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London School of Commerce

INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT


COURSE MANUAL

London School of Commerce

INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT


COURSE MANUAL

MANUAL CONTENTS
Page Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4 Session 5 Session 6 Session 7 Session 8 Information Systems Management Concepts Information Management Information Security Information Systems Strategy Information Technology Management IS Hardware, Software and Telecommunications Defined Database Management Information and Decision Support Systems (DSS) 4 22 44 61 80 100 116 129
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Page Session 9 Session 10 Functional Management Information Systems (1) Functional Management Information Systems (2) & Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Knowledge Management Specialised Information Systems Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems Systems Development For Information Systems Management Implementing and Running the Information System 144 161

Session 11 Session 12

179 197

Session 13 Session 14

215 233

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ANNEX

Annex 1

Seminars

Annex 2

Recommended Reading

Annex 3

Sample Assignment Questions and Sample Examination Papers

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SESSION 1

INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT -- CONCEPTS

WHAT IS AN INFORMATION SYSTEM DATA, INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE WHAT IS A SYSTEM ? A SIMPLE INFORMATION SYSTEM BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS CLASSIFICATIONS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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WHAT IS AN INFORMATION SYSTEM ? It is a combination of interdependent elements which scan, collect, process, store and distribute data and information manually or using computers, to provide feedback to meet specified needs of users. Information systems are therefore used widely across industries, governments and professions, often to assist decision making. What, therefore is data, information and knowledge ?

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Data comprises raw facts, normally in an alphanumeric form represented by numbers and letters and sometimes other signs & characters.

Data as such has little value until it is interpreted and used.

Information is therefore the way in which data is organised to add value beyond the actual raw facts so that the data has meaning. Information gives meaning to data !

Knowledge is acquired by applying information to achieve a task or to make a decision. Knowledge achieves understanding which may be transferable because knowledge is based upon the experience of using information for a specific purpose.

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For example, in a hospital, medical data is recorded in patient records, the doctor will interpret this data to achieve information in order to prescribe medication. The experience of doing so and the monitoring of the patients condition, especially how the patient has responded to treatment, gives the doctor knowledge. To be of value to the user, information should be : VALID RELEVANT TIMELY VERIFIABLE RELIABLE COMPLETE COMPARABLE OVERTIME ACCURATE SECURE

Ideally information should also be cost effective and have far greater benefits than the costs it incurred.
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The value of information therefore must be weighed against the use to which it is put. It must be seen to add real value to the user. Organisations have a tendency to provide too much data, which in turn may have limited value as information, because it doesnt contribute to knowledge. Therefore an information system must focus on the needs, wants and values of the user. This is vital !

WHAT THEREFORE IS A SYSTEM ? A system must have a purpose, it converts inputs into outputs. This conversion is achieved through systems processes. Some systems are called open loop systems, where the output is not monitored at all. Closed loop systems however do have an element of feedback to ensure that outputs achieved really were linked to the intentions specified.
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Closed loop systems have a monitoring function to track performance and also compare actual performance with that which has been predetermined. So therefore there are two types of systems, an open loop system and a closed loop system.

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A simple information system is shown in Figure 1.1 where raw data inputs are transformed, through systems processes, into valued information outputs. These outputs are monitored for quality and application purpose as part of the feedback loop which assesses that the inputs to the system are aligned with the outputs. This is an example of closed loop control.
Raw Data & Sources Data transformation Data storage End User Valued Information

INPUTS

PROCESS

OUTPUTS

X
FEEDBACK LOOP MONITORING
Quality & Application Purpose
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Figure 1.1 : A Simple Information Systems with Closed Loop Control

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A computer-based information system therefore processes data into information through inputs and enabled processes using hardware, software, databases, telecommunications, people, protocols and procedures to achieve meaningful outcomes. It would normally be a closed loop control system. Such systems are often used as Decision Support Systems (DSS) to assist management of the business enterprise, if so designed. Basically a DSS is a human activity system. It is interfaced with computer hardware & software, databases and devices and is designed to serve strategic and operational decisions for individual managers and management teams. It is now clear that information systems provide essential support across all organisations. In fact they should be designed to add value to the performance of the organisation in achieving interactivity within and between the organisations internal and external environment. Information Systems will normally operate within an existing organisational culture which has been embedded overtime, but which along the way has faced the challenge of technological innovation. It is through IT that the information system delivers its functionality.
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BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS Figure 1.2 shows examples of typical business information systems. These are attached to the main business functions of most commercial organisations, ie. The Sales & Marketing function The Manufacturing function The Finance function The Accounting function The Human Resource function

Figure 1.2 shows typical user groups for these systems, ranging from operational management through to Senior Management. These levels of user groups are allocated to the typical managerial hierarchy. A three dimensional perspective can thereby be appreciated.

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FUNCTIONAL BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS


LEVEL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS USER GROUPS SERVED

Strategic Level

Senior Managers

Management Level

Middle Managers

Knowledge Level

Knowledge & Data Workers

Operational Level

Operational Managers

Sales & Manufacturing Finance Accounting Human Marketing Resources

FIGURE 1.2

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CLASSIFICATIONS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS To achieve the purpose shown in Figure 1.2, there are major types of systems commonly used, these are : EXECUTIVE SUPPORT SYSTEMS DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS KNOWLEDGE WORKER SYSTEMS OFFICE AUTOMATION SYSTEMS TRANSACTION PROCESSING SYSTEMS (ESS) (DSS) (MIS) (KWS) (OAS) (TPS)

The interrelationship between these systems is shown in Figure 1.3.

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ESS

MIS

DSS

KWS OAS

TPS

FIGURE 1.3
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To outline each of these types of system, consider the following explanation : TRANSACTION PROCESSING SYSTEMS (TPS) These can be outlined in terms of domain, function served and application.
DOMAIN
Sales & Marketing

TRANSACTIONS PROCESSED
Sales & Marketing Data

APPLICATIONS
Sales Order Information for Management Employee Pay Checks Staff Training Resource Planning & Control, Quality Control Cash Management

Human Resource

Payroll Data Processing Personal Records Purchasing, Goods Received, Goods Shipped Cash Flow of Receipts & Purchases

Manufacturing & Production Finance & Accounting


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KNOWLEDGE WORKER SYSTEMS (KWS) An example would be an engineering workstation, where the users of the system are technical staff who depend upon engineering designs and related graphics as outputs. The inputs of the system would be design specifications processed through some form of computer modelling. The specifications of KWS will depend upon the end-use application requested.

OFFICE AUTOMATION SYSTEMS (OAS) For example, companies may have a systems objective to migrate towards a paperless office, the output for which will be redesigned work flows and ergonomic design. The processes to achieve this will be to use integrated software and training to modify employee behaviour to move the paper-based system inputs into paperless outputs.

