Management Information System
Information systems/information technology has emerged as a significant part for most business firms in the contemporary business environment due to rapid technological development. Most departments in all sectors of companies are primarily reliant on information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) (Peppard, & Ward, 2004). With the emergence of IS/IT in business, companies everywhere are undergoing significant and rapid changes; thus IS/IT in business are evolving towards a strategic role with the potential of supporting, as well as, shaping new business strategies. Managing IS/IT strategically is a key to successful aspect in a dynamic business environment. Many business sectors have attempted to employ information management strategies as an effective approach for achieving successful business performance. Therefore, alignment of business or corporate strategy with the strategic choices of IS/IT are key area of concern for a high priority business management issues.
Question A: Importance of aligning the business company’s long term IMS
Aligning the business company’s long-term information management strategy with the overall corporate strategy is significant in an organization. One of the benefits of aligning long-term information management strategy with the overall corporate strategy of a business company is the achievement of a competitive advantage. Porter (2008) argues that developing a strategy that can enhance a company’s long-term profits is important and this is through analyzing the industry’s underlying structure in terms of the five forces. Apple Company is one of the companies that have sustained a competitive advantage in the global competitive market because of an effective alignment of their long-term management strategy with the overall corporate strategy. Apple has reinvented new products including iPhone products and iTune music apps; making it the most successful electronics company in the globe.
Another benefit is that the product management becomes stronger and this enables the company to stay ahead of their competitors in the contemporary business world (Dess, 2012). Apple Company has realized the significant of aligning their long-term information management strategy with their corporate strategy because of the need to make their product management stronger. An innovative way of managing product portfolios and making product management stronger is through aligning long-term information management strategy with the corporate strategy. This does not only help the company to manage their products portfolios, but it helps companies stay ahead of change. Apple Company introduced iPhone in the market and this enabled them to grab a huge share of the burgeoning consumer market because of employing effective long-term information management strategy. This enabled them to increase sales and their brand products became stronger due to effective alignment of their information management strategy with the corporate strategy. Therefore, the company has continued to remain competitive in the market and this has enabled them to thrive successful in the competitive business environment.
Another significant aspect is improving the company’s bottom line. Apple Company has dominated the portable media industry since the introduction of innovative products in the market such as iPod, iPhone, iPad and other new products. This is because of effective aligning of the long-term information management strategy with the corporate strategy; hence enabling the company to improve their bottom line. Dess (2012) argues that automating the performance management process of the company can offer huge returns for the company and generate high revenues through employee productivity, improved employee retention and compensation optimization (Ward and Peppard, 2002). The automation can bring about dramatic cost savings and increase-operating margins through improved productivity. This contributes to better organizational performance and improves the company’s bottom line in case the company aligns their long-term information management strategy with its overall corporate strategy.
It is important to align the information management strategy of the business with the corporate strategy because this helps the company to transform information into usable form for coordinating with the workflow within the company, and helps in decision making, as well as, solving other organizational problems. The information system alignment is crucial because it helps a company in implementing information system and integrates it with its business strategy; hence, creating a competitive advantage (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). For instance, IS/IT based applications in Apple Company has enabled them to create a competitive advantage based on the generic strategies of product differentiation, cost leadership and market focus. Managers employ IS because this system play significant role in the contemporary business environment. The IS can affect the way manager make decisions, plan and manage their resources. In the current business world, there is an increasing interdependence between corporate strategy and IS/IT of a company (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). Therefore, information management strategy is crucial for managers because this can enable the company to survive and prosper in the modern competitive business world.
Question B: Analysis of the IS/IT systems of a typical high street estate agent
There has been a little innovation in traditional high street agency in the past decade. The research survey conducted reveals that the competitive pressure on fees will increase substantially for a typical high street estate agent. From the research survey, the estimate for average estate agency will fall to about percent by 2013 and then to converge at the prevailing online agency rate of about 0.5 percent by the year 2018 (BrightSale Research, 2008). The study indicates that the competitive cost will be driven by high competition from online estate agents (Titley, Goodyer, Edwards, Craig and Birkett, 2012). The research survey conducted revealed that the online estate agency started to gain significant market share in the UK and the shares grew rapidly to 2013 as the traditional agents refuse to abandon their established business model (Titley et-al, 2012). The research analysis conducted by use of questionnaires, and sampling surveys indicated that online estate agents are gaining market share at a rapid rate, as consumers awaken up to the benefits of the service. Online estate agency has now become a realistic alternative and this is because of increased technology advancement.
The research study indicates that the latest IT technologies can further improve the efficiency and economic performance of the company through responding to rapid technological changes. The ability of a nation to respond to speedy technological change considerably depends on the availability of the right set of skills, investment markets and conducive to novelty, as well as, receptive to innovative or new technological changes. The United States is one of the economies that have well-functioning products and capital markets. Many OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) governments are taking steps to adjust their policies to the growing significant of technology and innovation. The role of networking is increasingly recognized and funding of R&D is linked to collaboration in research. This is vital because it enables organizations to adjust effectively to the changing technology; hence improving the efficiency and increasing economic performance.
Using IS/IT systems require an effective understanding of the company, management, and technology that shapes the system. This is imperative because it can contribute to the improvement of the efficiency and economic performance of the company. As the IT technologies are developing enormously, so are the opportunities in an effective manner to prepare the organisation in the competitive advantage environment (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). Therefore, in order to achieve efficiency and economic performance, it is imperative to have appropriate strategy that defines the IT systems and offer means for managing the strategic information systems alignment. Moreover, management needs to recognize the evaluation management techniques that are in place for strategic information systems alignment to be realistic (Sarngadharan and Minimol, 2010). This is imperative because it can enable companies to manage the latest IT technologies efficiently thereby improving the efficiency and economic performance of the company.
