The study of information systems began as a sub-discipline of computer science in an effort to understand and downsize the management of technology inside organizations. It has grown into a main field of management which is increasingly being emphasized as a significant area of research in management learning, and is taught at all main business schools and universities all over the world (Lecuit, 1999).
Management Information System
This is the phrase given to the discipline centered on the integration of computer systems with the objectives and aims on an organization.
The growth and management of information technology instruments assists managers and the entire personnel in performing any duties related to the processing of information. MIS and business systems are mainly useful in the collection of business data and the creation of reports to be employed as tools in decision making.
Applications of MIS
With computers being everywhere as they are these days, there’s hardly any big business that does not rely widely on their IT systems. The following are areas where MIS can be applied:
- A) Strategy Support
whereas computers cannot generate business strategies by themselves they can help management in understanding the consequences of their strategies, and enable efficient decision-making.
MIS systems can be helpful in transforming data into information that assist in decision making. Also Computers can provide performance reports and financial statements to assist in the planning, implementation and monitoring of strategy (Blumenthal, 1969).
MIS systems offer a valuable role in that they can collate into logical reports unmanageable amounts of data that would otherwise be useless to decision makers. By revising these reports managers can identify trends and patterns that would have remained hidden if the raw data were consulted manually.
MIS systems can also use the raw data to run simulations – theoretical scenarios that answer a series of ‘what if’ questions concerning alterations in strategy. For example, MIS systems can provide forecasts on sales that a change in price would have on a product. These Decision Support Systems (DSS) facilitate more informed decision making in an organization than would be possible without MIS systems (Lecuit, 1999).
B) Data Processing
Not only does MIS systems assist in the collation of huge amounts of business data, but they also offer a valuable time saving advantage to the workforce. Where in the past organization’s information had to be processed manually for analysis and filing, it can now be entered fast and simply into a computer by a data processor, thus allowing for quicker decision making and quicker reflexes for the organization as a whole.
Each market leading business will have at least one core competency that is, a role they perform better than their competitors. By creating an outstanding management information system into the organization it is possible to thrust ahead of the competition. MIS systems offer the tools needed to grow a better understanding of the market as well as a better perceptive of the organization itself (BambooWeb, 2007).
Enhance Supply Chain Management
Better reporting of organization processes leads inexorably to a more efficient production process. With enhanced information on the production process comes the capacity to improve the running of the supply chain, including everything from material sourcing to the manufacturing and supply of the finished product.
As a result of an improved supply chain management comes an enhanced ability to respond to changes in the market. Better MIS systems allow an enterprise to respond more swiftly to their environment, enabling them to push ahead of the competition and create a better service and a bigger piece of the pie (BambooWeb, 2007).
BambooWeb Dictionary, (2007), Management information systems. Retrieved on 13 December 2008, from
Blumenthal, S. C. (1969). Management Information Systems: A Framework for Planning and Development. Wisconsin: Prentice-Hall.
Lecuit, L. (1999). DeMIStifying MIS: Guidelines for Management Information Systems in Social Funds. DC: World Bank Publications.