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EXECUTIVE SUPPORT SYSTEMS (ESS) Executive Support Systems have the aggregated data of the other systems explained in Figure 1.3 as inputs. Executive Support Systems are used by Senior Management for supporting future decisions and also to compare planned performance with actual performance attainment. An example would be the 5-year operating plan which is reviewed quarterly and annually on a rolling basis, to thereby ensure that the strategic objectives of the organisation are being monitored, controlled and managed effectively.

The ESS in this way ensures that the Chief Executive and the top management teams are linked to the performance reviews of the business and furthermore that enterprise resource deployment can be more effectively forecasted and utilised.
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INFORMATION MANAGEMENT The mission of Information Management is to ensure the efficient and effective use of data, as well as information and knowledge so that these properties can be used as a resource for the organisation in the pursuit of organisational objectives. In particular the role and function of Information Management should : Ensure needed data is captured Process data to assist the defining of organisational objectives and strategies Support decision making through providing timely, sufficient and accurate information Continually improving information quality Enable users to make effective use of the Information System Improve access through technology interventions Develop a corporate memory for knowledge sharing. And in so doing improve planning, decision making and innovation.
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DISCUSSION QUESTION (1)


YOU ARE TASKED TO REVIEW THE INFORMATION SYSTEM OF A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY WITH WHICH YOU ARE FAMILIAR. OUTLINE THE FOLLOWING : DATA INPUTS AND INFORMATION OUTPUTS STATE THE FUNCTIONAL DOMAINS FOR THE BUSINESS INFORMATION IDENTIFY THE USER GROUPS AND THEIR NEEDS STATE WHY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IS IMPORTANT TO THIS ENTERPRISE
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DISCUSSION QUESTION (2)

USING YOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKET AS AN EXAMPLE SHOW HOW DATA AS RAW INPUT CAN BE PROCESSED INTO INFORMATION TO ADD VALUE TO THE BUSINESS.

EXPLAIN HOW KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING CAN THEN BE ACHIEVED TO HELP MANAGE THE BUSINESS MORE EFFECTIVELY.

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SESSION 2

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

THE 7 LEVELS OF ADOPTION THE 4TH ERA OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS EFFICIENCY GAPS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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INFORMATION MANAGEMENT The development of information management is actually a process of organisational innovation adoption whereby sophistication increases from level to level. Information Management can therefore be viewed at 7 levels of Adoption : Level 1. Compliance : The basic data recording requirements providing basic information for an enterprise or organisation to function.

Level 2.

Operational Management Support : Providing information for day-to-day operations and control.

Level 3.
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Added Customer Value : Using company information to add value to products and services as well as the customer/client relationship.
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Level 4.

Competitive Advantage : Achieving a leap in competitive advantage by using the company database and the relevance of the information to really differentiate the business from the competition.

Level 5.

Strategic Insight : Enabling a new vision and mission for achievement in the future.

Level 6.

Transformation : Business reviews, restructuring of business fundamentals, eg. Business Process Re-Engineering and associated transformational change.

Level 7.

The Knowledge Net : Moving towards Virtual organisations.

By using this 7 levels approach, we can then assess where the organisation is now and where it needs to be in the future.
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THE FOURTH ERA OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT According to Boynton & Znud, we are now immersed in the fourth Era of Information Systems Management (ISM). These 4 Eras are defined below : Era 1. The Accounting Era -- Batch Processing Technology -- Data Processing and Accounting Staff Involvement only The Operational Era -- On-line Systems, Direct Access Files available -- Computerisation of Operations Systems -- Line Management Involvement The Information Era -- New Languages, New Software, Speed rapidly increased, minituarisation. Manipulation of text and data, Database development, Partnerships between IT and Information users
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Era 2.

Era 3.

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Era 4.

The Wired Society -- Capability and Capacity for driving change, cost effective hardware & software solutions, higher bandwidth interfaces with telecommunications for high speed global networking. Organisation and Managerial Integration with IT.

We may be living in this fourth Era now, but the test at organisational level is to assess how information is being managed currently, by using these perspectives. In many organisations new pressures are being driven by line management, who are now working together with the Information Systems Department, to create change. In the past the Information Systems Department had to lead the change to achieve new program design, implementation & operation. Today there is therefore progression towards internal departmental partnership with Information Management in the IS department.

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THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS The true costs of Information Systems are very rarely assessed properly. They are often under-estimated at the planning stage, not entirely captured during implementation and not tracked effectively for subsequent operations. Furthermore the true costs of an information system may not really be known because these may be beyond any one managerial domain. Often cost reductions, efficiency gains and other benefits are over-estimated at the systems planning stage. It is important therefore to over-estimate costs and understate the benefits, to avoid disappointment and the related managerial implications. So what are the typical costs incurred ?
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Lifetime Costs

Capital costs to set up the System Hardware, and Software and Staffing Costs. Costs to operate the system On Costs, often lost in general overheads that need to be identified and absorbed into the IS budget Maintenance and Upgrading Costs

An Assessment of lifetime costs of the system is important.

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Implementation Costs

Management time Project Management time Technician time Cost of Disruption Temporary Staff Engagement Data Migration and Validation System Testing
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Training Costs

Initial User Training Familiarisation Costs System Management Training

One Off (Non-Recurring) Costs

New Processes to be designed New Technology Implementation -- consumables -- renovations


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Supplier (vendor) support costs Lost systems time during transitional phasing Management time in systems specifications, selection and approvals External support from : Consultants Contract Staff Project Management Failure of in-house support and resultant outsourcing Organisational Change, Staff Re-allocation, Staff Development

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Revolving Costs

Training for New Staff Continuous Staff Development System Updates System Downtime System Maintenance Software Upgrading Consumables

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Contingency Costs

Risk Exposure and Related Costs from Systems Downtime

It can now be appreciated why the real costs of information systems management can rarely be captured. The known and anticipated costs must in fact be balanced against the opportunities and benefits to be derived.

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BENEFITS It is essential that ways need to be found to balance and manage the benefits against costs incurred and then to monitor these. Some benefits may be intangible and may contribute in varying ways to the achievement of objectives at operational and strategic levels. One conventional approach is to consider the status quo (or Doing Nothing) as a benchmark for determining benefits and then the gains can be better appreciated. Benefits to be considered from IS innovation could be : 1. 2. 3. 4. Cost reduction from reduced overheads otherwise incurred eg. from manual processing Meeting user expectations and adding value to management decision taking User satisfaction on quality and timeliness Achieving objectives specified for the system

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5. Value adding to the business as a whole 6. Managerial control and improvements to planning at operational and strategic levels 7. Value generating attributes of system outputs : * * * * * * * * Accuracy Quality Functionality Relevance Volume Speed Productivity Aggregation

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8. Managerial Benefits may also include : * Improved Customer Service * Competitive Differentiation * Supporting Core Business Functions * Improved Internal Communications * Human Capital Development Most of these benefits are impossible to quantify, so how can a balance actually be achieved between cost and benefit ?? Figure 2.1 will show a conceptual approach to balancing costs and benefits.