The latest IT technologies can improve the efficiency and economic performance of high street agency in case there is an effective allocation of IT resource. A key to successful IS/IT performance in a company is the optimal investment, use, and allocation of IT resources such as applications, people, facilities, and technology in servicing the needs of the business (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). The business can achieve successful business performance because of effective allocation of IT resources and this should align with their long-term information management strategy. Companies need to address appropriate investments in IT infrastructures and capabilities, as well as, align them with their long-tem information management strategy. Managing IT assets is complex because they keep changing continuously because of the nature of technology and changing business requirements. Therefore, effective management of the human resources and lifecycle of products is a critical success factors in managing changes and optimizing the IT database. This will not only enable the company to achieve effective business performance but also sustain their business advantage in the ever competitive and ever-changing business environment.
Question C: Proposal of a new structure of the computer system for Apple Company
One of the ways that high street agent can manage their database system is by using management information system because this are computer systems employed for managing information, tracking inventory, payroll data and billing, as well as, sales data. However, the company can use database management system and this is through building effective tools for database and system software management. In most cases, many companies use oracle database because this is an effective database management system used for official support and other related office issues (Sarngadharan and Minimol, 2010). The data captured in this system offers a synopsis of the database environment intended for trouble-shooting and analytical aspects (Stallings, 2000). Oracle database can enable the company to collect data and treat it as a unit. The aim of using databases it to store and retrieve related organization data for future references. The use of database server will enable the company to solve issues of information management. This is because the server can enable the company to manage the large amount of organizational data in a multiuser business environment and enable multiple users to access the same information at the same time. This is vital because it can deliver high performance and offer efficiency solutions to data failure because a database server prevents unauthorized access to information.
Customers rule the business and it is complex to envisage the customer behavior in a competitive business environment (Ward and Peppard, 2002). This is because the changes in demand take places with growth and technology chnges; thus, companies need to make changes to business orientation to suit the changes in the consumer demand. High street estate agent should make effective managerial decisions and use data efficiently in order to generate information for improving the customer services. Therefore, one way through which the company can use data to generate information for improving customer services is through use of cloud computing. Cloud computing is an effective model being employed in many business companies because it offers a broad network access to computing resources without the hassle of owning and maintaining them (National Computing Centre Limited, 2005). Moreover, cloud computing enable the company to manage resources and by using hardware virtualization, as well as, autonomic computing technologies, the consumers sees one homogenous and unlimited supply of computer resources.
Moreover, consumers can work at the infrastructure level and manage operating systems on virtualized hardware at platform level using operating system. This can enable the company to generate information, which they can use in improving customer services efficiently. Cloud computing offer metered usage of the resources in order to enable consumers pay only for the services they use (Stallings, 2000). The company can deploy publicly cloud computing in a multi-tenancy model because this can enable them to improve customer services. For instance, large IT vendors have nowadays realized the significant of using new technology for the purpose of improving customer services and increasing organizational profitability. Therefore, the use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can help the consumer and the provider to generate information that will help in making significant changes in an organization.
Question D: Management of introduction system in the new system
Several issues are likely to result during the management process of the new IS/IT system in an organization. One of the anticipated issues is that the new IT system would have a profound impact on the organizational structure and function internally. When information is distributed effectively to different organizational structure, line of control and influence becomes clearer and individual units in the organization may self-organize in new or effective ways. In this case, the organizational impact may be complex not only creating destruction the structure and function of the organization but also altering the skill mix of workforces. The evidence indicates that new IT system may reduce the set of skills required by an employee thereby contributing to significant changes in an organization.
Another anticipated issue that might result is the profound changes in the nature and structure of different functional departments. These changes can create profound impact in the effective organizational performance of the company and ultimately the delivery of customer services. The new IT system might also affect the nature of customer service research by allowing individual research operations within a particular organizational structure and this might create complex issues (Bodker, Kensing, & Simonsen, 2004). The changes might results as the organization may begin to experiment with new IT systems to serve a wide range of organizational functions. This will eventually create an impact on investments in new IT systems a problem, which will also contribute to effective organizational performance.
One of the effective ways of solving the above issues is through enrolling for training programs in order to improve skills vital for managing the new IT system. Training is an effective ways that can enable managers or workforces to acquire new skills or improve their skills. This will contribute to effective acquisition of knowledge vital for managing new information system in a company with different functional departments. Training is imperative because it enables one to develop deeper understanding and knowledge of managing information systems in the ever-changing technological business world. It can also enable one to understand the consumer preferences and choices, as well as, help one to apply new skills in the workplace. This is imperative because it contributes to increased organizational performance in the company.
The other effective ways of resolving issues arising from the introduction of new IT system is working together as a team and establishing clear communications across the organization departments. Teamwork is one of the effective ways for creating successful business performance. The success of effective performance management systems requires resources and adequate time; thus, the support of the board, senior managers, employees and other team members is crucial. Therefore, the specialist can develop a new performance management process by working together as a team in order to create successful organizational performance. Moreover, establishing clear communication across the organizational department is imperative in the ever-changing business world. Clear communications across the different functional departments is an effective way that can enable the specialist to manage the internal data sharing efficiently.
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