwise the results are mostly unrelated. Human thinking with concrete and planned skills and the capability to learn are far-off from the knowledge model of ISs. KM systems are proficient and operative only when used appropriately ( Schultze & Leidner, 2002). IS content shall not be supposed as a substitute for human knowledge.
Information System can play a vital role in Knowledge Management. There are two approaches to KM that can be supported effectively through IS: codification and personalization ( Nowduri, 2008). With the help of codification, more clear and organized knowledge is codified and stored in knowledge bases. The role played by IS here is to help people share this knowledge through common storage. On the other hand, personalization helps in knowledge sharing through direct communication. The role of IS here is to help people to locate each other and communicate through IS tools like knowledge expert directories and video conferencing.