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BALANCING COSTS & BENEFITS


VALUE GAINS

OPTIMUM QUALITY

COST

COST INCURRED

Figure 2.1

SYSTEM QUALITY The balance to be achieved is to develop the performance of the information system, whereby optimum quality can be attained from the value gains derived, offset against the costs incurred. Knowing when this point is reached of course is a considerable challenge. Another approach is to consider how the management of the information system can achieve efficiency gains, as shown in Figure 2.2.
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EFFICIENCY GAPS
COSTS INCURRED INEFFICIENCY GAP

COST INCURRED
EFFICIENCIES DELIVERED

EFFICIENCY FRONTIERS

Figure 2.2 QUALITY GAINS Organisations will always suffer from inefficiencies, which in turn affect productivity. The Information System, if well conceived, implemented and managed, will strive to achieve new efficiency frontiers and reduce inefficiency gaps. Once again to know when the efficiencies are optimised remains a challenge.
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COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Competitive Advantage can be defined as the long term benefit that a company can achieve over its major competitors. It may originate from better products, better services, lower costs and operational efficiency as well as from well-conceived information systems. Every company must search for and achieve a level of competitive advantage in order to stay in business and to remain profitable. This is achieved through market positioning and competitive differentiation. The information system can enable an organisations business strategy to achieve competitive differentiation. Such differentiation should become sustainable overtime. A good information system should support top management to accelerate this process. This is a key way in which the information system adds value to an organisation.
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FACTORS THAT DRIVE THE NEED FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE These factors are explained in the widely accepted model by Michael Porter (1983) who identifies five basic forces determining an organisations competitive challenges, these are : The bargaining power of organisations suppliers The bargaining power of the organisations customers The threats of new entrants into the market The threats of the new or substitute products and Organisational rivalry

To respond to these challenges, strategic planning is required to achieve sustainable competitive advantage, which then in turn depends upon a well-conceived and well-managed information system.
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To achieve an acknowledged competitive position today, the company information system must support the need for companies to be : Agile Flexible Fast Responsive Productive & Innovative Cost Efficient Integrated Customer Oriented

so that strategies for cost leadership, product and service differentiation as well as market segmentation, can be achieved. The role performed by the information system is hence critical, it is the glue that holds the organisation together. In summary, one critical success factor to achieve superior organisational performance is information systems management.
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DISCUSSION QUESTION (1)


ELECTRONIC POINT-OF-SALE (EPOS) SYSTEMS ARE DESIGNED FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF STOCK LEVELS AND RE-ORDERING WITHIN SUPERMARKETS AND OTHER RETAIL OUTLETS. POINT-OF-SALE TERMINALS (CASH TILLS) ARE DIRECTLY LINKED TO THE STOCK CONTROL SYSTEM AND RECORDED STOCK LEVELS ARE ADJUSTED AUTOMATICALLY WITH EACH SALE. ADDITIONALLY, POINT-OF-SALE TERMINALS HANDLE CREDIT AND DEBIT (ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT)) CARD TRANSACTIONS, AUTOMATICALLY SAVING ON ADMINISTRATION COSTS. WHERE EPOS AND EFT SYSTEMS ARE LINKED, THIS IS CALLED AN ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER AT POINT-OF-SALE (EFTPOS) SYSTEM. HOW DOES AN EFTPOS SYSTEM OFFER A SUPERMARKET GROUP (SUCH AS TESCOS OR SAINSBURY) COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OVER KEY RIVALS IN THIS SECTOR. HOW DOES EFTPOS REDUCE EFFICIENCY GAPS ?
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DISCUSSION QUESTION (2)


THE COSTS OF BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS MAY HAVE BEEN REDUCED THROUGH THE FOLLOWING ALLIANCES BEING FORMED. CONSIDER THESE EXAMPLES : (1) LINK , THE COMMON CASH MACHINES FOR CERTAIN BANKS & BUILDING SOCIETIES. (2) IBM AND APPLE COLLABORATION IN OPEN SYSTEMS SOFTWARE, INTEGRATION OF APPLES PCS INTO IBM LARGER SYSTEM NETWORKS, DEVELOPMENT OF APPLE COMPUTERS BASED ON IBM MICRO PROCESSORS. DISCUSS THE EXTENT OF REAL INFORMATION SYSTEM COST SAVINGS, IF ANY. NOW DISCUSS THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED FROM THE INFORMATION GENERATED FROM SHARED DATA INPUTS. REVIEW HOW THIS BUSINESS STRATEGY APPEARS TO BE SUPPORTED BY INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT.
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SESSION 3

INFORMATION SECURITY

INTRODUCTION ENSURING SECURITY * RISK MANAGEMENT


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CONCEPTS CENTRAL TO INFORMATION SECURITY LEGAL FRAMEWORKS THE UK DATA PROTECTION ACT INFORMATION SECURITY ARCHITECTURE ETHICAL ISSUES DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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INTRODUCTION Information security has become a key element in Information Systems Management. Viable Information Systems will consider information security as a critical success factor in assessing the functionality and performance of the system. It is essential therefore to protect information and the information system from unauthorised access and usage. The field of Information Security concerns information disclosure as well as system disruption and destruction. Confidentiality of information and related systems integrity to protect and preserve data are of paramount importance. It is the responsibility of management to all organisational stakeholder groups to ensure that the information system is safe and secure.
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ENSURING SECURITY Risk Management Risk management techniques are applied to assess the type of security risk to the information system, such as risk that could arise from fire, flood, human error as well as sabotage caused through deliberate intentions. Theft, fraud, hacking and virus attacks also constitute real risk. The first step in risk management is to identify all possible types of risk. The risk management processes will then, as step two, determine the probability of occurrence for each type of risk and thereafter consider the consequences. Then assessing the level of severity arising can be achieved. Risks are then classified accordingly from minor to major or even catastrophic. Some companies use a colour coding approach whereby a red flag would be the most serious risk, a blue flag significant risk, a green flag moderate risk .. and so on.
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This is done to communicate the level of risk simply and to have collective understanding. By using this method of risk taking, the consequences arising from the different levels of risk can be quantified. Step three would be to set up measures and controls to counter these risks should they occur. These would range from ensuring data and information back up, to very strict access control systems. Companies will usually seek cover from these risks from insurance companies. Step these is used to minimise the impact of the breach to information security by using risk mitigation processes. Step four is needed to plan for system recovery in the event of the risk really occurring, so that well prepared contingency plans are in place. To minimise damage, crisis management techniques are normally put into place. For example, large companies depend upon their computer systems, (eg. banks, insurance companies, large multinational organisations) and may have alternative back up locations which can be activated in a very short time, in the event of any security threat arising.
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These hot sites are essential for the continuation of the organisations operations. Where such plans are not in place, the risk from losing large quantities of data can have far reaching consequences. Risk Management, therefore is needed for system security and vulnerability as well as for the management of the information system. Policies, processes and methods are needed to ensure risks are assessed and managed effectively so that the organisation is proactive and not reactive. This is essential, especially for critical business units, so that businesses continuity can be assured.

