Building is into our operational processes, Computer Engineering

Building IS into our operational processes - Information System

Although information systems are becoming increasingly prevalent they are not always the correct solution to every business problem and a degree of caution must be exercised as there is no need to use technology for technologies sake. The advantages of IS must be considered prior to its implementation with the nature of both the task and the organisation taken into consideration. In addition to defining the degree of use of the proposed IS its level of integration with other business processes should also be considered - while highly integrated systems are becoming the fashion they are not always the best solution. Here are some factors to consider when implementing an information system into your organisation.

The implementation of an information system will be more beneficial when it is used to perform structured tasks. By this we mean activities that have:

  • Precisely known requirements
  • A clear methodology
  • A process that is totally defined
  • Input's and output's that can be measured accurately.


On the other hand information systems are less useful when they are called upon to carry out unstructured tasks where there maybe:

  • unclear requirements or process or methodology
  • the need for a degree of intuition, creativity or abstract thought
  • the need to apply experience.


In addition the nature of the organisation must be considered. The following features of the organisation should be understood when deciding the extent and level of integration that an IS should bring:

  •  Common culture - does the organisation have a homogenous culture with all parts conforming to the same value-set and norms of behaviour therefore open to the systemic control and resultant organisational alignment that results with the implantation of an integrated IS?
  • Common standards - do disparate parts of the organisation have common definitions, processes, vocabularies etc. that will enable the easy implementation of a common governing mechanism?
  • Information sharing - what information needs to be shared between different processes and people? It maybe that a fully integrated system is not necessary.
  • Co-ordination/collaboration- what processes communicate with each other and work together and which do not. Can two or more processes be merged to become a single streamlined process?

    While lack of integration can cause extra work and delay when pertinent information may not be available, a fully integrated system may not be the best option as there are downsides. Larger more integrated systems are difficult to develop and manage due to the complexity of the overall system in terms of number of active elements and interactions and the associated reliability and maintainability issues. In addition the rhythm of each process must be taken into consideration in terms of its duration, and regularity i.e. constant frequency, event-driven or haphazard. The integration of too many processes that are dissimilar may lead to an inflexible and 'clunky' overall system.
Posted Date: 3/14/2013 3:54:16 AM | Location : United States

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