Management information system "Infrastructure" | System | Infrastructure

Infrastructure Infrastructure, generally, is the set of interconnected structural elements that provide the framework for supporting the

entire structure. It usually applies only to structures that are artificial. The term is used differently in a variety of fields; perhaps the single most well-known usage is in economics, where it refers to physical infrastructure such as buildings and roads. The notion that a structure has an internal framework is popular especially in business organizations where a dependency on interconnected information technology systems has become as prevalent as a city's dependency on interconnected conveyance systems for power, people and things. Information infrastructure consists of the physical facilities services and management that support all computing resources in an organization. There are five major components of infrastructure

Computer hardware

• General purpose software • Networks & communication facilities • Databases

Each of these components is designed in such manner to collectively meet the needs and objectives of the organization. The infrastructure will include • The detailed configuration of the hardware • Design of the operating system, • Documentation of the operational and application software, and • Documentation on how to technically manage and operate the entire system • Infrastructure also includes the integration, operation, documentation, maintenance and management the components as defined in infrastructure. • It is guideline to how specific computing resources are arranged, operated and managed.

9.1 Architecture Architecture more specifically is related to defining the information needs and how these will be obtained through the various application software modules. Architecture is the “Blueprint” that provides the conceptual foundation for building information infrastructure and specific applications. It is a way of mapping information requirements and resources. Architecture covers following components: • The business needs of the information • Existing planned information infrastructure and applications in the organizations. 9.1.1 Information Architecture In context of web design Information (Or design for related media Information). Architecture is defined by the Information Architecture Institute as 1. The structural design of shared information environments. 2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability.

An alternate definition of Information Architecture exists within the context of information system design, in which information architecture refers to data modeling and the analysis and design of the information in the system, concentrating on entities and their interdependencies. Data modeling depends on abstraction; the relationship between the pieces of data is of more interest than the particulars of individual records, though cataloging possible values is a common technique. The term information architecture describes a specialized skill set which relates to the management of information and employment of informational tools. It has a significant degree of association with the library sciences. Many library schools now teach information architecture.

9.2 Components/Sub-Systems of CBIS Following are the components / subsystems of CBIS • Transaction Processing System • Management Information System • Support Systems • Office Automation System • Decision Support System • Knowledge System • Executive Support System Let’s consider them one by one.

9.3 Transaction Processing System This system is used to record transactions of routine and repetitive nature. For Instance • Defining eh transaction recording structure • Placing customer orders • Billing customers • Other basic business transactions Features • It is a repetitive number crunching system. • Today the transaction processing systems are more sophisticated and complex but spirit is same, that is to record routine business transactions, irrespective of their complexity, so as to help in analysis and report generation at a higher level. • Help to cater needs for operational level management. • Rapid Response Fast performance with a rapid response time is critical. Businesses cannot afford to have customers waiting for a TPS to respond, the

Reliability • Many organizations rely heavily on their TPS; a breakdown will disrupt operations or even stop the business. For a TPS to be effective its failure rate must be very low. If a TPS does fail, then quick and accurate recovery must be possible. This makes well–designed backup and recovery procedures essential. Inflexibility • A TPS wants every transaction to be processed in the same way regardless of the user, the customer or the time for day. If a TPS were flexible, there would be too many opportunities for non-standard operations, for example, a commercial airline needs to consistently accept airline reservations from a range of travel agents, accepting different transactions data from different travel agents would be a problem. Controlled processing • The processing in a TPS must support an organization's operations. For example if an organization allocates roles and responsibilities to particular employees, then the TPS should enforce and maintain this requirement.

Data Processing Tasks • Major data processing tasks which a TPS is expected to per form are • Data identification and Gathering – keying in the data or obtaining it directly from machines by providing suitable interface • Data manipulation/Analysis – refers to transformation of data into information • Classifying • Sorting • Calculating • Summarizing • Data storage – data is kept somewhere in a sequenced manner until when needed. • Document Preparation – output for managers as reports or as input to other systems. • Goals a TPS is supposed to achieve are predefined and highly structured, for instance • Checking a customer’s credit limit every time an order is received

9.4 Management Information System MIRS makes information available to relevant users by producing predetermined and pre-designed reports required by the management. Management information system helps middle level management planning, controlling and decision making. The data stored can be used or manipulated to produce differently defined reports from pre-defined reports. It can be presented graphically or pictorially. The reports generated by the MIS are used for analytical decision making by the management. The application software can construct projections, build scenarios, do what if analysis to enable better decision making. For Example MIS will use the TPS data to generate monthly and weekly summaries as per requirement (product, customer and salesperson. Major purpose is report generation. We would discuss major types of reports. • Periodic reports – daily, weekly, monthly, annually, format is predefined and structured for convenience. • Special – Management by Exception reports only when a special event occurs which needs to be monitored. For instance • Report sequence to highlight- fast moving & slow moving

Support Systems Seeing the benefits of MIS for middle level managers, Computerised systems have been devised for other employees in the organization to help them complete their work efficiently and effectively. 10.1 Support systems can be classified into two categories • Office automation systems • Decision support systems 10.1.1 Office Automation Systems Office automation system includes formal and informal electronic systems primarily concerned with the communication of information to and from persons both inside and outside the firm. It supports data workers in an organization. For Instance • Word processing • Desktop publishing • Imaging & Web publishing • Electronic calendars – manager’s appt. calendars

• Email • Audio & video conferencing – establishing communication between geographically dispersed persons. 10.1.2 Decision Support Systems Before moving forward with the concept of decision support system, we would take a look at the definition of MIS “An integrated man-machine system for providing information to support the operations, management and decision making functions in an organization.” (Prof. Gordon Davis University of Minnesota) Four Criteria for designing models and systems to support management decisions making were laid down by J.D.C. Little. These were • Robustness • Ease of Control • Simplicity • Completeness of relevant detail

Decision Support Systems was defined by Bill Inmon, father of data warehouse, as “a system used to support managerial decisions. Usually DSS involves the analysis of many units of data in a heuristic fashion. As a rule, DSS processing does not involve the update of data” Heuristic simply means a particular technique of directing one’s attention in learning, discovery or problem solving. It assists in nonroutine decision making process due to powerful analytical abilities. For Instance For any scenario all the related factors with their ranges of variability are entered into DSS, which helps guide managers for any new scenario that emerges. DSS can stimulate innovation in decision making by helping managers to existing decision making procedures. An example of Decision Support System An outfit store maintains ready made garments and stitched clothes for various classes of society. Due to fluctuating changes in fashion trends, pre-seasonal planning becomes critical. • A Planning and forecasting software can be used by management to

• When to initiate clearance sales for old stock • Deciding about discount percentages • When to order new stock for the season 10.2 Functionalities of MIS and DSS 1 Provides information on monitoring and controlling the business. Helps in non routine decision making. 2 Fixed and regular reports are generated from data kept in TPS. Users are not linked with the structured information flows. 3 Report formats are predefined. Greater emphasis on models, display graphics & ad hoc queries. 4 User is part of the system DSS is a small part of users’ actions. 5 Controlled by IT Dept. Directly used by middle level managers

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