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CONCEPTS CENTRAL TO INFORMATION SECURITY


Data Authenticity : There is a need to ensure that data is genuine so that the data entered into the system is authentic. This can be present a significant challenge for Information systems Security Management. If data is not authentic, it can seriously undermine the integrity of the information system. For example, the claims department of an insurance company requires authentic data upon which to pay and insurance claims, otherwise the entire organisation is at risk from fraudulent claims.

Cryptography

There may be a need to ensure that information is encrypted and hence rendered unusable unless transferred only by authorised usage. Highly sensitive data, for example in government organisations may be encrypted to minimise risk from unauthorised access.
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Depth of Defense

A complex information system will have different levels of access dependent upon access authorisation. This will normally be applied by managerial level, whereby limited access is permitted at operational level and full access at top management level. Thereby, lines of defense are created to secure the information system. This concept can also be applied to systems that are networked globally, so therefore utmost care and due diligence is needed to create lines of defense within the system that is related to a system of access controls. Ultimately it is necessary to attach levels of accountability to information access through a system of information codes and classifications.

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Governance

Enterprise wide responsibility and accountability for Information Security, in order to safeguard the integrity of the system.

Standards

Standards and Standardisations will continue to provide new challenges for compliance both at country and at global levels (eg. ISO 20,000 for Information Security). System Stakeholders will require assurance that the information held meets fundamental standards in order to have confidence that that information system is secure and safeguarded.

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LEGAL FRAMEWORKS FOR DATA SECURITY The legislation governing information and the distribution of it continues to evolve, for example in the UK : The Data Protection Act 1998 Computer Misuse Act 1990 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act -- Sarbanes Oxley 2007 Payment Core Industry Data Security Standards

There are 4 important legal issues : Confidentiality and Privacy Copyright and Software Protection Information Systems and Crime Contractual Obligations to Parties Involved
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THE UK DATA PROTECTION ACT The Act covers information about individuals that is computer processed. There are 8 guiding principles to be upheld : Personal data should be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully Personal data can only be held for specified and lawful purposes Personal data cannot be used or disclosed in a manner incompatible with the purpose for which it is held The amount of data held should be adequate, relevant and not excessive Personal data should be accurate and kept up to date
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Personal data should not be held for longer than is necessary An individual shall be entitled to : -- Be informed by a data user if he or she is the subject of data -- Have data corrected or erased where appropriate Security measures must be taken to prevent unauthorised access, alteration or loss of personal data

Data users are required to register with the Data Protection Registrar officially, describe the data, its purpose and sources and to whom it may be disclosed internationally.

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As with all legislation, armed to protect an industry or an individual, the challenge of course is enforcement. However if companies do not comply, the Registrar may intervene and take appropriate action. As the UK is a member of the European Community, legislation harmonisation across the member states has issued directives extending protection to paper based data as well as that held in computer systems.

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INFORMATION SECURITY ARCHITECTURE


The security of the information system needs now to be viewed in a wider context as shown in Figure 3.1 below.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT SECURITY ARCHITECTURE
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE DATA AND DATA INTEGRATION APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECTURE DATA AND DATA INTEGRATION APPLICATIONS PLATFORMS NETWORKS COLLABORATIONS

BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE & LEGAL FRAMEWORKS STAKEHOLDERS

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From this perspective, it can be seen that Information Security penetrates all parts of the information system. The domain of Information Security Architecture is best explained by Wikipedia which states : Enterprise Information Security Architecture (EISA) is the practice of applying a comprehensive and rigorous method for describing a current and/or future structure and behaviour for an organisations security processes, information security systems, personnel and organisational sub-units, so that they align with the organisations core goals and strategic direction. It could be argued that security is therefore at the epicentre of a companys information system and therefore is central to the management of the system.

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ETHICAL ISSUES The main concern over ethical issues is simply the principles of right and wrong, whereby individuals and organisations have to make choices to guide behaviour in our information society. Ethical issues extend to the following main areas : Invasion of privacy and the rights of the individual to preserve personal data Accuracy Decisions made on the basis of inaccurate information happen frequently whereby the rights of the individual are unprotected Property ownership issues arise for information that becomes widely available
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Accountability and Control over the distribution of information for which the ownership of data property remains an issue

Quality of life whereby the individual in society is exposed to the ethical dilemmas which confront this new information age and may lead to computer crime and information abuse

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. INFORMATION SYSTEMS MUST BE MANAGED TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE SAFE. THIS MEANS THE SYSTEM MUST BE : * SECURE * ETHICAL * LEGAL HOW CAN THIS BE ACHIEVED ?

2. AS AN INDIVIDUAL IN SOCIETY, WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT THE PROTECTION OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA ?

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SESSION 4

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INFORMATION SYSTEMS STRATEGY (ISS)

INTRODUCTION TO ISS INFORMATION STRATEGY VALUE CHAIN APPROACH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS PLANNING DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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INTRODUCTION TO ISS

There are 3 key components of Information Systems Strategy : -

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) STRATEGY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (IM) STRATEGY INFORMATION STRATEGY (IS)

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These components are interdependent as shown in Figure 4.1 below.

INFORMATION STRATEGY BUSINESS STRATEGY EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT

IT STRATEGY

IM STRATEGY

IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING & CONTROL

Figure 4.1
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IT STRATEGY

is technology focused, supply oriented and activity based. Its mission is information technology based information delivery.

IM STRATEGY is relationship based, management focused and central to organisational performance. Its mission is to ensure management information is promoted to support decision making.

INFORMATION is demand based, business oriented and business function based. Its STRATEGY mission is to deliver information applications.

Each of these 3 domains make up total Information Systems Strategy that is designed to support overall business strategy, within environmental opportunities and constraints.

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INFORMATION STRATEGY (IS) In any large organisation with a computer based information system, Information Strategy is the core accountability of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). To plan this strategy, the CIO needs to know the Critical Success Factors of the business and the key strategic and operational decisions that need to be taken with each area of the business. This will then determine the respective domains for information and the content required. The design approach to information strategy can be : -- by business functions -- by application portfolios -- by systematic plans
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Information Strategy by business function can be structured according to a hierarchy : ----Corporate Level Divisional Level Departmental Level Business Unit Level

and then organised by specific functions for sales, marketing, finance, production, HR, R&D and so on. Information Strategy is therefore designed to support each business function at different Organisational levels. Information Strategy by application portfolio is designed to support the organisation to gain competitive advantage. Information strategy should ideally be related to a value chain for the organisation, as shown in Figure 4.2.

