Q 1: Define MIS ? What are the characteristics of MIS? Answer:

MIS is an Information system which helps in providing the management of an organization with information which is used by management for decision making. A management information system (MIS) is a subset of the overall internal controls of a business covering the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures by management accountants to solving business problems such as costing a product, service or a business-wide strategy. Management information systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems. An 'MIS' is a planned system of the collecting, processing, storing and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the functions of management. According to Philip Kotler "A marketing information system consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers." The terms MIS and information system are often confused. Information systems include systems that are not intended for decision making. The area of study called MIS is sometimes referred to, in a restrictive sense, as information technology management. That area of study should not be confused with computer science. IT service management is a practitioner-focused discipline. MIS has also some differences with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as ERP incorporates elements that are not necessarily focused on decision support. MIS has a major impact on the functions of any organization. The organization derives benefits from the systems in the following form: a) b) c) d) e) f) Speedy access to information, Interpretation of data, Quick decisions, Speedy actions, increased productivity and thereby increase in the profit Reduced transaction cost.

MIS characteristics In any organization managers will have varieties of tasks to manage. MIS is mainly designed to take care of the needs of the managers in the organization. • Organizations will have different departments like marketing, production, sales, inventory, maintenance etc. Each of these departments function individually and also in relationship with other departments. Information is available in abundance. MIS aids in integrating the information generated by various departments of the organization. MIS helps in identifying a proper mechanism of storage of data. The data is maintained in such a way that the unnecessary duplication of data is avoided. MIS also helps in establishing mechanism to eliminate redundancies in data. MIS as a system can be broken down into sub systems. Each such sub system may be programmed. This results in easy access of data, accuracy of data and information. It helps in maintaining the consistency of data.

• • •

Function of MIS The main function of MIS is to help the managers and the executives in the organization in decision-making. • • • • • Large quantities of data like customers information, competitors information, personnel records, sales data, accounting data etc is collected from internal sources like the Company records and external sources like annual reports and publications. The collected data is organized in the form of a database. The data from the database is processed and analyzed by using different tools and techniques. The results of the analysis are properly presented to the managers to help them in decision-making.

Q 2: Explain strategic MIS categories in detail. Give illustration for each category? Answer: Strategic Information System A Strategic Information System (SIS) is a system to manage information and assist in strategic decision making. A strategic information system has been defined as, "The information system to support or change enterprise's strategy." A SIS is a type of Information System that is aligned with business strategy and structure. The alignment increases the capability to respond faster to environmental changes and thus creates a competitive advantage. An early example was the favorable position afforded American and United Airlines by their reservation systems, Sabre and Apollo. For many years these two systems ensured that the two carriers' flights appeared on the first screens observed by travel

agents, thus increasing their bookings relative to competitors. A major source of controversy surrounding SIS is their sustainability. SISs are different from other comparable systems as: 1) they change the way the firm competes. 2) they have an external (outward looking) focus. 3) they are associated with higher project risk. 4) they are innovative (and not easily copied).

It is mainly concerned with providing and organization and its members an assistance to perform the routine tasks efficiently and effectively. One of the major issue before any organization is the challenge of meeting its goals and objectives. Strategic IS enable such organization in realizing their goals. Strategic Information System (SIS) is a support to the existing system and helps in achieving a competitive advantage over the organizations competitors in terms of its objectives. This unit deals with the critical aspects of the strategic information system. This units indicates the theoretical concepts and the way in which the same are realized in practice. The flow of the unit is in such a way that it starts with the development of contemporary theory about strategic uses of corporations' internal information systems leading to systems which transcend the boundaries of particular organizations. The process whereby strategic information systems are created or identified is then examined. A number of weaknesses in the existing body of theory are identified, and suggestions made as to directions in which knowledge is or may be progressing. A strategic information system is concerned with systems which contribute significantly to the achievement of an organization's overall objectives. The body of knowledge is of recent origin and highly dynamic, and the area has an aura of excitement about it. The emergence of the key ideas, the process whereby strategic information systems come into being is assessed, areas of weakness are identified, and directions of current and future development suggested. Information system is regarded as a tool to provide various services to different management functions. The tools have been developing year by year and the application of the tool has become more and more diverse. In management it is now a very power means to manage and control various activities and decision making process. The original idea of automating mechanical processes got quickly succeeded by the rationalization and integration of systems. In both of these forms, IS was regarded primarily as an operational support tool, and secondarily as a service to management. Subsequent to the development, it was during the last few years that an additional potential was discovered. It was found that, in some cases, information technology (IT) had been critical to the implementation of an organization's strategy. An organization’s strategy supported by information system fulfilling its business objectives came to be known as Strategic Information System. The strategic information system consists of functions that involved gathering, maintenance and analysis of data concerning internal resources, and intelligence about competitors, suppliers, customers, government and other relevant organizations.

Q 3: Write a detailed note on the planning and development of Management Information Systems? Answer:

Information is a corporate resource, as important as the capital, labour, know-how etc. and is being used for decision-making. Its quality, therefore, is required to be very high. A low quality information would adversely affect the organizational performance as it affects decision-making. The quality of information is the result of the quality of the input data, processing design, system design, system and procedures which generate such a data, and the management of the data processing function. Quality, unlike any other product, is not an absolute concept. Its level is determined with reference to the context and its use, and the user. Perfect quality just as perfect information is non-achievable and has cost-benefit implications. However, it is possible to measure the quality of information on certain parameters. All these parameters need not have a very high value. Some parameters may have lesser importance in the total value on account of their relevance in the information and its use. The quality parameters which are generally considered are shown in the table Individual differences
Locus of control internal or external to the situation.

