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Building And Managing Information Systems Add in library

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Question:

You are in charge of IT planning for your company. What planning method would you use and why? Evaluate prototyping and why it is used. How do you determine when to use prototyping on your project? What are three advantages and three disadvantages of prototyping? How would you go about using the IS function for security in a corporation with regards to the Internet? Give examples of the measures and technologies you would use.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction                                                  

In this paper, the finer points of Management Information System will be explained, touching upon the significant changes that Information Technology has brought about in the structural and the functional level of the organisation. An enquiry will also be conducted on the necessity of implementing Information Technology at the CEO level.

The progress achieved by Information Technology has given birth to several tools adept at the effective management of information. Thus business houses have come to rely on information systems for the storage, management and analysis of data, Information system, a collection of several sub-systems that work together to achieve the tasks of collecting, store, managing, retrieving, distributing and transferring of information (Burke, 1980). Information Systems aid business grow their productivity by enhancing the operational efficiency of their business operations through the automation of vital informational procedures. He is also of the opinion that business mangers become more effective with their information demands are satisfied by information system.

Subsystems of Information System

 Information System function has penetrated very deep into the organisational structure of large business houses across multi- functional levels such as Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Research and Development. The information demanded varies with the organisational levels (Layton, 2007). Different business levels like strategic, operational and planning level require subsystems of Information system in order to have their demand for information satisfied. The various subsystems are listed below (Burke, 1980):

 
  • Management Information System (MIS): Management information system provides a summary of the data to the middle level management for business level activities. It has information collected from the various internal sources, the transaction process systems for example.

  • Decision Support System (DSS): Decision Support Systems are made to help the top management to make decision at uncertain situations. It points out the possible outcomes of the various decisions using a pre-defined set of logic. Spread sheets and databases are used to create the what-if models.
  • Knowledge Management System (KMS): Knowledge Management Systems are designed to aid business to help organisations in the creation and sharing of information. Employees create the knowledge using their own expertise and communicate it to the organisation.

  • Expert System (ES): An expert system is one computer program that simulates the knowledge of experts. It is also known as Artificial Intelligence.

  • Executive Information System (EIS): Executive Support System aids senior managers for strategic decision making. This information system displays the statuses of all critical business activities. It features large information analysis and thus facilitates strategic decision making (Aitken 2000). It is thus, that is comprises of information from both external and internal sources. Internal sources consists of information gathered from the information systems whereas external sources have external data collected though e-commerce actions, external marketing analysis etc.

  • Transaction Processing System (TPS): Transaction Processing Systems processes the routine activities and transactions in an automated and efficient manner. The automacy increases the accurateness of the information. An organisation typically consists of numerous recurring transactions (Anderson 1999). Examples of Transaction Processing System are the Billing system, inventory management system, payroll management system, etc.

  • Accounting Information System (AIS): The accounting information system (AIS) helps an organisation in the collection, storing, retrieval and reporting of financial data for the use of professionals such as charter accountants, tax consultants, business analysts etc.

 

Information systems influence the organisations in which they work and is also in turn influenced by the organisation (Burke, 1980). Once a new information system is introduced, the structure, goal, work design and value design of the organisation also gets affected. The information must made in such a way it  caters to the demands of the various organisational groups and is also shaped by the unique features of the organisation such as its culture, vision, activities and policy (Anderson 1992). It should cut down the costs of transaction and agent. Information System should also be such that it provides managerial support to plan, organise, decide and control the various departments.  It should facilitate speed and accuracy in the monitoring, planning and forecasting process (Layton, 2007).

Information Systems in aiding business level strategy helps the business become low cost operators and effectively differentiate products and achieve a healthier relationship. It establishes achieve a great customer/supplier relationship through the use of customer response and supply chain management tools (Layton, 2007). Further, at the firm level strategy, information system facilitates the achievement of new efficiencies for better services (Austen 2006). At an industry level, Information Systems can attain a competitive advantage through the creation of a platform with the other businesses in the field for sharing information and facilitating easier co-ordination and transaction (Layton, 2007).

