Information Systems Infrastructure: Evolution and Trends
This paper provides an analysis on growth and development of Information System Infrastructure. Information Systems infrastructure consist of technical and an information system part. The technical part comprises of wide range of technical equipment. The information system part consists of network and communication. This paper also consist an integrated infrastructure management information system. Information Systems Infrastructure is being used as backbone of organizations.
Information Systems Infrastructure: Evolution and Trends
Information system is proven to be one of the most important factors in enterprise development. In its advancement it has turned from just a tool to a competitive and strategy element. That’s the reason why information systems for business management have been studied from various aspects, along with its execution and things that can influence it. The fast development of Internet, intranets and other interrelated global networks made a noticeable difference in the importance of information system in organizations.
Web based enterprise and worldwide electronic business and e-commerce systems are becoming ordinary in the management and administration of the present business endeavors. In fact information system is still doing likewise fundamental things that they started doing more than 50 years back. Despite all the development we still have to process transactions, provide administrative help, keep records, offer help for bookkeeping and procedures of the association. Although now providing help has become much easier. Now we enjoy a much advanced level of system functions across various applications, better connection between complex components and the capability to do critical computing jobs such as storing data, processing, and presenting utmost benefits of business and strategic opportunities.
With rising potentials, future systems will look after increasing both the pace and reach of the systems to offer tighter integration along with better flexibility. Internet and its related technologies have entirely changed how businesses work and how individuals work, how technology support business processes, decision-making and competitive benefits. Nowadays almost all the organizations are using internet technologies to invent business applications. E-business is empowering businesses, electronic commerce and organizations collaboration between companies and its clients, suppliers and shareholders. Networks like internet, inside an enterprise (intranet) and those between organizations and its partners (extranet) have become an integral information technology infrastructure that helps e-business applications of many organizations. Many companies depend on business applications to reconstruct internal business procedures, execute electronic commerce systems with their clients and suppliers and support enterprise association between business teams an workgroups.
Information systems were launched in the companies since the first computer appeared as a significant and powerful tool to use and develop management activities. Their launching was gradually done in different department over due course of time. They were introduced into different departments and specific area with the evolution of technology. In 1960s the very first application of information system was introduced. It was in the accountant management area. Reason why the first application developed was of accountancy is because accountancy is defined by universal rules and laws. The designing and execution of the software for bookkeeping is comparatively easier with other areas in organizations is that accountancy rules are same in every country. Also no matter what is the nature of the firm is they have to do manage accounts. The launching of accounting software in the organization was absolutely necessary to manage invoices, paying dues, collecting payments etc. In this way such operation helped storing important data and information securely. Information system helps organization to keep their data secure, increase productivity, and reduce costs and error which is not possible by a human.
After developing software for organizations to handle their accounts, efforts were directed towards the research and development of stock management area, with continued effort Inventory Control System were introduced. These systems helped the organization to know the stocks available at the warehouse, their consumption in different times, their value and something which is very important for companies. These systems proved to be very important and significant in process management.
During the end of 60s and starting of 70s first Material Requirement planning i.e. MRP was introduced. The main characteristic of MRP system is that they use step by step process for to manage inventory allowing basic creation of material plant. They allow organizations in achieving exceptional advances by helping in inventory and reduction of time and increase efficiency supply. The second level of MRP systems which is MRP II system was introduced I the 80s. This new information system was launched to help companies in material planning, resource planning, manufacturing capacity. Although both the names are same but the meaning is totally different. MRP II is abbreviation of Manufacturing Resources Planning and it focused exclusively on the materials management. These kinds of systems are focused on production area, but also try to combine with the other information applications to manage other parts of the organization.
It integrated various new functions in the MRP II system so that it can cover other management parts of an organization too such as engineering, human resources, project management, logistics etc. Later ERP was launched and it created it a lot of confusion between these two. One is more of a traditional application “ERP” and another one is more technological advance and business trend created by rise of the Internet as e-commerce and e-business and collective environment. ERP is software introduced to control important management of various modules that control an organization. Basic modules like accounting, selling, production, cost management, quality management, human resources, manufacturing, research and development etc. It develops a communication between different departments of an organization to work faster. ERP is package software that helps in following activities:
Accounting and Finance
Sales and Marketing
Collecting and Paying
Customers and Suppliers
Planning ; Cost Management
Project Management etcRecent Advances
In recent years many integrated systems have been introduced for management of an organization such as:
Human Resource Management (HRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Business Intelligence (BI)
Another technological advance that took place in the evolution of Information System for management of an organization is system architecture. The Information Systems that companies use for management are usually distributed between the whole companies.
Elements of Information Systems
Information system’s being is dependent on three chief elements which are:
First is Data Base which central data warehouse of the information is used from the customers and towards the customers.
Second is client who introduces the data and request for the information.
Third is application that acts as mediator between clients and data base.