The degree of perception in assessing the control which is internal to the organization or external to the organization. The degree of faith in beliefs, opinions and past experience.

Effect information processing

on Examples
The production decisions, selection of tools and materials etc. The pricing, advertising in a Competitive environment. The top management decision-making in a strategic planning. Manager Constantly asking for more information.

More information gathering and analysis, if internal.

Personal dogmatism.

Low dogmatism, then more information collection and processing. Higher, then more information gathering and analysis. Tight tolerance then more information collection and analysis. High ability, then less information and more self analysis.

Risk propensity.

The ability to take the risk. for Level of clarity required in the information. The ability to read through the information. The ability to manipulate the data and information vis-à-vis the stored information and knowledge.

Tolerance ambiguity.

Manipulative intelligence.

Experienced and skillful managers rely on the manipulative intelligence.

Experience in decision-making.

Extent of experience at particular level of decision making.

High, then correct filtering of data and appropriate choice of decision makingprocess.

The managers with a wide experience in the different fields of management call for precise and less but pertinent information. The Technocrat scientists, and managers of technology have definite information.

Knowledge of the task, tools and technology.

The extent of knowledge in the application of the tools and technology.

Higher, then less information relevant to and tools correct analysis.

The quality of these important parameters is ensured by conducting a proper systems analysis, designing a suitable information system and ensuring its maintenance from time to time, and also subjecting it to audit checks to ensure the system integrity. The quality of the parameters is assured if the following steps are taken. 1. All the input is processed and controlled, as input and process design. 2. All updating and corrections are completed before the data processing begins. 3. Inputs (transactions, documents, fields and records) are subject to validity checks. 4. The access to the data files is protected and secured through an authorization scheme. 5. Intermediate processing checks are introduced to ensure that the complete data is processed right through, i.e. run to run controls. 6. Due attention is given to the proper file selection in terms of data, periods and so on. 7. Backup of the data and files are taken to safeguard corruption or loss of data. 8. The system audit is conducted from time to time to ensure that the information system specifications are not violated. 9. The system modifications are approved by following a set procedure which begins with authorization of a change to its implementation followed by an audit. 10. Systems are developed with a standard specification of design and development. 11. Information system processing is controlled through programme control, process control and access control. 12. Ensure MIS model confirms consistency to business plan satisfying information needs to achieve business goals. The assurance of quality is a continuing function and needs to be evolved over a period and requires to be monitored properly. It cannot be assessed in physical units of measure. The user of the information is the best judge of the quality.

Q 4: Explain in detail the necessity and importance of System Design in MIS.

The Business application system demands designing of systems suitable to the application in project. The major steps involved in the design are the following:

Input Design: Input design is defined as the input requirement specification as per a format required. Input design begins long before the data arrives at the device. The analyst will have to design source documents, input screens and methods and procedures for getting the data into the computer. Output Design: The design of the output is based on the requirement of the usermanager, customer etc. The output formats have to very friendly to the user. Therefore the designer has to ensure he appropriateness of the of the output format. Development: When the design and its methodology is approved the system is developed using appropriate business models. The development has to be in accordance to a given standard. The norms have to be strictly adhered to. Testing : Exhaustive and thorough testing must be conducted to ascertain whether the system produces the right results. Testing is time consuming: Test data must be carefully prepared, result reviewed and corrections made in the system. In some instances, parts of the system may have to be redesigned. Testing an information system can be broken down into three types of activities.: unit testing, system testing and acceptance testing. Implementation and Maintenance : Conversion – Conversion is the process of changing from the old system to the new system. Four main conversion strategies can be employed. They are – the parallel strategy, the direct cutover strategy, the pilot strategy and the phased strategy. In a parallel strategy both the old system and its potential replacement are run together for a time until everyone is assure that the new one functions correctly. This is the safest conversion approach because, in the event of errors or processing disruption, the old system can still be used as a backup. But, this approach is very expensive, and additional staff or resources may be required to run the extra system. The direct cutover strategy replaces the old system entirely with the new system on an appointed day. At first glance, this strategy seems less costly than the parallel conversion strategy. But, it is a very risky approach that can potentially be more costly than parallel activities if serious problems with the new systems are found. There is no other system to fall back on. Dislocation, disruptions and the cost of corrections are enormous. The pilot strategy introduces the new system to only a limited area of the organization, such as a single department or operating unit. When this version is complete and working