With the advent of IT revolution in the current decade, the inevitable structuring of all things correlating to it has become a living part of our society. As per the Cadbury recommendation, the chief executive has a pivotal role in any organization. The Information Security functioning has a tremendous effect on am organization. It also has its roots deeply spread on a wider role as it is necessary for any successful utilization of resources be it finance, human or physical. At the highest level connectivity is as important as innovation. It may be safe to say that at a CEO level information system will provide the necessary connection that will take the organization forward towards the goal of achieving a global exposure.

As per the recent journals, the best method to be implemented for the best results would be the management information system. A system that automates the results, analyses the data and generates reports (Heinrich, 2002).

Information Technology planning is of crucial importance when it comes to the success of any business organisation because it gives the business a sense of direction and connects to different business processes (Burke 1980). It helps the organisation further by reducing cost implications and minimizing wastage of time in the review process and the implementation of lifecycles of recent Information Technology resources (Beltran 1998). It ensures efficient allocation of the Information Technology resources, facilitates better flow of information in the Information Technology department (Heinrich, 2002). Financial and Information Technology departments also get better connected and co-ordinated.

In choosing an Information Technology plan for my company, I select the Plan-Driven method over the Agile development method (Baase 1996). The Plan-Method concentrates on making plans for the future. It outlines the steps and the features in a manner that everything can be traced and minute attention is paid to the details. This variety of documentation and planning leads to greater standards and minimal interruption even if any important staff leaves the company (Beekman et al 2002). The organisational requirement is analysed by the head of the organisation and using information systems coupled with software product, he tries bringing forth solutions to meet these business requirements.

The areas where Plan-Method scores over the Agile Development method are given below (Burke, 1980):

  • Customer Needs: The plan method takes more time at the front end stage of development thus understanding customer needs and translating them to system level requirements (Blatner et al 1998). The customers are attended to by the client site team which facilities the learning of their needs, preferences and a further verification of these with the customers and then sends them for off-shore development (Bureau of labor statistics 2007). This is a formal, well-documented procedure.

  • The Agile Development method, however devotes lesser time at frontal development processes and instead depends upon constant communication with the customer as the development process continues (Eisenberg 2007). Thus changes need to be incorporated continuously and is too flexible to be efficient. Also developers may fail to understand the customer requirement.

  • Co-operation among various sites: The Plan Development processes are designed in a manner that they can function with multiple site locations. Standardisation of communication is done to facilitate accountability for task assigned among the team members (Divis 2003).

  • Agile Development Method however is individual centric, lacking in structure and dependant on informal communication.

The Plan Method aims at getting timely solutions. It formalizes the system of documentation in the retention of knowledge thus providing seamless co-ordination between management team and the customer to bring about products that meet all customer requirements (Heinrich, 2002).

 

Prototyping

Prototyping is referred to as the process to build a model in the system (Englander 2000). With respect to information system, the employment of prototypes are done for helping the designers of system for building a system of information that is intuitive in nature and easy for manipulating the end users (Burke, 1980). Prototyping is referred to as a process that is iterative in nature that is a significant part in the phase of analysis related to the life cycle for the development of systems (Layton 2007). In the duration of the portion for determination of requirements related to the phase for analysis of systems, the analysts of system have been gathering information regarding the present procedures of organization and the processes of business and current procedures of the organization in relation to the system of information being proposed, if there is an involvement of one, and conducting the interviews of user and the documentation being collected (Layton, 2007). This has contributed in helping the analysts for the development of an initial combination of requirements in the system. Prototyping can result in augmenting these as there is conversion of these basic, yet these are somewhat intangible (Layton, 2007). There are specification in the tangible ones but restricted model to work with respect to the desired system of information (Viskovic et al 2008). These feedback of used gained from the development of a physical system that the users should be coming in touch, and a response of evaluation that can be employed by the analyst for the modification of present requirements along with the ones developing newly (Heinrich, 2002). Prototyping is evident in a number of different forms, from the sketches of low technology or screens of paper, from which developers and users can paste objects and controls, towards operational systems of high technology utilizing languages of different generation and across everywhere in the organization (Figierdo et al 1996). 