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SUPPORT

Human Resources Management Technology Development

M A R G I N

ACTIVITIES

Procurement

PRIMARY

Inbound Logistics

Operations

Outbound Marketing Logistics & Sales

Services
G I N

A R

Figure 4.2
PORTERS GENERIC VALUE CHAIN AND INFORMATION STRATEGY

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The Value Chain is a collection of activities which together achieve a profit margin as the main business intention. Value chain activities are classified into primary activities which convert inputs into business outputs and support activities which enable the business to function. Both sets of activities are designed to create value for the enterprise through achieving a competitive position in the market place through sustaining competitive advantage. The value chain can help to define the domains for information strategy, as shown in Figure 4.3.

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VALUE CHAIN
Administration and Management : Electronic scheduling and messaging systems

Support Activities

Human Resources : Workforce planning systems Technology : Computer-aided design systems Procurement : Computerised ordering systems Inbound Logistics Operations Sales & Marketing Service Equipment maintenance systems Customer Relationship Management Systems Outbound Logistics Automated shipment scheduling systems

MARGIN

Primary Activities

Automated Computer- Computerised warehousing controlled ordering systems machining systems systems Sourcing and procurement systems

Figure 4.3

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Information Strategy from a systematic planning perspective should be designed to support the strategic planning of the enterprise. Using a value chain approach as one useful methodology for achieving this. Whatever system of plans the organisation has, it must have a structured information strategy to support it. APPROACHING INFORMATION STRATEGY There are two dimensions to be considered : Information Infrastructure (IIS) Information Functions (IF) Where the latter is concerned with the scope of the information functions and the former applies to the basic framework or foundations for the systems. Normally these are established through hardware and software applications, both of which require a provision for Information Resource (IR), see Figure 4.4.
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BUSINESS STRATEGY
INFORMATION STRATEGY

INFORMATION RESOURCE

INFORMATION STRATEGY APPLICATIONS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Figure 4.4
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) STRATEGY Subject to the capabilities of the IT provision, IT Strategy should be aligned to business strategy in order to support the achievement of business objectives. Therefore an IT architecture is needed, with relevant competencies, to achieve the required deliverables. Such architectures will range in complexity depending upon the stage of IT evolution of the company. At one end of the spectrum, a simple silo architecture may exist and at the other end, an enterprise wide IT architecture. To develop competency within the IT architecture, the CIO will need to know the strategic objectives of the firm, define the IT capabilities for supporting these objectives and enabling them --- and then decide the policies and tactical choices for developing the IT capability.
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As this architecture matures, so will the competencies within it, but basically IT efficiency, and process optimisation are essential to deliver functional application outputs. The IT architecture will need to be protected by provisions for Information Security.

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INFORMATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY Information Management Strategy must be crafted to add value to the enterprise by supporting the vision and value drivers of top management as well as providing the information support for innovation. Effective Information Management Strategy as a whole and in particular the IT capability is essential for corporate agility and responsiveness, to supporting innovation in products, services, channels as well as supply and demand chain management. Currently companies are investing heavily in various enterprise digital platforms, for example CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERS (Enterprise Resource Management) to support business management, all of which require an aligned Information Management Strategy. The domain of Information management strategy must also account for outsourcing and IT vendors as well as recognising the need for consultants, so that new knowledge and skills are transferred into the enterprise.
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STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS Information Systems Strategy has developed in more recent years into a more strategic approach. This is to ensure that the needs of the organisation are met at both strategic as well as operational and functional levels. As business complexity increases, competition intensifies and business reach globalises, the need of information systems at strategic level is essential to serve the business goals and mission. Strategic Direction can be set through vision, mission and objectives, behaviour can be guided by core values, but strategic decision making will only be as good as the information upon which it is based. Business must be increasingly aware of the environmental relationships within which the enterprise functions. Managing these relationships will also depend upon strategic level information.
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STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS PLANNING (SISP) In order to take this strategic approach to information systems, a clear definition is needed. SISP is the means of identifying computer based application systems which support and enhance organisational strategy, SISP provides the framework for the effective implementation of these systems.

SISP Key Objective To integrate IS with business strategies.

SISP Approach SISP is directed from Top and Senior Management to achieve end use applications to support business decision making in order for the organisation remain resilient in a competitive business environment.
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SISP requires networked integrated systems that are actionable and supportive for users, related to business strategy and therefore provide a way to enable the organisation to perform within the challenges of the business environment. SISP is therefore a major change for many organisations who have historically based on information strategy upon the needs of users. The SISP approach is focused on business strategy as the basis to define the scope required and hence to formulate information strategies to support the business strategic intentions of the business.

THE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS METHODOLOGY TO SISP. Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are the means by which a successful organisation achieves planned outcomes. CSFs are therefore the conditions which must prevail in order for the business to be a success. Effective Strategic Information Systems Planning must understand the CSFs in order to become a vital contributor to the ongoing process of management.
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The CSF methodology is shown in Figure 4.5 below.


VISION MISSION CORE VALUES CORE COMPETENCIES CORE BUSINESS Figure 4.5

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS INTERNALLY INTERACTIVELY CRITICAL ASSUMPTIONS CRITICAL INFORMATION REQUIRED CRITICAL DECISIONS TAKEN INFORMATION SYSTEMS STRATEGY
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EXTERNALLY

SISP

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. EXPLAIN WHY IT STRATEGY, IM STRATEGY AND INFORMATION STRATEGY MUST BE INTERGRATED IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A TOTAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS STRATEGY ?

2. REVIEW THE MERITS OF APPLYING A VALUE CHAIN BASED APPROACH TO DETERMINE INFORMATION SYSTEMS STRATEGY.

3. WHY SHOULD INFORMATION SYSTEMS BE STRATEGIC ?

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SESSION 5

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT

IT AS A CENTRE OF COMPETENCE PRINCIPLES OF IT EXCELLENCE ACHIEVING A ROBUST IT INFRASTRUCTURE EXTERNAL COLLABORATION THROUGH OUTSOURCING WHAT IS TYPICALLY OUTSOURCED INSOURCING KEY ROLES WITHIN THE IT DEPARTMENT DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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IT AS A CENTRE OF COMPETENCE The tremendous growth in computer based information systems has meant that the IT Department is now regarded by many organisations as a centre for strategic competence to service the information needs of the organisation. Much time within IT Departments is devoted to enhancing, refining and upgrading systems to keep pace with changes to technology and the requirements for speed. The IT Department role is to provide IT based solutions to IT problems & challenges at functional levels across the organisation. The role also means that the staff employed must be able to understand the information systems strategy for the organisation as a whole. In this way IT purchasing should also be resourced & centralised through the IT department to prevent inefficiencies and compatibility problems.