Information Systems decide how these elements are distributed and functions with the provided information. The new trends indicate the new well defined parts that are going to cover the information system for administration of an organization. It is also required to highlight the progress of some applications that are created to support and are designed to help the companies. It can be said that there are two trends to follow for the progress of the system. One is information system for company’s management to incorporate with other various systems that cover needs of the company. Other one is the trend to take in all likely function offered by other systems. Various functions that the new ERP incorporate with others are:
Customer Relationship Management
Supply Chain Management
Point OF Sales
Supply Relation Management
Product Lifecycle Management
Knowledge Management System
Application of Information Systems
Lately there is a trend of free of cost applications/software they are called open software. This trend is also taking place in information system for management of an organization. Nowadays such kind of software is available in the market. But this software is not strong or secured enough. Also another technical trend is Host Application Service Providers. Hi sis a common activity these days. These services are provided over strong internet connections or network connection. Those companies who providing hosting services give both software/application and hardware/system maintenance and the security. This allows the organizations to lessen the work load and in some ways reduce the cost of different nature. So the companies can focus only on their business and customers.
E-Commerce and Information Systems
E- Commerce is one trend that is changing the way information systems work and is also modifying the way how businesses work. Mobile technology is a new channel that helps organizations to find new customers and connect with them over the internet despite the location, time and date. E-Commerce is one the technological advance that will probably incorporate information systems for management. This new trend and its incorporation can change the way of making business. It is like a revolution in the worlds of organizations. It is the most significant advances. Nowadays companies are developing and adapting new traditions of business created by e-commerce. Generation of business through E-Commerce is going to expand by the new changes that organizations are adapting. This will influence the internal and external division of organization. E-Commerce and Mobile technology are game changer and trend setter for the organization and its all is because of Information System. Even though purchasing or selling of a product is not the principal purpose of mobile applications, searching the product, looking for color options, comparison of prices are the basic activities of mobile commerce.
E-Commerce is not a future anymore it’s a reality. The first mobile application to purchase products was launched in 2008. QR code is the latest technology that is available in the market and is also integrated in some mobile phones. QR code save information on a person’s device to use it later and when a person generates a transaction it will get through immediately. Also customers will get notification on their phones with the saved data in the app. Also customers get advertisement or details about launch of new products. Sales that are processed online through mobile apps are an advantage to both the company and its customers; traditionally it was managed through faxes or e-mails. Also with the help of Information technology execution of plans or introducing a new plan, employees reporting or inventory management has became so much easier.
Trends of Development
Many reports and data can be accessed from smart phones from anywhere in the world anytime. Information System is to make it easy and support the incorporation of the system with other applications. It is difficult as it should be created in the similar information system, communication system; keeping in mind the various options available earlier are associated to optimize the connection between smart phone and people. Currently most of the manufacturers of incorporated information systems are following new trends. Now the information systems are more into absorbing information within a single system. This would not have possible without E-Commerce. It is still a developing technology and not developed enough to function all by itself. Nowadays the expansion and improvement of the software to do the communication are at a stage where it is likely to reach a point that will absolutely launch this channel to a bigger market and a larger group of audience. The information system and its software that are helping organization’s management are expanding continuously according to the market demand and the new rising technology.
It was a small program a few years ago and now it has become really big in just few years. Basically these applications were intended to help organizations in accounting management but lately these applications are able to handle all the data that an organization requires both internally and externally. Previously there were new integrated advances to these processes. There are advances which look after the different parts of the organization like Customer relationship management, knowledge management, e-commerce etc. Also there are new techniques and advances like programming, architectural systems and new languages which are constantly providing help to various organizations.
The information system for organizational management is continuously expanding and the anticipated trends are focusing on both aspects of technical and functional improvements. In functional one there will be new features integrating, improving and using recent functions like supply chain management, customer relationship management, knowledge management system, point of sales systems etc. On the other hand the technical one is evolving into open software (free software) and e-commerce. The e-commerce is one of the initial trends and is greatly modifying some processes for the organizations. By this the management of an organization is available for its clients at all times despite of day, hour, location etc.
But it is essential that information system adapt to the requirement of changing environment. There are several factors that affect it such as communication between devices and peoples. Although already resolved and understood there are just some small problems, it is likely to say that currently technology advances has gone to a stage where it is possible to start the new communication where everything it can do. That way organizations can function this new tool and to use their resources and develop through it.
Management Information Systems
The major role of information systems is to enhance reporting for business operations thereby making the role of management easier. Information systems help making organization management easier. It also gives a competitive advantage to the organization.
Some of the ways in which information system can aid in improving management operations are as follows:
Decision Making – Managers needs quick access to information that can be used for decision making regardless of the industry being marketing, financial or healthcare. Decision making process is made easier and quicker by the use of information systems. Storage of information is made easier which helps in easy access over a specified centralized network. It also helps in the information being available to managers of many departments at the same time.