Prototyping is a stage in software development where a basic working model of an information system or one product is built for demonstrative purposes. It is a part of the System Development Life Cycle, where a rudimentary version of a system is constructed and tested (Grotta et al 1998). Changes are kept being incorporated till the desired prototype is made. A complete system or a product is developed from this prototype. Prototyping is again best suited for human computer interface systems (Heinrich, 2002). This is because prototyping makes sure that the end user regularly works with the system thus providing constant feedback to create a user friendly system. It formalizes the system of documentation in the retention of knowledge thus providing seamless co-ordination between management team and the customer to bring about products that meet all customer requirements (Burke, 1980). The organisational requirement is analysed by the head of the organisation and using information systems coupled with software product, he tries bringing forth solutions to meet these business requirements (Ketabchi 1988).

When to use a Prototype model?

  • A Prototype model is best used when the said system requires a lot of end user interaction.

  • A prototype system should be used for online systems because web interfaces possesses a high intensity end user interaction. A system which is end-user friendly requires time in construction (Heinrich, 2002).

  • Prototyping is again best suited for human computer interface systems. This is because prototyping makes sure that the end user regularly works with the system thus providing constant feedback to create a user friendly system.

Advantages of a prototype Model

  • The dynamic of involvement of the end-user in the development process

  • The errors if any are detected much earlier

  • Prompt user feedback facilitates improved solutions.

  • Reduction in the time of development

  • Reduction in the costs of development

  • Requires the involvement of users

  • Developers are known to be receiving quantifiable feedback of usersFacilitating the implementation of system since the users have been acknowledging what expectations they have (Plummer 2008) (Heinrich 2002)

  • Results in the higher satisfaction of users

  • Exposure of developer towards the potentiality of enhancing system in the future
 

Disadvantages of the prototype Model

  • It complicates the systems because the scope of system is well is something that is well beyond the scope envisaged originally.

  • It leads to implementation prior to building the system.

  • Developer may grow attached to the prototype: Developers may get over-attached to the prototype thus may end up spending a huge amount of time trying to develop a limited prototype to final system even though there is the lack of the underlying architecture (Burke, 1980)

  • Can result in insufficiencies of analysis

  • Users hold the expectation that the performance of the final system for being the same as that of the prototype

  • There can be more attachment of the developed with their prototypes

Functions of Information Security

Information is a valuable business asset which needs to be kept confidential. Information Security has thus, mammoth importance in the success of an organisation. Information Security ensures that the confidentiality, quality and the accessibility of the business information is not compromised (Heinrich, 2002). Information Security is achieved through imposing of various security measures across physical, technical and operational environment. Its main function is thus to make sure that a business handles the exchange of information in a secure system. 

Implementing Information Security over the Internet for the company

1. The first step towards internet security is a risk assessment analysis. Knowing the threats that are posed to the Information Technology System of the company, along with their results, will equip the company with the ability to counter these threats, if they happen (Ketabchi, 1988).

2. A good anti-virus is an absolute requirement when it comes to securing the network of the computer (Heinrich, 2002).

3. A firewall similarly is one the most basic security measures in the building up of internet security defence.

4. Anti-viruses and Firewalls require frequent and timely updating. Otherwise they are of no value. The intensity and the reach of internet threats are dynamic and to keep up with them it is absolutely essential that the antivirus and the firewall software and fully working and up-to date. It is ideal, that is function is set to run in the background automatically (Layton, 2007).