smoothly, it is installed throughout the rest of the organization, either simultaneously or in stages. The phased strategy introduces the new system in stages, either by functions or by organizational units. If, for example, the system is introduced by functions, a new payroll system might begin with hourly workers who are paid weekly, followed six months later by adding salaried employees (who paid monthly) to the system. Maintenance is also necessary for other failures and problems that arise during the operation of a system. End-users and information systems personnel then perform a troubleshooting function to determine the causes of and solution to such problems/
Q 5: Explain in detail about e-business, e-commerce and e-collaboration. Give Suitable examples? Managing an E-business & Challenges before an E-business - Due to Internet capabilities and web technology, traditional business organization definition has undergone a change where scope of the enterprise now includes other company locations, business partners, customers and vendors. It has no geographic boundaries as it can extend its operations where Internet works. All this is possible due to Internet and web moving traditional paper driven organization to information driven Internet enabled E-business enterprise. E-business enterprise is open twenty-four hours, and being independent, managers, vendors, customers transact business any time from anywhere. Internet capabilities have given E-business enterprise a cutting edge capability advantage to increase the business value. It has opened new channels of business as buying and selling can be done on Internet. It enables to reach new markets across the world anywhere due to communication capabilities. It has empowered customers and vendors / suppliers through secured access to information to act, wherever necessary. The cost of business operations has come down significantly due to the elimination of paper-driven processes, faster communication and effective collaborative working. The effect of these radical changes is the reduction in administrative and management overheads, reduction in inventory, faster delivery of goods and services to the customers. Answer:

In E-business enterprise traditional people organization based on 'Command Control' principle is absent. It is replaced by people organization that is empowered by information and knowledge to perform their role. They are supported by information systems, application packages, and decision-support systems. It is no longer functional, product, and project or matrix organization of people but E-organization where people work in network environment as a team or work group in virtual mode. E-business enterprise is more process-driven, Technology-enabled and uses its own information and knowledge to perform. It is lean in number, flat in structure, broad in scope and a learning organization. In E-business enterprise, most of the things are electronic, use digital technologies and work on databases, knowledge bases, directories and document repositories. The business processes are conducted through enterprise software like ERP, SCM, and CRM supported by data warehouse, decision support, and knowledge management systems. Today most of the business organizations are using Internet technology, network, and wireless technology for improving the business performance measured in terms of cost, efficiency, competitiveness and profitability. They are using E-business, Ecommerce solutions to reach faraway locations to deliver product and

services. The enterprise solutions like ERP, SCM, and CRM run on Internet (Internet / Extranet) & Wide Area Network (WAN). The business processes across the organization and outside run on E-technology platform using digital technology. Hence today's business firm is also called E-enterprise or Digital firm. The paradigm shift to E-enterprise has brought four transformations, namely: • Domestic business to global business. • Industrial manufacturing economy to knowledge-based service economy. • Enterprise Resource Management to Enterprise Network Management. • Manual document driven business process to paperless, automated, electronically transacted business process. These transformations have made conventional organization design obsolete. In E-enterprise, business is conducted electronically. Buyers and sellers through Internet drive the market and Internet-based web systems. Buying and selling is possible on Internet. Books, CDs, computer, white goods and many such goods are bought and sold on Internet. The new channel of business is well-known as Ecommerce. On the same lines, banking, insurance, healthcare are being managed through Internet E-banking, Ebilling, E-audit, & use of Credit cards, Smart card, ATM, E-money are the examples of the Ecommerce application. The digital firm, which uses Internet and web technology and uses E-business and Ecommerce solutions, is a reality and is going to increase in number. MIS for E-business is different compared to conventional MIS design of an organization. The role of MIS in E-business organization is to deal with changes in global market and enterprises. MIS produces more knowledge-based products. Knowledge management system is formally recognized as a part of MIS. It is effectively used for strategic planning for survival and growth, increase in profit and productivity and so on. To achieve the said benefits of E-business organization, it is necessary to redesign the organization to realize the benefits of digital firm. The organization structure should be lean and flat. Get rid of rigid established infrastructure such as branch office or zonal office. Allow people to work from anywhere. Automate processes after reengineering the process to cut down process cycle time. Make use of groupware technology on Internet platform for faster response processing. Another challenge is to convert domestic process design to work for international process, where integration of multinational information systems using different communication standards, country-specific accounting practices, and laws of security are to be adhered strictly. Internet and networking technology has thrown another challenge to enlarge the scope of organization where customers and vendors become part of the organization. This technology offers a solution to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with customers, vendors and business partners. This is just not a technical change in business operations but a cultural change in the mindset of managers and workers to look beyond the conventional organization. It means changing the organization behaviour to take competitive advantage of the E-business technology. The last but not the least important is the challenge to organize and implement information architecture and information technology platforms, considering multiple locations and multiple information needs arising due to global operations of the business into a comprehensive MIS.

E-COMMERCE is a second big application next to ERP. It is essential deals with buying and selling of goods. With the advent of intent and web technology, E-Commerce today covers an entire commercial scope online including design and developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing, and paying for goods. Some E-Commerce application add order tracking as a feature for customer to know the delivery status of the order. The entire model successfully works on web platform and uses internet technology. E-Commerce process has two participants, namely Buyer and Seller, like in traditional business model. And unique and typical to E-commerce there is one more participant to seller by authorization and authentication of commercial transaction. E-Commerce process model can be viewed in four ways and categories: • B2C: Business Organisation to Customer • B2B: Business Organisation to Business • C2B: Customer to Business Organisation • C2C: Customer to Customer In B2C Model, business organization uses websites or portals to offer information about product, through multimedia clippings, catalogues, product configuration guidelines, customer histories and so on. A new customer interacts with the site and uses interactive order processing system for order placements. On placements of order, secured payment systems comes into operation to authorize and authenticate payment to seller. The delivery system then take over to execute the delivery to customer. In B2B Model, buyer and seller are business organizations. They exchange technical & commercial through websites and portals. Then model works on similar line like B2C. More advanced B2B model uses Extranet and Conducts business transaction based on the information status displayed on the buyer’s application server. In C2B Model, customer initiates actions after logging on to seller’s website or to server. On the server of the selling organization, E-Commerce application are present for the use of the customer. The entire Internet banking process work on C2B model where account holders of the bank transact a number of requirements such as seeking account balance, payment and so on. In C2C model, Customer Participates in the process of selling and buying through the auction website. In this model, website is used for personal advertising of products or services. ENewspaper website is an Example of advertising and selling of goods to customer. In B2B Model, the participants in E-business are two organisation with relations as buyer=seller, distributor-dealer and so on. E-Collaboration every business has a number of work scenarios where group of people work together to complete the tasks and to achieve a common objective. The group could be teams or virtual teams with different member strength. They come together to platform a task to achieve some results. The process is called Collaboration. The Biggest Advantage of E-Collaboration is that it taps the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience of the members. The collaboration team or group could be within the organization and between the organisation as well. Since, E-Collaboration works on an internet platform and uses web technology, work group/team need not be at one physical location.

