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Chapter 3

Management II Chapter 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGT)
Chris Bovaird

Chapter 3: Managing Information Systems and Communication Technology INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: AN OVERVIEW Most businesses regard their info as a private resourcean asset that they plan, develop and protect. Therefore, companies have information managers responsible for the activities needed to generate analyze and disseminate information that a company needs to make good decisions. Information management is an internal operation that arranges the firms information resources to support business performance and outcomes. Data Versus Information o Data: raw facts and figures o Information: usefully interpreted data o The challenges for businesses are to turn a flood of data into information and to manage that information to their best advantage. Information Systems o One response to the challenge is the growth of the information system (IS) an organized method of transforming data into information that can be used for decision making. o IS managers must first determine what information is needed, then gather the data and apply the technology to convert data into information. As well, they must control the flow of information so that it goes only to those who need it. o Supplied information varies according to factors such as functional area in which people work and their management levels. NEW BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES IN THE INFORMATION AGE The widening role of IS results from rapid developments in electronic technologies that allow faster and broader flows of information and communications. The Expanding Scope of Information Systems 1. At one time, IS applications were narrow in scope and technically focussed processing payroll data, simulating new engineering designs, compiling advertising expenditures. 2. However, now managers use IS systems not to solve technical problems only, but to analyze management problems, especially for control purpose. Today, IS are also crucial in planning. Electronic Business and Communications Technologies o Electronic Information Technologies (EIT)IS application based on telecommunications technologies. They use network of appliance or devices to communicate info by electronic means. They enhance the performance and productivity of general business activities by performing two functions: 1. Providing coordination and communication within the firm 2. Speeding up transactions with other firms o Six of the most widely used innovations in todays digital business systems are: 1. The fax machine machine that can quickly transmit a copy of documents or graphics over telephone lines. 2. Voice mail a computer-based system for receiving and delivering incoming telephone calls. 3. An email system electronic transmission of letters, reports, and other information between computers. 4. Electronic conferencing allows people to communicate simultaneously from different locations via telephone, video, or email group software. 5. Groupware system that allows two or more individuals to communicate electronically between desktop PCS. 6. Info from outside a company can be linked to its electronic network and the info can be made available at every workstation. o Data Communications Networks global networks that permit users to send electronic messages quickly and economically. The Internet: a gigantic network of networks that serves millions of computers, offers information on business, science and government, and provides communication flows among more than 170,000 separate networks around the world. It is the largest public data communications network. It has gained popularity because it is an efficient tool for information retrieval and it is able to transmit info quickly and at a low cost. To connect, users have to pay an ISP a commercial firm that maintains a permanent connection to the internet and sells temporary connection to subscribers a monthly fee. The World Wide Web a system with universally accepted standards for storing, retrieving, formatting and displaying info on the internet. Read on...basic stuff. Intranetsa companys private network that is accessible only to employees via entry through electronic firewalls. Firewalls are hardware and software security systems that ensure that internal computer systems are not accessible to outsiders. Extranetsa network that allows outsiders limited access to a firms internal information system. The most common application allows buyers to enter the sellers system to see which products are available for sale and delivery. New Options for Organizational Design: The Network Enterpriseo Learner Organizations: leading to companies with fewer employees and simpler organizational structures. For example, you can dial into a 24- hour info system and find out your current balance from a digital voice, no longer requiring bank tellers. Widespread reduction in middle- management positions and the shrinkage of layers in organizational structure are possible because information networks now provide direct communications between the top managers and lower level workers. Electronic info is now replacing operating managers who formerly communicated company policies, procedures, or work instructions to lower level employees. o More flexible Operations: allows businesses to offer customers greater variety and faster delivery cycles. The principle is called mass- customizationproducing large volumes of products or services, but giving customers the choice of features and options they want. Flexible production and fast delivery depend on an integrated network to coordinate all the transactions, activities, and process flows necessary to make quick adjustments in the production process. The ability to organize and store massive volumes of information is crucial, as are the electronic linkages among customers, manufacturers, material suppliers and shippers. o Increased Collaboration: is on the rise because networked systems
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