5. Authentication is a great measure to prevent unwanted access to the computer network. There are different levels in this and hence the selection of the authentication solution should be dependent on the specific needs of the business.

6. Providing secure access to the remote workers is of paramount importance. A remote weakness stands to be exploited by the attacker (Layton, 2007).

7. Encrypted VPNs are needed to effectively manage wireless technologies which pose serious technology threats.

8. Encryption is the need of the hour, considering the amount of laptops with classified information. A unified encryption approach at a staged level of implementation is essential.

9. Anti-spam solutions be used to counter the threat of spam. There is the option of outsourcing spam management but the need for the proper control and reporting of spam needs to be considered (Layton, 2007).

10. Unified threat management systems provide the entire gamut of security solutions in a cohesive product. But the fact which has to be considered that malfunctioning of any one aspect will also mean the loss of an entire security system

11. Penetration testing is an effective means of scrutinising the security of the corporate networks are and consequently identifying the points of latent weakness.

12. The people factor should be borne in mind, all the given security measures will work only with user co-operations (Heinrich, 2002). The user should be aware of all the company security policies. These security policies should be enforced at all employee level including the top management.

 

References

1. Aitken, P., 2000, Tips on Scanning), Available:https://www.pgacon.com/tips_on_scanning.htm#Introduction (Accessed: 2000, April 21)

2. Anderson, D., 1999, The PC Technology Guide), Available: https://www.pctechguide.com/18scanners.htm (Accessed: 2000, April 6)

3. Anderson, S., 1992, Computer Literacy for Health Care Professionals. Albany, NY: Delmar

4. Austen, I., 2006, A Scanner Skips the ID Card and Zeroes In on the Eyes, nyt.com, https://topics.nytimes.com/2003/05/15/technology/circuits/15howw.html (accessed August 17, 2006).

5. Beltran, R.A., 1998, Beyond flatbeds: unusual scanning solutions, PC Magazine, vol. 17, no. 18, October, pp. 188-189.

6. Burke, M., 1980, The NYU Ada Translator and Interpreter, ACM SIGPLAN Notices - Proceedings of the ACM-SIGPLAN Symposium on the Ada Programming Language15 (11): 194–201.

7. Baase, S., `1996, A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Prentice-Hall, 1996.

8. Beekman, G., Computer Confluence: Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.

9. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007, Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2006–07 Edition. https:// www. bls.gov/oco/ (accessed November)

10. Blatner, D., Fleishman, G. and Roth, S., 1998, Real world scanning and halftones, 2nd ed., Peachpit Press, New York.

11. Divis, D.A., 2003, Bill would Push Driver’s License with Chip, The Washington Times

12. Eisenberg, A., 2007, When the Athlete’s Heart Falters, a Monitor Dials for Help, nyt.com, https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res= 9B03E0DE113EF93AA35752C0A9659C8B63 (accessed November 12, 2007).

13. Englander, I., 2000, The Architecture of computer hardware and systems software, John Wiley, New York.

14. Figeiredo, P., McIllree. J. and Thomas, N., 1996, Introducing information technology, 2nd ed., Jacaranda Press, Singapore.

15. Grotta, D., and Wiener, S., 1998, "What's now, What's next," ( PC Magazine), Available: https://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/features/scanners98/intro.html (Accessed: 2000, April 8).

16. Ketabchi, L., 1988, A Computer-Aided Prototyping System. IEEE Software5(2): 66–72.

17. Layton, P., 2007, Information security: design, implementation, measurement and compliance.

18. Heinrich, L.J., 2002, Informations management. 7th ed.. Munich: Oldenbourg.

19. Plummer, D., 2008, Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2008 and Beyond: Going Green and Self-Healing,” Prentice Hall

20. Viskovic, D., Varga, M., and Curko, K., 2008, Bad practices in complex IT projects’, ITI 2008 – 30Th International Conference On Information Technology Interfaces, p. 301, Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, EBSCO host
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