E-collaboration uses E-Communication capabilities to perform collaborative tasks or project assignment. Its effectiveness is increased by software ‘GroupWare’ that enables the members of the group to share information, invoke an application and work together to create documents and share them and so on. E-Collaboration helps work effectively on applications like calendaring and scheduling tasks, event, project management, workflow application, work group application. E-collaboration system components are internet, Intranet, Extranet and LAN, WAN networks for communication through GroupWare tools, browser. Let us illustrate the model using an event in the business such as receipt of material for a job to be processed on the shop floor. In this event there is a transaction receipt of material, which needs to be processed, and then a workgroup will use this information of material receipt. Each member of this workgroup has a different goal. 6: What is an internet? Explain the differences between internet, intranet and extranet. Answer: Internet is a global network of interconnected computers, enabling users to share information along multiple channels. Typically, a computer that connects to the Internet can access information from a vast array of available servers and other computers by moving information from them to the computer's local memory. The same connection allows that computer to send information to servers on the network; that information is in turn accessed and potentially modified by a variety of other interconnected computers. A majority of widely accessible information on the Internet consists of inter-linked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW). Computer users typically manage sent and received information with web browsers; other software for users' interface with computer networks includes specialized programs for electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing. The movement of information in the Internet is achieved via a system of interconnected computer networks that share data by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiberoptic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies. Difference between internet, intranet and extranet as follow: Extranet : An extranet is a private network that uses the Internet protocols and the public telecommunication system to securely share part of a business's information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers, or other businesses. An extranet can be viewed as part of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company. An extranet requires security and privacy. ... A new buzzword that refers to an intranet that is partially accessible to authorized outsiders. Whereas an intranet resides behind a firewall and is accessible only to people who are members of the same company or organization, an extranet provides various levels of accessibility to outsiders. You can access an extranet only if you have a valid username and password, and your identity determines which parts of the extranet you can view. An extranet is somewhat very similar to an intranet. Extranets are designed specifically to give external, limited access to certain files of your computer systems to: • • • Certain large or priviledged customers. Selected industry partners. Suppliers and subcontractors... etc.

Therefore, a carefully designed extranet can bring additional business to your company. Intranets and extranets all have three things in common: • • • They both use secured Internet access to the outside world. Both can drastically save your company or organization a lot of money. Both need a user ID & password to control access to the whole system.

The professional development team at My Web Services has the expertise and the right tools to design the right intranet or extranet that will meet your exact needs, both for today and the future. Intranet: An internal use, private network inside an organisation that uses the same kind of software which would also be found on the Internet. Inter-connected network within one organization that uses Web technologies for the sharing of information internally, not world wide. Such information might include organization policies and procedures, announcements, or information about new products. An intranet is a restricted-access network that works like the Web, but isn't on it. Usually owned and managed by a company, an intranet enables a company to share its resources with its employees without confidential information being made available to everyone with Internet access. A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. An intranet's Web sites look and act just like any other Web sites, but the firewall surrounding an intranet fends off unauthorized access. Like the Internet itself, intranets are used to share information. An intranet is an information portal designed specifically for the internal communications of small, medium or large businesses, enterprises, governments, industries or financial institutions of any size or complexity. Intranets can be custom-designed to fit the exact needs of businesses no matter where they are situated. Users of intranets consists mainly of: • Members of the executive team. • Accounting and order billing. • Managers and directors. • Sales people and support staff. • Customer service, help desk, etc.. Internet: An electronic network of computers that includes nearly every university, government, and research facility in the world. Also included are many commercial sites. It started with four interconnected computers in 1969 and was known as ARPAnet. A network of computer networks which operates world-wide using a common set of communications protocols. The vast collection of inter-connected networks across the world that all use the TCP/IP protocols. A global network connecting millions of computers. A worldwide network of computer networks. It is an interconnection of large and small networks around the globe. The Internet began in 1962 as a resilient computer network for the US military and over time has grown into a global communication tool of more than 12,000 computer networks that share a common addressing scheme.


