Custom «Information System Strategy» Essay Paper Sample
An information system can be defined as a an interaction between people, data, technology and processes which aid in the management, decision making and supporting processes in an organization. Information systems in an organization are of great importance since they will ensure that the organization achieves its objectives and goals. If an organization has to survive in the current dynamic world, then the organization should develop a well-structured information system (Richard, 2009).
There are various types of information systems which include but not limited to the following; management information system, decision support System, Transaction processing System and Executive Information system. The choice of an information system a company can adopt largely depends on the needs of the organization (Khosrowpour, 1999).
An information system strategy can be defined as the laid down structures and procedures towards adopting a particular information system. An information system strategy may sometimes involve change of the current information system. Also, an information system strategy can involve a modification of the current information system. An information system strategy is a long term strategy that will indicate which direction the business is heading to (Khosrowpour, 1999).
This essay is going to look at information system and the reasons why an organization should adopt an information system strategy. The essay is also going to evaluate the challenges facing the implementation of an information systems and the disadvantage an organization is likely to face if they don’t adopt an information system strategy.
Reasons for developing an Information System Strategy
As earlier noted, an information strategy will help the organization adopt a strategy that will best suit its needs. The strategy will also help the organization improve efficiency in its operations as well as increase effectiveness in its operations. There are various reasons why an organization can develop an information system strategy. These include but not limited to the following reasons; improve on governance, reduction of costs and effectively meet business targets and scope (Bentley, 1998).
Firstly an organization can decide to undertake an information system strategy in order to improve its governance. One key major function of a manager is to direct employees. Directing employees in an organization can be a daunting task especially when it has to be done manually, and where there are quite a large number of employees in the organization.
This manual directing can involve activities such as manually and physically telling employees what to do, and also physically monitoring the employees. An information system can be used to automate the process of governance since the information system keeps an accurate record of an employee attendance and performance. The information system can also be used to create automated work schedule hence promoting efficiency in the organization (Boddy & Boonstra & Kennedy, 2008).
Secondly an information system can be adopted in an organization in order to reduce the running costs of an organization. An information system may be costly to initiate and maintain at the initials stges, but the long term advantages are far much more. Through the integration of Information technology into an organization, an information system strategy will automate the organization processes which will ensure that there is increased production and efficiency. An information system will reduce the running costs of an organization since all processes within the organization have been automated. This reduction in costs ensures that the organization makes a profit (Bentley, 1998).
Thirdly, an information system can be adopted in order to allow a business meet its targets and scope. Targets and scope will ensure that a business is in track with the business objectives both short term and long term objectives. An information system strategy will increase efficiency in an organization, promote accountability, competitiveness and customer satisfaction. This is accomplished by an information system which has clearly outlined deliverables and targets which the business needs to achieve (Richard, 2009).
Barriers to effective implementation of an information system strategy
There are various barriers to effective implementation of an information system strategy within an organization. These barriers include but not limited to the following; how to define and measure tangible benefits, political conflicts within the organization, high costs, internal resistance to change and lack of understanding among top executives (Khosrowpour, 1999).
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Organization lack proper mechanisms through which the tangible benefits of an information system strategy can be measured. Most benefits of an information system strategy are indirect, and measuring tangible benefits becomes hard. Also, political conflicts and internal resistance are also some of the major barriers to implementation of an information system strategy. Political conflicts may arise due to misunderstanding within the organization caused by varied interests among members in the organization. Resistance to change within an organization can hinder the implementation in the sense that some members might feel sidelined in the implementation process. Also, resistance may arise due to some members feeling like they are being oppressed by the information system strategy.
Another barrier to effective implementation of an information system strategy is the cost factor. Information system strategy is costly in terms of installation costs, labour costs and maintenance costs. Organizations which don’t have enough money to sustain the information system might not be able to undergo an information system change. Hence the high costs of undertaking an information systems change is a great hindrance to implementation of an information system (Richard, 2009).
Critical success factors
Critical success factors may be defined as those factors that will determine the success of an organization. Critical success factors are very important in developing an information system because they will determine how the business objectives will be achieved. The most important critical success factor when developing an information system strategy is the user involvement. User involvement will determine the success of a company’s information system strategy because it will enable the company know the strengths and weaknesses of the organization (Boddy & Boonstra & Kennedy, 2008)./p>
User involvement in developing a company’s information system is important because users are the end users and final consumers of product. By involving them in the process of developing an Information system strategy, then the company is able to know the strengths and weaknesses of its products.
The best way in identifying critical success factors is by analyzing consumer’s feedback to see how the product or service meets consumer needs. Customers’ satisfaction is the main key reason why an information system strategy is developed. By analyzing the customer satisfaction level, a company is in a better position to identify the key success factors in an organization (Richard, 2009).
Factors to consider in change management.
Change management can be described as the process of managing the transition in an organization. Change management can be a demanding and daunting task especially where the organization is undergoing a complete change. In order for an organization to obtain the full benefits of change management, then the process of change management has to be well managed. The following factors should be considered during the change management process; the nature of the change and the evaluation of the change (Khosrowpour, 1999).
When managing change, managers should be guided by the principle that change is an ongoing process and never ends. The managers should understand the nature of the change and the scope of the change. Understanding the nature of the change involves activities like; the reason for the change, the people who are going to be affected by the change and determining what activities are going to change. Also, the organization needs to have modalities and mechanisms for evaluating and measuring the change. The output from the activities that had undergone a change should be evaluated and measured against the expected output (Boddy & Boonstra & Kennedy, 2008).
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Impact to an organization that does not consider the above factors
An organization that does not consider the above factors before undergoing a change management is likely to collapse since it will waste a lot of resources. These wasted resources may be in terms of money and manpower. An organization that does not consider the above factors is likely to undertake a change that does not have a positive impact on its processes. Also, the organization is likely to undertake and adopt an information system strategy that does meet its objectives and requirement (Richard, 2009).
In conclusion, the process of managing change is quite intricate and requires proper preparation of an organization. Also, developing an information system strategy requires the organization to first identify the reasons why the information system strategy should be adopted. The organization should also have the available materials and resources to sustain the information system developed.
Although there are quite a number of challenges facing the implementation of an information system strategy, an organization should not be stopped by these challenges. Organizations should find a mechanism of overcoming the challenges and adopt an information system, since the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
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