Key MIS Concepts
August 28 – September 1
; People as a Key Resource:
o The single most important resource in an organization is not technology, but it is
people (p. 10).
o Technology is a tool that can help an organization produce and manage
information more efficiently. In the end, the most important thing to an
organization is what its people decide to do with the information. o Therefore, it is important that you become a technology-literate knowledge
worker. A technology-literate knowledge worker is a person who knows how
and when to apply technology (p. 11).
o You cannot apply technology to any given process and expect that process
instantly efficient and effective. In addition, you also must be an information-
literate knowledge worker. Information-knowledge workers (p. 11):
; Can define what information they need.
; Know how and where to obtain that information.
; Understand the information once they receive it.
; Can act appropriately based on the information to help the organization
achieve the greatest advantage.
o Although you may be both a technology-literate and information-literate
knowledge worker, you must also be resolved to use that information in an
ethical manner. Ethics are the principles and standards that guide our behavior
toward other people (p. 13).
; Being a good knowledge worker also involves protecting yourself and
your organization from unethical people (p. 13).
; Decentralized Computing and Shared Information:
o Because most organizations have so many different people performing many
different tasks, the concepts of decentralized computing and shared information
have become very important (p. 17).
o Shared information is an environment in which an organization’s information is
organized in one central location, allowing anyone to access and use it as he or
she needs it (p. 17).
o Decentralized information is an environment in which an organization splits
computing power and locates it in functional business areas as well as on the
desktops of knowledge workers (p. 17).
o The combinations of those two concepts are known as client-server computing.
The computers that store the information in the centralized location are known as
servers, and the computers that connect to the servers are known as a client.
; Roles and Goals of Information Technology:
o There are six major roles and goals of information technology: ; Increase employee productivity ; Create business partnerships and
; Enhance decision making. alliances.
; Improve team collaboration. ; Enable global reach.
; Facilitate organizational
o Increase employee productivity:
; IT can reduce time, errors, and costs associated with processing
information in a variety of ways.
; To increase productivity, organizations often use a tool called online
transaction processing (OLTP). OLTP is the gathering of input
information, processing that information, and updating existing
information to reflect the gathered and processed information (p. 21).
; Another way to increase employee productivity is to place more of the
responsibility of processing transactions on the customer. One way to do
this is through the use of a customer-integrated system (CIS) which
places technology in the hands of an organization’s customers and allows
them to process their own transactions.
o Enhance decision making:
; IT can help upper management create alternate ways to do business, find
solutions to problems, or find the information they need to make a
decision (p. 21).
; Technology to support decision making falls into two categories:
1. Those that help you analyze a situation and then that decision
entirely up to you.
o An example would be an executive information system
(EIS) which is a highly interactive IT system that allows
you to first view highly summarized information and
then choose to see more specific details, which may alert
you to potential problems or opportunities (p. 21).
2. Those that actually make some sort of recommendation
concerning what to do.
o Artificial intelligence (AI) is the science of making
machines think and behave like humans (p. 22).
o Improve Team Collaboration:
; IT can help to manage knowledge within an organization and to support
and facilitate communications between geographically dispersed teams. ; A collaborative system is a system that is designed specifically to
improve performance of teams by supporting the sharing and flow of
information (p. 22).
; The software component of a collaboration system is groupware.
; One example would be Internet chat rooms. Another example would be
software that allows several people to edit a file at the same time.
o Create Business Partnerships and Alliances:
; IT can help you order from your business partners and suppliers more
quickly. It can help you to share information with your business
; One popular example would be electronic data interchange (EDI). EDI
is the direct computer-to-computer transfer of information about
transactions such as invoices and purchase orders (p. 24). ; One aspect of EDI is electronic funds transfer (EFT) which allows for
payment without physically sending money.
o Enable Global Reach:
; IT can allow you to market your products and services in countries all
over the world and develop partnerships and alliances with other
businesses around the world.
o Facilitate Organizational Transformation:
; IT can allow you to stay competitive or enter into new markets and
transform the way your organization does its business.