Discuss about the case study Global Education Services for Information Systems.
Global Education Services (GEC) is a student recruitment business established and headed by Mr. Peter Ho and is based out of China. It provides education services and information associated with the same to the students in Great Tong City and also acts as a recruitment agent for the universities all across the globe. Peter along with his assistant Vicky, operates from a single business unit with the help of a couple of computer systems and manual processes in all of its operations. With the expansion of business and entry of similar competitors in the market, it is now a mandate for Peter and his firm to implement information systems in the architecture to handle the information and the operations in a more organized and streamlined manner.
An Information System is a collection of people, data, technology and processes which are used to fulfill a specific purpose or task. These inter-related components are also utilized to support decision making and control in an organization (Cornford and Shaikh, 2013).
Importance of Information Systems to GEC
Information systems for GEC will allow better communication and interaction with the customers i.e. the students spread all across the globe. Also, the management of information related to student demographics, enrollment and registration will be recorded and stored in a more secure and organized manner without any need to maintain the paper based records. Staff management and tracking of the resources will also be easier for GEC and all of the services will be made available in a more reliable, maintainable and always available manner (Gupta, Sharma and Tripathi, 2016).
Information Systems for Small Businesses
Transaction Processing Systems such as Payroll Systems and Order Processing Systems along with Management Information System such as Staff Management and Budgeting Systems will be beneficial for small scale firms. Also, Decision Support Systems such as financial planning will prove to be of great help for small scale businesses (Thong, 2016).
The problem associated with GEC revolves around the management of the information. Keeping a track of the student details through paper based records is both troublesome and unsafe. Also, management of the staff members and allocation of their duties through manual processes is slow and productivity would decrease through the same. Finance management is another area of concern wherein manual handling of cash is not a secure process to adapt to.
The three broad areas for GEC to develop are the management of the information associated with the customers, better handling of the finance and account and organized staff management
The basic information requirements of GEC are the customer requirements in terms of an education business unit that is available, reliable and secure in terms of handling of the data and the information. Also, the staff related data such as timings, leave details, roles and responsibilities are the details that would be required to be handled in a better manner. The information associated with the accounts section and the decisions to manage them will also play a significant role.
The following Information Systems will enable GEC to appear as a stronger and more reliable name in the market.
Transaction Processing Systems
These are the information systems that will enable GEC to handle the transaction events in an organized manner by correctly validating, sorting, listing, merging, updating and calculating the data to ensure data integrity, consistency and durability. Order processing systems to handle the student requests online in an automated fashion and payroll systems to handle the employee salaries and compensation are a mandate for GEC (Rahmatian, 2016).
Management Information Systems
These are the Information Systems that are designed for the managers for smooth functioning of the operations. Staff Management System to ensure better management of the staff members with an automated handling of their timesheets, leaves calculation and also automated allocation of roles and responsibilities will allow the resources to work in a more productive and efficient manner. Budgeting systems will allow Peter and his team to develop a dedicated budget for all of his activities (Harsh, 2016).
Decision Support Systems
Decision Support Information Systems will enable GEC to take better decisions for the organization. Financial planning systems will allow Peter and GEC to take better decisions in terms of finance and also efficient handling of the cash received for various orders and requests (Druzdzel and Flynn, 2016).
Internet, intranet and extranet can be utilized by GEC to communicate and interact with the clients and the staff members along with all of the operations associated with the same. An internal network will allow the team members to share information and keep a track of their progress and an external network will allow the carry out of operations such as receiving student request, approving student request, advertising the various opportunities and also changes and modifications. It will also enable storing the student records and employee information on cloud.
Change Management is the process of handling the changes that are introduced in the system with incorporation of new techniques or modifications in the existing strategies. GEC can handle the changes with the help of dedicated training hours to the employees and also making the user manuals and guides available for the customers on the online portal. Also, a step by step migration will be performed rather than doing it as a whole to grant the employees required time to adapt with a particular phase without compromising on the productivity.
Security and Ethical Issues
There are a number of security threats such as malicious software, denial of service, account hijacking and data loss that get introduced with the adaptation to information systems. Also, ethical issues such as violation of intellectual and copyrights, malicious insiders and violation of code of conduct will be probable for GEC.
Ways to handle the security and ethical issues
Use of proper access control mechanisms, physical security along with installation of firewalls, encryption of information, use of anti-virus and internet security will allow GEC to avoid the security threats. Introduction of legal and regulatory policies for information handling and ethics and compliance policies will allow keeping the ethical issues aside.
Cornford, T. and Shaikh, M. (2013). Introduction to information systems. [online] Available at: https://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/sites/default/files/programme_resources/lse/lse_pdf/subject_guides/is1060_ch1-4.pdf [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].
Druzdzel, M. and Flynn, R. (2016). Decision Support Systems. [online] Available at: https://www.pitt.edu/~druzdzel/psfiles/dss.pdf [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].
Gupta, C., Sharma, S. and Tripathi, S. (2016). Importance of Management Information System in ElectronicInformation Era. [online] Available at: https://www.smslucknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/pdf/Archives/Vol%201(2)/Vol%201(2)-2010-P107-P114.pdf [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].
Harsh, S. (2016). Management Information Systems. [online] Available at: https://departments.agri.huji.ac.il/economics/gelb-manag-4.pdf [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].
Rahmatian, S. (2016). Transaction Processing Systems. [online] Available at: https://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~sasanr/Teaching-Material/MIS/TPS/TPS.pdf [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].
Thong, J. (2016). An Integrated Model of Information Systems Adoption in Small Businesses. [online] Available at: https://home.ust.hk/~jthong/SSRN-id1977980.pdf [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].