1. What are limitations of MIS? What are the factors which lead to the success and failure of MIS in an organization?
Ans: Limitations of MIS: -

1. The quality of the outputs of MIS is largely governed by the quantity of inputs and processes. 2. MIS is not a substitute for effective management. It is merely an important tool in the hands of executive for decision-making and problem solving. 3. MIS may not have requisite flexibility to quickly update itself with changing needs of time, especially in fast changing and complex environment. 4. MIS cannot provide tailor-made packages suitable for the purpose of every type of decisions made by managers. 5. MIS takes into account only the quantitative factors. Non-quantitative factors like morale and attitude of the members of the organization, which have an important bearing on decision-making process, is conveniently ignored. 6. MIS is less useful for making non-programmed decisions. 7. The effectiveness of MIS gets reduced in the organization of the type where information sharing is not adopted as culture. 8. MIS effectiveness decreases if there is frequent change of guards at the top management and/or frequent alterations in the organizational structure or the operational team. Factors Contributing to Success MIS is to be success then it should have all the features listed as follows: 1. The MIS is integrated into the managerial functions. It sets clear objectives to ensure that the MIS focuses on the major issues of the business. 2. An appropriate information processing technology required to meet the data processing and analysis needs of the users of the MIS is selected.

3. The MIS is oriented, defined and designed in terms of the user’s 4. The MIS is kept under continuous surveillance, so that its open system design is modified according to the changing information needs. 5. MIS focuses on the resultsν and goals, and highlights the factors and reasons for non achievement. 6. MIS is not allowed to end up into an information generation mill avoiding the noise in the information and the communication system. 7. The MIS recognizes that a manager is a human being and therefore, the systems must consider all the human behavioral factors in the process of the management. 8. The MIS recognizes that the different information needs for different objectives must be met with. The globalization of information in isolation from the different objectives leads to too much information and information and its non-use. 9. The MIS is easy to operate and, therefore, the design of the MIS has such features which make up a user-friendly design. 10. MIS recognizes that the information needs become obsolete and new needs emerge. The MIS design, therefore, has a basic potential capability to quickly meet new needs of information. 11. The MIS concentrates on developing the information supportν to manager critical success factors. It concentrates on the mission critical applications serving the needs of the top management Factors Contributing to Failures Many a times MIS is a failures. Theν common factors which are responsible for this are listed as follows: 1. The MIS is conceived as a data processing and not as an information processing system. 2. The MIS does not provide that information which is needed by the managers but it tends to provide the information generally the function calls for. The MIS then becomes an impersonal system. 3. Under estimating the complexity in the business systems and not recognizing it in the MIS design leads to problems in the successful implementation. 4. Adequate attention is not given to the quality control aspects of the inputs, the process and the outputs leading to insufficient checks and controls in the MIS.

5. The MIS is developed without streamlining the transaction processing systems in the organization. 6. Lack of training and appreciation that the users of theν information and the generators of the data are different, and they have to play an important responsible role in the MIS. 7. The MIS does not meetν certain critical and key factors of its users such as a response to the query on the database, an inability to get the processing done in a particular manner, lack of user-friendly system and the dependence on the system personnel. 8. A belief that the computerized MIS can solve all the managementν problems of planning and control of the business. 9. Lack of administrative discipline in following the standardized systems and procedures, wrong coding and deviating from the system specifications result in incomplete and incorrect information. The MIS does not give perfect information to all the users in the organization. 2. What is Business Process Re-engineering. Explain in detail the focus of BPR
on the current issues in Business.? Ans : Business process reengineering (BPR) is the analysis and redesign of workflow

within and between enterprises. BPR reached its heyday in the early 1990's when Michael Hammer and James Champy published their best-selling book, "Reengineering the Corporation". The authors promoted the idea that sometimes radical redesign and reorganization of an enterprise (wiping the slate clean) was necessary to lower costs and increase quality of service and that information technology was the key enabler for that radical change. Hammer and Champy felt that the design of workflow in most large corporations was based on assumptions about technology, people, and organizational goals that were no longer valid. They suggested seven principles of reengineering to streamline the work process and thereby achieve significant levels of improvement in quality, time management, and cost: 1. Organize around outcomes, not tasks. 2. Identify all the processes in an organization and prioritize them in order of redesign urgency. 3. Integrate information processing work into the real work that produces the information. 4. Treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized. 5. Link parallel activities in the workflow instead of just integrating their results. 6. Put the decision point where the work is performed, and build control into the process. 7. Capture information once and at the source
Focus of BPR on the current issues :- Apart from the usual ways of managing a

process in any business information system, it is necessary to enhance the value of the process and also methods used in improving the process. Some of the concepts of

information management for effective information systems are the traditional concept of database, the emerging concepts of data mining and data warehousing. Concept of Database – Database is a data structure used to store organized information. A database is typically made up of many linked tables of rows and columns. For example: a company might use a database to store information about their products, their employees and financial information. Databases are now used in nearly all e-commerce sites to store product inventory and customer information. Database software, such as Microsoft Access, FileMaker Pro is designed to help companies and individuals organize large amount of information in a way where the data can be easily searched, sorted, and updated. Data Mining - Data mining, the extraction of hidden predictive information from large databases, is a powerful new technology with great potential to help companies focus on the most important information in their data warehouses. Data mining tools predict future trends and behaviors, allowing businesses to make proactive, knowledge-driven decisions. The automated, prospective analyses offered by data mining move beyond the analyses of past events provided by retrospective tools typical of decision support systems. Data mining tools can answer business questions that traditionally were too time consuming to resolve. They scour databases for hidden patterns, finding predictive information that experts may miss because it lies outside their expectations. Most companies already collect and refine massive quantities of data. Data mining techniques can be implemented rapidly on existing software and hardware platforms to enhance the value of existing information resources, and can be integrated with new products and systems as they are brought on-line. Data Warehousing - The data warehousing market consists of tools, technologies, and methodologies that allow for the construction, usage, management, and maintenance of the hardware and software used for a data warehouse, as well as the actual data itself. Data warehouse is a repository of an organization's electronically stored data. Data warehouses are designed to facilitate reporting and analysis. A data warehouse houses a standardized, consistent, clean and integrated form of data sourced from various operational systems in use in the organization, structured in a way to specifically address the reporting and analytic requirements. This definition of the data warehouse focuses on data storage. However, the means to retrieve and analyze data, to extract, transform and load data, and to manage the data dictionary are also considered essential components of a data warehousing system 3. Explain the various role of a Systems Analyst. What is meant by Feasibility of
systems ? What are the various types of Feasibility study? Ans : The system analyst is the person (or persons) who guides through the development

