How Information Systems Support the Business Process
Information System (IS) refers to a system of inputs of data, processing, and output that process the information in an organization. Because technology is moving quickly and data handling becomes more sophisticated, businesses need to know how to adapt in this fast wave of technology. These information systems are sometimes large, expensive, vastly assimilated, very multifaceted, and crucial to both the daily operations and long-term strategies of organizations today.
Whether the business is big or small, numerous employees or one, they use information to propel the business forward in an effective manner to properly maintain the organization. I currently work for a business that provides a service which is not in the business of making money nor acting as a nonprofit organization. Because of this type of focus, our agencies information system is slightly different than the regular business. We are a local government agency setup for a specific purpose, and our systems are geared to a more secure setting than you’re naturally more open business.
Our data entry consists of daily routine calls for service and inputting the information into a database to be disseminated to other employees to handle. With around 2,000 employees, our IS can get very immense, which
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This decision making is based on the information we get from the stored data and inputs of the day. Therefore having a sound IS in place and structured to the organizations needs is essential on a highly needed business level. “The computer industry is booming today and the reason is clear; the world is dependent on this precious machine” (Hayek, 2011, para. 1). This was a quote from a technical support representative as she was referring to computers and their need in the business world today.
Businesses have a need to move faster and competitively when confronting the cut throat world of the digital industrious age. Being able to maintain a certain degree of structure in their IT department is needed to facilitate the proper growth of the business. Businesses have become dependent on the IS and maintaining it is ever more important today. Having down time and problems within the IS can cause issues on multiple fronts and the business need to be aware of the problems ahead of time before they become an issue. Businesses can’t afford to have any weak point in their infrastructure that could prove them costly when it comes to the profits and growth” (Hayek, 2011, para. 3). The Technical support technician can agree that any downtime can be unproductive and needing to get the business back up on its feet is essential for everyone involved from the customer level to the administrator. Businesses have a need to stay connected with the outside world since their dependency has increased over the years.
The internet provides that connection enabling an organization to get information quickly and stay on top of their business interests and goals. In a statistic from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the most commonly reported task of 77 million workers using a computer at their place of employment in October 2003, was accessing the Internet (Bureau of Labor & Statistics, 2005). One can only imagine what that statistic would be today for business around the world. Our current employer allows us to have access to the internet on a regular basis with semi monitoring form administration.
Numerous secure systems within our agency have need for access over the internet as well as our local intranet. We have different servers maintaining different aspects of the IS which work together as one to complete a symbiotic organism. Other agencies like us do not allow use of the internet to the employees which I have observed hampers their progress. Often, an outside agency will call us asking for information they need quickly and we use Google to inquiry the information they need.
Their end users are aware of the hindrances put on them by management and all they can do is bare it and continue to do their best with what they have. Not an acceptable business practice by my opinion. Complications within an IS can cause issues which can cause irreparable damage to the business profits and goals. Among the many problems than can arise one must consider the outside influences that can play a part of the problem from network outages to viruses.
Constant monitoring of the system enables the company to continue to keep the problems at a manageable level before it starts to affect the system on a larger scale. Our agency utilizes secure links, passwords, secure logins, and virus protection. Because of all the sensitive material we come in contact with, we are tracked on what we access and where we go on the internet. It is a simple business practice that our agency and others use to stave off any possibilities of outside influences like viruses and internal information theft.
One problem numerous businesses have is data storage availability and backups. Without this lifeline you are leaving your system and data open to loss. Our agency has a backup system onsite and deciding not to use offsite backups may constitute an overlooked problem when considering natural disasters and other unforeseen areas of concern. I would recommend they start an offsite system and have it running regularly with our current backup system. I believe redundancy is a key to overcoming the unexpected problems of data loss.
Business must be prepared for the unexpected computers which are prone to cease proper functioning. David Smith of Pepperdine University states “The cost of lost data from computers is substantial. Businesses must be proactive in protecting this important resource” (Smith, PhD, 2003, para. 1 ). Being able to foresee problems ahead of time can reduce cost and loss. Time is money and money is everything to a business, loss of data and loss in down time costs businesses profit. Per Smith, PhD (2003) a case study was conducted showing US businesses cost of lost data for 1999 to be about 18. billion dollars. Protection is the key and being prepared ahead of time can help save the business and its clients. In conclusion, organizations big and small have become dependent on there IS. Without it, time and profits can be lost and the business can start closing its doors. A highly effective information system is one that decreases IS problems and maximizes information and data used. In any business, information is the key to everything and staying appraised with current technology and upgrades can continue to make the business a competitor in today’s market.