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PRINCIPLES OF IT EXCELLENCE It is one thing to acknowledge IT as a centre of competence, but what must be done to assure that the IT department is world-class ? The following priorities can be applied : 1. Acquire, train and retain the right IT personnel 2. Design, build and maintain a robust IT infrastructure 3. Direct, coordinate, manage and control IT based projects effectively and measure the outcomes 4. Enable Partnerships within the IT Department and across the business 5. Search for and develop external collaborative parties

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To achieve these principles, there is an important people agenda to enable IT leaders to aspire to world-class excellence. This agenda covers the following areas : Competency Assessment of Current Skills and Future Skills required Workforce and workflow planning Job roles and responsibilities must be clarified with appropriate leaders assigned Determine a basis for evaluating performance using a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which are reviewed periodically Reward, recognise & celebrate performance achievements Introduce career planning to retain staff Assess the IT department engagement culture and team working Monitor the communications between departments and within the IT Division Train, train, train Develop a relevant staff retention strategy and recognise top talent Have a recruitment pool to ensure staff supply in the event of staff leaving
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If this is embedded with a Results based work ethic, there is a good chance to secure world class standard. In turn this will be communicated externally to the business community so thereby the company IT Department will become acknowledged as an Employer of Choice. The IT Department can only be as good as its people. Managing Information Systems Technology is about managing people to make the technology work.

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ACHIEVING A ROBUST IT INFRASTRUCTURE The Need for a Technology Road Map To ensure that the IT infrastructure is well planned, mission, purpose, direction and sequence are all important . It cannot be forgotten that the world of IT is always evolving, and what exists today may have to be changed. As time passes, existing technology relevancies have to be questioned. An IT road map will be needed and be also subject to ongoing review so that there is in fact a technology road map for systems progression, with priorities very clearly stated for both hardware and software changes. Before any change is planned and any associated purchasing is envisaged, it is important to view the system as a whole together with its interdependencies. This done, any outsourcing can be planned in perspective. The road map is critical for achieving a robust IT infrastructure.
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Minimise Systems Downtime It has to be realised that IT systems from time to time fail, therefore for systems processing huge volumes of data, systems downtime is a vital metric for IT Management. World class practice will normally deploy root cause analysis as part of management procedure, in order to maximise uptime by learning from systems failure and the risk exposure this may cause. Root cause analysis aims to drilldown to determine what went wrong and to discover what is needed to put it right. This requires documentation if the issue and its risk category, gathering data to determine facts and eradicating assumptions so that a clear platform for analysis can be established. The factors which have contributed to the downtime issue are then needed to establish casuality and interdependence. This is necessary to help identify potential solutions and also to avoid future recurrence of such issues. New solutions will then be implemented and tested for relevance. Reviews are then necessary so that the lessons learned can be shared and documented.
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Scheduled Maintenance Once a roadmap has been confirmed, a schedule of maintenance should be aligned to the roadmap to maintain the IT infrastructure as it ages. This is needed to avoid the risks and losses arising from systems downtime and also to assure the reliability of the system.

Renewal of Legacy Systems Each element of the IT infrastructure will have been developed overtime and at different stages. This means that most IT infrastructure history must be managed well. Each IT system will therefore have a legacy which relates to past development. Overtime these legacy systems became redundant and have to be renewed using a well-planned approach to achieve the needed changes.
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Information and Data Security Security is a core concern for all IT infrastructures. The potential for security breaches increases as the dependency upon the IT systems also increases. This issue has already been addressed in the manual where risk management techniques were outlined as well as issues of governance and compliance.

Disaster Recovery and System Sustainability Closely linked to the principle of security will be the need for disaster recovery and business continuity planning. This is essential in order to be proactive and to have crisis management plans in place. Potential scenarios can be used as a basis to put together effective contingency plans in the event of a major security breach arising.

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People need to be trained. Usually off site training meetings will have scenario planning sessions for system recovery and resolution. Moreover, communications planning has to be considered carefully so that the impact of the disaster is managed for all stakeholders and that an emergency response team is ready. This all requires training, development and testing, it cannot be overlooked because the impact upon the business could be catastrophic.

Service Desk Capability and Responsiveness There are many internal customers who are dependent upon the IT infrastructure to deliver reports, information and data as it is demanded. This issue of internal customer service is of paramount importance. The service desk will probably be the first point of contact because it presents the face of the IT Department to all concerned end users as the first point of control.
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Service desk efficiency, credibility and response time are all essential. Plans for the levels of customer service at the service desk must be actioned to avoid the escalation of enquiries into issues and even internal confrontations. IT infrastructure management must attend carefully and effectively to this front line function. It is wise to keep a system of performance metrics as a management tool where the volume of enquiries & issues can be tracked together with the response time for resolution. Many people working with the IT infrastructure environment will have turnaround time as one of the most critical forms of performance assessment.

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EXTERNAL COLLABORATION THROUGH OUTSOURCING Most Chief Information Officers of large and medium-size enterprises will apply outsourcing as an IT management tool. Outsourcing can be linked to the longer term strategic planning process for the IT Department, but there is also a short term tactical rationale for outsourcing some well defined IT functions. The key reasons for IT outsourcing will include : To ensure that Internal Staff focus on core IT functions People, Technology and System cost savings Reducing the Risk of Technology obsolescence Remaining Relevant to the business needs However any IT Department must be ready for outsourcing. This means that the people, management styles, operating culture and the IT portfolio must be able to accept external parties. The actual level of outsourcing to be adopted must be assessed for risk, desirability and feasibility.
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Some companies may outsource the entire IT Department, while others will take a more moderate approach by using selective outsourcing. Total Outsourcing This involves a partnership with a single supplier achieved through a signed long term contract, where the main focus is upon supporting core business competencies. This actually eliminates the IT function from the business and is often decided purely on a cost basis. The strategic control of information is retained by the company, but of course there is a level of risk to be taken. Selective Outsourcing This may be achieved using a number of suppliers while skill retaining strategic control of the IT infrastructure within the business. Typically, short-term contracts are agreed. The company may in this way benefit from transferring certain fixed costs to external variable costs, especially with respect to staffing.
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There is of course a challenge to coordinate operations when multiple suppliers are used. Moreover, managing multiple external relationships with vendors who in turn have other clients to service can become problematic. The advantages of outsourcing are to : Increase the pace of change without the overhead cost Introduce new IT capability to the business Gain access to new skill sets as required However to be successful, outsourcing will require a significant amount of time to set up and then to ensure that it all runs smoothly. It requires leadership and dedication. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with performance metrics are needed so that the expectations of both parties are clear, known and agreed. The method of payment for outsourced services is traditionally base on time but this can lead to cost escalation and eventual dispute. It is better to have the outsourced content agreed on a project basis where payment is made for actual deliverables.
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What Is Typically Outsourced ? Applications Development Applications Marketing Website Management E-commerce Systems Disaster Recovery Services Data Centre Operations Data Network Operations Helpdesk IT Security Database Administration

Any form of outsourcing should be based upon 3 fundamental principles : 1. Segment your vendors by quality and service level agreements 2. Contract your vendors carefully according to well established criteria for assessment 3. Manage the relationships as a collaborative partnership
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INSOURCING Insourcing is the term used for retaining the entire IT function in-house. In this case IT is viewed as a core business providing strategic contribution to business objectives and their achievement. There must be a high level of in-house expertise and a centralised IT Department. The most critical success factor for Insourcing is the requirement for synergy and alignment between the business units and Information Technology Management. Insourcing may actually be driven by a lack of trust for external suppliers apart from the ability for the company to manage the its own systems enhancement and developments.