of an information system. In performing these tasks the analyst must always match the information system objectives with the goals of the organization.

Role of System Analyst differs from organization to organization. Most common responsibilities of System Analyst are following

1) System analysis
It includes system's study in order to get facts about business activity. It is about getting information and determining requirements. Here the responsibility includes only requirement determination, not the design of the system.

2) System analysis and design:
Here apart from the analysis work, Analyst is also responsible for the designing of the new system/application.

3) Systems analysis, design, and programming:
Here Analyst is also required to perform as a programmer, where he actually writes the code to implement the design of the proposed application. Due to the various responsibilities that a system analyst requires to handle, he has to be multifaceted person with varied skills required at various stages of the life cycle. In addition to the technical know-how of the information system development a system analyst should also have the following knowledge.

• •

Business knowledge: As the analyst might have to develop any kind of a business system, he should be familiar with the general functioning of all kind of businesses. Interpersonal skills: Such skills are required at various stages of development process for interacting with the users and extracting the requirements out of them Problem solving skills: A system analyst should have enough problem solving skills for defining the alternate solutions to the system and also for the problems occurring at the various stages of the development process.

Feasibility Study : - The process to make changes in the current system in order to achieve new effective system. The feasibility study includes complete initial analysis of all related system. Therefore the study must be conducted in a manner that will reflect the economic as well as technical feasibility of the system proposal. Types: There are two main types of feasibility study. 1: Economic Feasibility: Economic feasibility is the most frequently used method for evaluating the effectiveness of the candidate system that is proposed system, more commonly used as cost/benefit analysis. The procedure is to determine the benefit and savings that are expected from the candidate system and compare them with the coast, if the benefit over weight cost then the decision is made to design and implement the system, other wise further justification

in the proposed system will have it be made, if it has chance to improve. Cost estimate for a system we consider several elements. Hardware, Personnel, Facility, Operation, Supply cost etc. 2: Technical Feasibility: In the technical feasibility the system analyst look between the requirements of the organization, such as Suggest input device which can enter a large amount of data in the effective time. Output devices which can produce output in a bulk in an effective time. The choice of processing unit depends upon the type of processing required in the organization. 3. Schedule feasibility study: It is used to determine the time factor related to the current system. 4. Cultural feasibility study: It is used to determine the impact of the current system on a culture. 5. Legal feasibility study: It is used to determine the legal scrutiny of the current system. 6. Marketing feasibility study: It is used to determine the single and multi-dimensional market forces that affect the current system. There are four types of marketing feasibility study, which are as follows: Economic feasibility, Legal feasibility, Operational feasibility, Schedule feasibility 4. Explain the significance of DSS. What are the components of DSS and explain
DSS model? Ans : A decision support system is a way to model data and make quality decisions based

upon it. Making the right decision in business is usually based on the quality of your data and your ability to sift through and analyze the data to find trends in which you can create solutions and strategies for. DSS or decision support systems are usually computer applications along with a human component that can sift through large amounts of data and pick between the many choices. While many people think of decision support systems as a specialized part of a business, most companies have actually integrated this system into their day to day operating activities. For instance, many companies constantly download and analyze sales data, budget sheets and forecasts and they update their strategy once they analyze and evaluate the current results. Decision support systems have a definite structure in businesses, but in reality, the data and decisions that are based on it are fluid and constantly changing. 28.3 Types of DSS
Data-Driven DSS Data-Driven DSS take the massive amounts of data available through the company's TPS and MIS systems and cull from it useful information which executives can use to make more informed decisions. They don't have to have a theory or model but can "free-flow" the data. The first generic type of Decision Support System is a Data-Driven DSS. These systems include file drawer and management reporting systems, data warehousing and analysis systems, Executive Information Systems (EIS) and Spatial Decision Support Systems. Business

