March 5, 2012
As far back in my work career as I can remember I have utilized Information Systems (IS) to do my job, yet have always taken for granted their capabilities and purpose. They were simply systems that were in place when I got to the job and I learned how to use them to the best of my ability. But a well-developed and managed IS is often the backbone of a successful business, and is in itself big business. IS are the foundation for conducting business in today’s world, and success and sustainability are almost inconceivable without their existence because they play such a significant role in productivity.
Why are IS so essential to running and managing a business today? First of all, they support operational excellence; businesses improve the efficiency of their operations in order to achieve higher profit levels, and IS are important tools that managers use to increase efficiency and productivity of those operations. Manager’s use IS to obtain real time data in order to make informed business decisions, create new products and/or services, and service customers better. When customers are served well by a company they will often return to that company for future purchases or services, which helps raise revenues and profits and help the firm achieve a competitive advantage.
To gain a better understanding of how manager’s use IS to achieve strategic business goals, one must first understand what an IS exactly is and does. An IS is defined as a set of “interrelated components working together to collect, process, store, and disseminate information to support decision making, coordination, control, analysis, and visualization in an organization” (Laudon & Laudon, 2009. p. 11). In addition, IS also assist managers and workers to analyze problems and create new products. The technology itself is devoted to capturing,...