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KEY ROLES WITHIN THE IT DEPARTMENT The following roles are likely to be expected in an information systems department : Analysts and programmers who are responsible for the analysis, design and development of systems and will also represent the IT Department on systems development project teams. System operators manage large, usually mainframe systems, keeping the system running, monitoring performance, maintaining the system and handling security and recovery procedures. They will have high-level access to the system. Technicians who are responsible for minor repairs and maintenance which are done locally and may act as liaison between user and vendor.
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Database administrators are the custodians of the company database, deciding the organisation and structure of data and assigning names and definitions to data. They will also control security systems and decide access and control policies to protect the database. Network administrators are responsible for ensuring the reliable operation of company networks and the immediate resolution of any problems that arise. Technical support staff -- IT specialists who are available to support users within the organisation, often manning help desks to which users can turn for advice on use of the system and for help in investigating any operational problems they may have.

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DISCUSSION QUESTION (1)


AS THE NEWLY APPOINTED HEAD OF THE IT DEPARTMENT FOR A MULTINATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY WITH HEADQUARTERS IN AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND, YOU HAVE TO ASSESS THE FOLLOWING BRIEF FROM THE COMPANY BOARD. TIME HAS NOW COME WHEN THE COMPANY MUST RE-EVALUATE THE COST EFFICIENCIES OF THE IT DEPARTMENT AND THEREFORE YOU ARE REQUIRED TO STATE THE KEY CRITERIA BY WHICH WE CAN ENSURE WOULD CLASS STANDARDS. STATE THESE CRITERIA.

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DISCUSSION QUESTION (2)

AS PART OF THE STRATEGIC PLANNING TEAM FOR THE IT DEPARTMENT OF A GLOBAL SHARED IT SERVICES COMPANY BASED IN INDIA, WHICH IS A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF A LARGE MULTINATIONAL BANK, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO OUTLINE THE CRITERIA BY WHICH DECISIONS MUST BE MADE FOR TOTAL INSOURCING OR MULTIPLE OUTSOURCING FOR FUTURE IT RESOURCING.

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SESSION 6

IS HARDWARE, SOFTWARE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEFINED


S 6 / 01 . 16

STORAGE CAPACITY MEMORY SECONDARY DATA ACCESS DATA INPUT DEVICES DATA OUTPUT DEVICES COMPUTER SYSTEM TYPES SYSTEMS SOFTWARE
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OPERATING SYSTEMS APPLICATION SOFTWARE ENTERPRISE APPLICATION SOFTWARE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATIONS IS hardware comprises the machinery that receives data inputs, processes & stores the data and then converts data into an information system. Computer hardware must be selected to meet the changing and evolving needs of the organisation and its future ambitions. The main hardware components include devices for inputs and outputs, devices for storage and the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The capabilities of a hardware device are : Processing Power Speed Capacity

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Storage capacity is measured in bytes where : KB MB GB TB Kilobyte Megabyte Gigabyte Terabyte = = = = Approx 100 bytes Approx 1000 KB Approx 1000 MB Approx 1000 GB

Memory is stored in : RAM ROM = = Random Access Memory for temporary storage Read Only Memory for permanent storage

Secondary data access (outsource the CPU) is either defined as : DASDs SASDs
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= =

Direct Access Stage Devices allowing random direct access Sequential Access Stage Devices where data can only be assessed in the order in which it was shared.
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These storage devices include magnetic tapes and magnetic discs, optical discs (CD-ROMs), digital video discs (DVDs), flash memory chips. Data Input Devices PC input devices are the keyboard and mouse and wireless versions of them SPEECH recognition inputs Digital Cameras Touch Sensitive Screens Optical Data Readers Pen Input Devices Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

There are just a selection to show how technology has moved forward and continues to do so.

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Data Output Devices Display Monitors Liquid Crystal Displays Printers and Plotters Digital Audio Players

Computer System Types Handheld Computers Portable Computers Laptops of various sizes & weight Desktop Computers Workstations Servers Mainframes Super Computers
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Systems Software

comprises a set of programs designed to coordinate and activate the functions of the hardware and its programs throughout the total computer system. Software is developed for specific CPU designs and also the class of hardware. This would include PC and workstation operating systems. A different group of software, called application software is often custom made for particular user needs, eg. Enterprise software for companies finance or human resource departments. Personal application software might include graphics, word-processing and spreadsheets.

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Operating Systems

The operating system is a software installed into a computer to enable the interface between the computers hardware and specific software applications. The functionality of the computer system, be it single or multiple usage is anchored to the operating system, the operating system manages the system memory and processing tasks and manages files. It may provide for the networking a capability. In simple terms without or operating system, nothing works.

The main providers of operating systems include : Microsoft Windows in various versions and generations MAC OSX UNIX SONARIS LINUX all for personal and enterprise usage, IBM and HP also have enterprise operating systems.
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Application Software Application software can be used for diverse uses and falls into two categories : 1. Off the Shelf Software, which directly is available on the open market 2. Proprietary Software, which is developed & custom-made for a specific purpose.

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Examples of off the shelf software include : -

TYPE Word-processing Data Base Spreadsheet Project Management Graphics Desktop Publishing

PROVIDER / VENDOR Microsoft Word, Apple Pages Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers Microsoft Project for Windows Adobe Illustrator Microsoft Publisher

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ENTERPRISE APPLICATION SOFTWARE An Enterprise will require specific software for business data processing, for example sales activity, payroll, invoicing, shipping, human resource management and so on. Specialised software is also available to provide information for managerial decision support. These definitions and classifications give a brand overview of Information Systems Hardware and Software which is continuing to evolve.

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEFINED Telecommunications can be defined as any electronic signal that serves as an interface between a sending and a receiving message. Therefore telecommunication communications. refers to the transmission of electronic signals for

The rate at which data is exchanged is referred to channel bandwidth, hence broadband communications which implies high speed data exchanges. The communications media are normally either by types of cable (eg. Fibre optics) or power lines as a solid medium or wireless where signals are transmitted over airwaves.

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Wireless technologies have revolutionised telecommunications, especially when combined with the internet to provide extensive capabilities.. Wireless technologies use radio, infra-red and microwave frequencies to achieve communicated broadcasts.

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Wireless technologies include : NFC New Field Communication for very short range communications eg. Credit card swiping for payments interconnectivity between different fixed and mobile devices up to 30 feet ultra wide band for transmitting large data volumes, between devices, of up to 30 feet, in have entertainment for example uses a wireless network with access points called hot-spots and ranges of up to 300 feet outdoors and 100 feet indoors. Both government and individual business have installed these networks for the benefit of society. Such communications are internet based.

BLUETOOTH

UWB

WIFI

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WIRELESS MESH

is designed to create a wider area network to achieve coverage through inter-correlated local area networks, for example to create a city based broadband wireless facilities. All important to support 3G and 4G wireless communications.