Intelligence Systems are also examples of Data-Driven DSS. Data- Driven DSS emphasize access to and manipulation of large databases of structured data and especially a time-series of internal company data and sometimes external data. Simple file systems accessed by query and retrieval tools provide the most elementary level of functionality. Data warehouse systems that allow the manipulation of data by computerized tools tailored to a specific task and setting or by more general tools and operators provide additional functionality. Data-Driven DSS with Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) provide the highest level of functionality and decision support that is linked to analysis of large collections of historical data. Model-Driven DSS A second category, Model-Driven DSS, includes systems that use accounting and financial models, representational models, and optimization models. Model-Driven DSS emphasize access to and manipulation of a model. Simple statistical and analytical tools provide the most elementary level of functionality. Some OLAP systems that allow complex analysis of data may be classified as hybrid DSS systems providing modeling, data retrieval and data summarization functionality. Model-Driven DSS use data and parameters provided by decision-makers to aid them in analyzing a situation, but they are not usually data intensive. Very large databases are usually not needed for Model-Driven DSS. Model-Driven DSS were isolated from the main Information Systems of the organization and were primarily used for the typical "what-if" analysis. That is, "What if we increase production of our products and decrease the shipment time?" These systems rely heavily on models to help executives understand the impact of their decisions on the organization, its suppliers, and its customers. Knowledge-Driven DSS The terminology for this third generic type of DSS is still evolving. Currently, the best term seems to be Knowledge- Driven DSS. Adding the modifier “driven” to the word knowledge maintains a parallelism in the framework and focuses on the dominant knowledge base component. Knowledge-Driven DSS can suggest or recommend actions to managers. These DSS are personal computer systems with specialized problem-solving expertise. The "expertise" consists of knowledge about a particular domain, understanding of problems within that domain, and "skill" at solving some of these problems. A related concept is Data Mining. It refers to a class of analytical applications that search for hidden patterns in a database. Data mining is the process of sifting through large amounts of data to produce data content relationships. Document-Driven DSS A new type of DSS, a Document-Driven DSS or Knowledge Management System, is evolving to help managers retrieve and manage unstructured documents and Web pages. A DocumentDriven DSS integrates a variety of storage and processing technologies to provide complete document retrieval and analysis. The Web provides access to large document databases including databases of hypertext documents, images, sounds and video. Examples of documents that would be accessed by a Document-Based DSS are policies and procedures, product specifications, catalogs, and corporate historical documents, including minutes of meetings, corporate records, and important correspondence. A search engine is a powerful decision aiding tool associated with a Document-Driven DSS.

Communications-Driven and Group DSS Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) came first, but now a broader category of Communications-Driven DSS or groupware can be identified. This fifth generic type of Decision Support System includes communication, collaboration and decision support technologies that do not fit within those DSS types identified. Therefore, we need to identify these systems as a specific category of DSS. A Group DSS is a hybrid Decision Support System that emphasizes both the use of communications and decision models. A Group Decision Support System is an interactive computer-based system intended to facilitate the solution of problems by decision-makers working together as a group. Groupware supports electronic communication, scheduling, document sharing, and other group productivity and decision support enhancing activities We have a number of technologies and capabilities in this category in the framework – Group DSS, two-way interactive video, White Boards, Bulletin Boards, and Email.


Read the following case and answer the question

You have 10 messages on voice mail, six faxes in your in-basket, three people standing outside of your office waiting either for you to get off of the phone or finish speaking with the guy sitting in your office (whichever comes first). Your computer just beeped to inform you, again, that an e-mail message has just been added to your stockpile of unread messages gathering electronic dust. You make a mental note to change the notification sound to an evil laugh. Your reading pile is teetering, threatening to put out of misery the plant you haven't watered in three weeks. You wonder who the strange people are in the picture on your desk. ... Oh yeah, it's your spouse and kids. Your boss strides into your office, throws a letter under your nose, and says, "Read this. We just got a project that requires us to `collaborate over the Internet'-whatever that means-and since you're the computer guru around here, you have to get a handle on it and teach us all what to do by next Thursday." As he leaves, you make a few ecomments about what he can e-do with his e-letter. Welcome to e-hell. Most professionals know by now that eventually they will have to deal with e-business. It's too early to tell if e-collaboration will resolve the communications overload engineers are facing today or just clutter the available bandwidth even more. Look around you. Did PCs lead to a paperless office? Waiting for the e-collaboration to stabilize or shake out, however, might be counterproductive. You might find yourself in a situation like the one described above where you'll have to "e-collaborate" in a pinch. If this happens, here are a few survival tips: read about e-collaboration to get a general impression of what it is and how it works and then visit some Websites where some of the more popular products exist and try them out. Visit the HPAC Engineering Interactive Website at and, under Heavy Duty Content, choose the Information Technology (IT) Tips area. Read the columns on extranets that were published by Dr. Joel Orr in April and May 2000 and the August column by Digital Media Editor Lynne Brakeman on collaboration software exhibited during the A/E/C Systems show earlier this year. These three columns introduce you to collaboration software and point you to some products that are tailored to our industry. I'd also recommend visiting Orr's Website ( for a comprehensive list of sites. Some of these sites allow you to download "demo" versions. Trying out the software demo will help you decide which method is right for you and possibly your whole company. Call some of the vendors and ask if they provide training either online or at a nearby facility. Depending on the stock market, some might be desperate enough to come to your office. If your firm is being required to e-collaborate, as the story goes above, try and find the people who are leading the e-collaboration effort and ask them what method they're

using. If they have not made a decision on which product to use, you may be able to sway them toward a decision that benefits you and your company. If you need to teach others in your company how to use e-collaboration tools or make a corporate-wide procurement/standardization decision, I recommend that you do further research and get others in your company involved. To learn more about introducing new information technologies gradually into a company, read the IT Tips column "Strategic Planning for Information Technology" in the December 1996 issue. This e-business is a tough nut to crack. It represents a pivotal time in our industry. The best way to deal with it is proactively.
[Source: Proquest by Ivanovich, Michael G.. Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering: HPAC. Cleveland: Sep 2000. Vol. 72, Iss. 9; pg. 9, 1 pgs, Copyright Penton Media, Inc. Sep 2000]