Data Collection – Data from both outside and inside the organization is available to be collected using information tools that can collect, merge and centralize the data. This helps in all members of the supply chain to provide the data that can help in decision making process. It also helps in tracking the performance as sales numbers and production numbers could be tracked. This can help in early identification of triggers that can lead to operational or sales loss.
Collaboration – Any decision on a cellular level in an organization requires input from various teams and individuals. Without efficient collaboration not only will decisions take a long time but they will not be appropriate. Information systems ensure that all members involved in the decision making process have access to the data and are able to collaborate.
Accurate Projections – Management systems help with trend analysis that aids in projections which will lead to changes in company strategies which affects the organization in the long run.
Tracking Implementations – Before implementing any big decision, executives of an organization look at the projections that can be derived using the current data. Once any decision is implemented, it’s important to make sure that it’s regularly monitored. In absence of regular monitoring, any decision may fail and cause a loss to the organization. Information systems help in providing these projections and tracking any implementations that gives an opportunity to the executives to withdraw any decision that is not going as planned.
Reporting enhancement – Management information systems are favored by large organizations as they are very effective in enhancing the reporting which not helps in correct decision making but also makes it quick. These reports can be customized as per requirement as well. These reports can be used for trend analysis that is very useful for higher executives to gain a brief summary of performances.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Information Systems
Communication – Information systems have helped make communication easier on a global scale by the use of emails, video calls, instant messaging and made it all quicker and efficient.
Availability – Information systems have made it easier for businesses to operate 24/7 which has improved profits and made more services available to the general public. It has also made logistics of goods delivery easier.
Job Creation – The advent of information systems has brought with itself new and better jobs which include programmers, hardware and software engineers, web designers etc.
Cost effective – Information systems are becoming more cost effective due to the wide array of jobs that can be done using them. It has also spiked the productivity for organizations both private and public. There are many real world applications of information systems those also governmental operations.
Lack of job security – Implementing information systems is very beneficial for organizations over the world however it also has it disadvantages. One of them being automation that can cause most manual work to be eliminated which may lead to loss of job for many individuals. This means that individuals have to be on constant learning mode to catch up with the ever evolving technologies. This leads to job insecurity as almost all the people working on a certain technology can be replaced.
Dominant Culture – Due to the evolving technologies, countries that are most technologically advanced can have dominance over the world which leads to countries with less technological advantage suffer from vices like poverty. It has also caused languages spoken by the technologically advanced countries to be most popular causing other languages to diminish over time.
Security Issue – Today data is available to everyone that can connect to internet. With the advances in technologies, it has become easier for this data to be hacked and used for personal gain. This has posed the concern of security. Without proper measures of securing the data, it can be stolen. It has also posed security issues of user’s personal data being stolen. While organizations are trying to make sure that such event does not occur, more often than not, the hackers have an advantage and due to the slightest negligence highly confidential data happens to get stolen.
Expensive – It requires a good amount of money in order to implement the setup integrating software, hardware and people. These services can be outsourced but end up costing a lot of money. Not only does it require constant updating but there is cost involved of training the personnel which is expensive.
Technology Dependence – Due to technology now being part and parcel of our society, we have become too dependent on technology so much so that people have forgotten to do the most basic tasks without using technology. Technology dependence has caused people to become more aloof and withdrawn as well causing mental health issues.
Information system and company management have evolved greatly during the recent years. Organizations and people have adapted to these changes as that being the need of the hour. These emerging technologies have given way to a better life for many people. The software that was just a piece of code at one point of time has become a fully functional application now that is available to many people at the same time. Initially technological systems had only official use but now applications that are made of official use are also available for private use.
The evolution of information technology has been fast but unpredictable. Not only has it improved the efficiency of back office work but now created new business model and even new businesses altogether. There has been a profound effect of information systems on people’s lives, businesses and even many industries. Patterns can be observed from this erratic developmental phase and its impact on the world as we know it. Technologies that paved the way for the world that we know now have taught a valuable lesson in planning, execution, managing new applications and securing them. Necessity has been the mother of invention in this case.
Due to globalization, there has been a major pressure on businesses not only to excel but to survive caused by increasing competition and improving capabilities of technology which can eliminate a lot of jobs and automate them. There has been a consideration is radical strategies that can alter the way businesses operate. These strategies require transformation of business processes, structure of organization, relationships to achieve major improvement in business processes.
Information technologies strategies are now integrates with business strategies and is not mutually exclusive anymore. There is no organization today that doesn’t use information technology in one way or other. The advances in information technology have become very rapid and have to be controlled with regulations. With the evolving technologies, the need to secure it has been on the rise as well. More efforts are now being put in to secure networks that are vulnerable to hacking than before.
CITATION Kel16 l 1033 (Kelly, 2016) CITATION Sch14 l 1033 (Schmidt ; Cohen, 2014) CITATION The l 1033 (The Global Information Infrastructure System) CITATION Inf18 l 1033 (3 trends that will impact information management systems, 2018)Bibliography
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