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Chapter 1

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Administrative Studies
ADMS 2511
Dona Rex

1 Chapter 1 We have to distinguish between management information systems, also called information systems, and information technology. MIS deal with planning for, and the development, management, and use of information technology tools to help people perform all of the tasks related to information processing and management. Information technology relates to any computer based tool that people use to work with information and to support the information and information-processing needs for an organization. THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING FOR IT • The need for information systems is usually related to organizational planning and to the analysis of organizational performance vis a vis its competitors • New system proposals may be organized and grouped into application portfolios. These would be the applications that have to be added, or modified if they already exist. • IT Planning o The planning process for new IT applications begins with analysis of the organizational strategic plan o The IT architecture delineates the way organizations information resources should be used to accomplish its mission. It encompasses both the technical and the managerial aspects of information resources. The technical aspects include hardware and operating systems, networking, data management systems, and applications software. The managerial aspects specify how managing the IT department will be accomplished, how the functional area managers will be involved, and how IT decisions will be made. o The IT strategic plan is a set of long-range goals that describe the IT infrastructure and identify the major It initiatives needed to achieve the organizations goals. The IT strategic plan must meet three objectives:  it must be aligned with the organizations strategic plan  it must provide for an IT architecture that enables users, applications, and database to be seamlessly networked and integrated  it must efficiently allocate IS development resources among competing projects so the projects can be completed on time and within budget and have the required functionality o one critical component in developing and implementing the IT strategic plan is the IT steering committee. This committee, composed of a group of managers and staff representing various organizational units, is set up to establish IT priorities and to ensure that the MIS function is meeting the enterprise’s needs. The committee’s major tasks are to link corporate strategy and IT strategy, to approve the allocation of resources for the MIS function, and to establish performance measures for the MIS function and ensure that they are met. o After a company has agreed on an IT strategic plan, it next develops the IS operational plan. o IS operational plan contains the following elements:  Mission – the mission of the IS function  IS Environment – a summary of the information needs of the functional areas and of the organization as a whole  Objectives of the IS Function – the best current estimate of the goals of the IS function 2  Constraints on the IS function – technological, financial, personnel, and other resource limitations on the IS functions  The Application Portfolio – a prioritized inventory of present applications and a detailed plan of projects to be developed or continued during the current year  Resource allocation and project management – a listing of who is going to do what, how, and when BUSINESS PROCESSES AND BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT • A business process is a collection of related activities that produce a product or a service of value to the organization, its business partners, and/or its customers. a process has inputs and outputs, and its activities can be measured. Many processes cross functional areas in an organization, such as product development, which involves design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. • An organization’s business processes can lead to competitive advantages if they enable the company to innovate or execute better than competitors. Business processes can also be liabilities if they impede organizational responsiveness and efficiency • Business process excellence is widely recognized as the underlying basis for all significant measures of competitive performance in the organization. Consider these measures, for example: o Customer satisfaction – result of improving business process to fulfill the customers needs, wants, and desires o Cost reduction – result of having more efficient operations and supplier processes o Cycle and fulfillment time – result of having better manufacturing o Quality – result of improving the design, development, and production processes o Product differentiation – result of having effective marketing and innovation processes o Productivity – result of improving each individuals work processes • The question is: how does an organization ensure business process excellence • In their book reengineering the corporation, Hammer and Champy argued that American businesses needed to radically redesign their business processes to lower costs and increase quality in order to become more competitive. The authors further asserted that information technology was the key enabler of such radical change. This radical redesign, called business process reengineering (BPR), is an approach that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations business processes. • BPM, which is a management technique that includes methods and tools to support the design, analysis, implementation, management, and optimization of business processes • Initially, BPM helps companies improve profitability by decreasing costs and increasing revenues. Over time, BPM, can create a competitive advantage by improving organizational flexibility INFORMATION SYSTEMS: CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS As we will find out more detail in chapter 2, an information system (IS) collects, processes, stores, analyzes, and disseminates information for a specific purpose. It has been said that the purpose of information systems is to get the right information to the right people at the right time in the right amount and in the right format. • Data, Information, and Knowledge 3 • One of the primary goals of information systems is to economically process data into information and knowledge. • Data Items – elementary description of the things, events, activities, and transactions that are recorded, classified, and stored but not organized to convey any specific meaning. Example – numbers, letters, figures, sounds, images • Information – refers to data that have been organized so that they have meaning and value to the recipient. Example – gpa is data, but couples with students name is information • Knowledge – consists of data and/or information that have been organized and processed to convey understanding, experience, accumulated learning, and expertise as they apply to a current business problem. • Information Technology Architecture o An organization’s IT architecture is a high-level map or plan of the information assets in an organization. It is both a guide for current operations and a blueprint for future directions. o IT architecture shows how all aspects of information technology in an organization fit together • Information Technology Infrastructure o An organization’s IT infrastructure consists of the physical facilities, It components, IT services, and IT personnel that support the entire organization. o We see that IT components are the computer hardware, software, and communications technologies that provide the foundation for all of an organization’s information systems. As we move up the pyramid (p.13), we see that IT personnel use IT components to produce IT services, which include data management, systems development, and security concerns. THE GLOBAL, WEB-BASED PLATFORM Globalization is the integration and interdependence of economic, social, cultural, and ecological facets of life, enabled by rapid advances in information technology. • The Three Stages of Globalization o Book: World is Flat – Thomas Friedman o He identifies
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