Question: Which particular concept of MIS is being dealt here in this particular case? List out all the issues related to MIS mentioned in the above case. List out all the advantages and disadvantages what you feel is appropriate in this case

Answer: In the above Case presentation – the Question has 3 parts: Concept of MIS being spoken about in the case. Issues related to MIS in the above case Advantages and Disadvantages, which we feel, is appropriate in the case. 1) To begin with, in the above Case presentation, the initial paragraph is on the typical work scenario faced by a Manager in most of the service sector organization. The amount of pressure he is in during his daily routines work. Here he seems to be senior most and most computer literate among others in the office. Hence his boss comes to him and hands over a letter to him, which mentions about Collaboration over Internet. The manager is supposed to go through the contents and brief everyone by Thursday. The matter is related to E-Collaboration and E Business. Further there are information on how to get more information on E-Collabration. There are references of various Internet sites given to gather more inputs on E-Enterprise, E Business and E Collaboration. . E business systems lay foundation of other Enterprise applications, namely E commerce, E communication and E collaboration. To understand and discuss about the above terms we need to know that MIS has been evolving in different forms under different levels of management. Some of the developments are recent and some are still in the development stage. The research continues. With the emergence of Internet, business organization has undergone structural, cultural, and qualitatitive change and a new organization structure has emerged which is known as E business enterprise. In this Enterprise business operations are performed through E Communication and E Collaboration initiatives. Therefore, E business enterprise has a global market, reach, source and global competition.

E business enterprise is more process driven, technology – enabled and uses its own information and knowledge to perform. It has no geographic boundaries as it can extend its operations where Internet works. About E Collaboration Every business has a number of work scenarios where group of people work together to complete the tasks and to achieve a common objective. The groups could be teams or virtual teams with different member strength. They come together to perform a task to achieve some results. The process is called collaboration. The collaboration now is possible with e-technologies, which put these teams in network with Internet support for communication, access to different databases and servers. These capabilities help to create collaborative work systems and allow members to work togethercooperatively on projects and assignments. The biggest advantage of E-collaboration is that it taps the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience of the members. The collaboration team or group could be within the organisation and between the organisations as well. Since, E-collaboration works on an Internet platform and uses web technology, work group / team need not be at one physical location. They can be at different locations and form a virtual team to work on project or assignment. E-collaboration uses E-communication capabilities to perform collaborative tasks, or project assignment. Its effectiveness is increased by software 'GroupWare' that enables the members of the group to share information, invoke an application and work together to create documents and share them and so on. GroupWare is collaboration software. E-collaboration helps work effectively on applications like calendaring and scheduling tasks, event, project management, workflow applications, work group applications, document creation and sharing, and knowledge management. E-collaboration system components are Internet, Intranet, Extranet and LAN, WAN networks for communication through GroupWare tools, browsers. Application packages are software suit, which help process customer requirements. It is supported by databases present on various servers like mail server, material database, knowledge server, document server and so on. 2) MIS for E-business is different compared to conventional MIS design of an organisation. The role of MIS in E-business organization is to deal with changes in global market and enterprises. MIS produces more knowledge-based products. Knowledge management system is formally recognized as a part of MIS. It is effectively used for strategic planning for survival and growth, increase in profit and productivity and so on. To achieve the said benefits of E-business organisation, it is necessary to redesign the organisation to realize the benefits of digital firm. The organisation structure should be lean and flat. 2) Get rid of rigid established infrastructure such as branch office or zonal office.

3) Allow people to work from anywhere. 4) Automate processes after reengineering the process to cut down process cycle time. Make use of groupware technology on Internet platform for faster response processing. 3) Advantages and Challenges: Internet and networking technology has thrown challenge to enlarge the scope of organisation where customers and vendors become part of the organisation. This technology offers a solution to communicate, co ordinate and collaborate with customers, vendors and business partners. E-business enterprise is open twenty-four hours, and being independent, managers, vendors; customers transact business any time from anywhere. It has no geographic boundaries as it can extend its operations where Internet works. All this is possible due to Internet and web moving traditional paper driven organisation to information driven Internet enabled E-business enterprise. MIS in E-organisation deviates from traditional report formats to automated intelligent knowledge driven system. It enforces manager to act quickly to response displayed on the screen. Most of the decisions of middle and operational management are delegated to ITenabled information and knowledge driven systems. They are supported by the rule-based transaction processing system, decision support systems, expert systems, artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and data warehouse and mining systems. MIS in E-organisation deviates from the conventional model of 'Capture Compute Process Analyse Report Think and Act' to 'Point Click Respond Act. Challenges: One challenge is to convert domestic process design to work for international process, where integration of multinational information systems using different communication standards, country specific accounting practices, and laws of security are to be adhered strictly. This is just not a technical change in business operations but a cultural change in the mindset of managers and workers to look beyond the conventional organisation. It means changing the organization behaviour to take competitive advantage of the E-business technology. The last but not the least important is the challenge to organise and implement information architecture and information technology platforms, considering multiple locations and multiple information needs arising due to global operations of the business into a comprehensive MIS.

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