WIMAX

is designed to provide end user wireless coverage of up to 30 metre radius to embrace cities and large institutions with a networked infrastructure.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.

EXPLAIN THE CRITERIA BY WHICH YOUR WOULD SELECT THE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR A COMPUTER BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM.

2.

THE SOFTWARE INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO EVOLVE, HOW DOES THIS AFFECT PERSONAL AND BUSINESS LIFE ?

3.

HOW HAS WIRELESS COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY CHANGED OUR LIVES ?

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SESSION 7

DATA BASE MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION DATA MANAGEMENT * DATA * DATA CONCEPTS


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DATA BASE APPROACH BUILDING THE DATA BASE SPECIAL DATABASE APPLICATIONS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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INTRODUCTION Large volumes of data are entered into computer systems daily from a variety of sources to a myriad of end use applications. Data base systems and business intelligence tools are employed to assist the effective use of information. This process is referred to as data base management whereby a series of computer software programmes manipulate data to provide an interface between the data base, the user and other applications. In simple terms, a data base is just a collection of organised data put together for a purpose which in turn provides information to key managers to assist decision taking.

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In technical terms, the data base represents a single point of control for the management of data resources. It is essential that the integrity and security of the data within a data base is upheld at all times. Some companies will manage a series of data bases using a Information Systems Professional to work within the data base environment. This ensures data base systems quality and performance, especially as organisations process large volumes of digital information, with exponential growth patterns well into the future.

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DATA MANAGEMENT DATA Data is managed from the smallest piece of data through building blocks until it reaches a data base as a repository. These building blocks are : Bits Characters Fields Records Files - binary digits organised into units called bytes - the basic building block of letter and numbers or special symbols - a combination of characters related to one domain or activity - a collection of related data fields - a collection of related data records

whereby the collection of files is assembled into a database which houses the files and the relationships between them.
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DATA BASE CONCEPTS The most important concepts are : Entities Attributes a general class or grouping eg. customers, stock, staff specific characters eg. customer number, stock codes, staff names & grades. Any values attached to there attributes are referred to as a data item the identification for a record or file to obtain access

Keys

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DATABASE APPROACH The database approach to data management will usually employ dedicated software to enable the system, and hence the term Database Management System for which dedicated software will be used. The Database is at the epicentre of an organisations information system and hence serves the entire business for planning, organising, monitoring and controlling performance. The database achieves a number of key contributions to business and non-business organisations, namely : More effective use of strategic level data by top management Data utilisation, whereas before data would be redundant and not used to optimum advantage
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Security and integrity of data and data entry Providing improved access to data and information for defined end-use application Using data as a shared resource across the organisation for multiple users

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BUILDING THE DATABASE When building a data base there are a number of key managerial factors to be taken into account : The cost to generate and the cost to maintain The purpose to be met and performance expected The content and data source The users and access, concurrently The logical structure of files so that the database can operate efficiently together with the physical organisation and size The data modelling that will be required Any redundancy of data not used Ability to integrate with other databases Thereafter the database will be managed by a database administrator as previously mentioned, but may be installed and designed by a database vendor to meet the application requirements.
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SPECIAL DATABASE APPLICATIONS

DATABASE TO INTERNET LINKAGE A large number of enterprise databases are accessed over the internet using a standard webbrowser, which is convenient for individuals and helps the cost efficiency of business operations and organisations. Consider the success of Amazon.com, e-Bay and Apples iTunes where creative business models combine databases with the internet.

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DATA WAREHOUSES A data warehouse stores enterprise information from many sources covering many aspects of the business. The warehouse provides the user with a multi-dimensional view of the data stored that is related to their field of inquiry. The data warehouse permits the user to drilldown to get more detail and to roll up to take detail to summary reports. It is designed to support management decision making.

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The data warehouse will have been formed from large data bases, where data has been transferred or even archived.

DATA MINING The objective of data mining is to search for new information or patterns from the data held in a data warehouse. This search may reveal new opportunities for the business for example using new methods of market segmentation to acquire new customers for the business. The benefit of data mining is that often new answers are found to questions that people have not even thought to ask. It is a process of discovery by literally mining through data held.

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DATA MART A data mart is just a sub-group within a data warehouse which shares enterprise data within a defined aspect of the business, so that specific, detailed data can be stored for specific enduse application. In summary a well conceived, well managed, well maintained data base is a critically important tool to support management decision making. The volume of databases and their integration will continue to evolve and become even more vital with the pace of globalisation.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. EXPLAIN WHAT YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE TERM DATA BASE. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE SERVED BY DATA BASES ? WHAT IS MEANT BY DATA BASE MANAGEMENT ? HOW DO DATABASES CONTRIBUTE TO BUSINESS PERFORMANCE ?

2. WHAT DO YOU ENVISAGE TO BE THE KEY CHALLENGES FACED BY THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR DATABASE MANAGEMENT ?

3. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT AN EFFICIENTLY ADMINISTERED CENTRALISED DATABASE WILL IMPROVE ORGANISATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS ?

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SESSION 8

INFORMATION AND DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS (DSS)


S 8 / 01 . 15

DECISION MAKING AND DECISION TAKING DECISION TYPES DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS PURPOSE PROBLEM STRUCTURES COMPUTERISED DSS THE TRADITIONAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM DSS EXPLAINED COMPARISON OF MIS WITH DSS EXECUTIVE SUPPORT SYSTEMS (ESS) DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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INFORMATION AND DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS The real value of information can only really be appreciated when the user and those involved can fully realise how more informed decisions been taken as a result of the information received. Decision Making Decision making involves 3 main stages : 1. 2. 3. Intelligence gathering Decision design by evaluating options Decision Choice

Decision Taking Having made the decision, to then actually take the decision involves 2 further stages : 1. 2. Implementation Monitoring & evaluation

Therefore Problem Solving involves Decision Making and Decision Taking.


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Types of Decisions Decisions fall into two categories : 1. Programme decisions These are routine decisions, using rules, procedures, programmed information and routine reports in a structured way. 2. Non-programme decisions These are exceptional decisions which may not have been anticipated for which existing information structure, policies, procedures and rules may not be laid down. DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS (DSS) PURPOSE Decision Support Systems are designed to serve programmed decisions and to assist nonprogrammed decisions to contribute to decision effectiveness. DSS will also provide support for problem solving by individuals and teams by providing information to assist specific decision taking.
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PROBLEM STRUCTURES Decisions may need to be made to resolve problems. Decision support systems can assist : Structured Problems where decision rules may be applied Unstructured Problems where no pre-determined rules apply Semi-Structured Problems which may have both structured and unstructured characteristics

To provide an example, consider the grid below in Figure 8.1.


Figure 8.1 OPERATIONAL STRUCTURED PROBLEM TYPE MANAGEMENT DECISION LEVEL MANAGERIAL STRATEGIC

Inventory Control

Short Term Forecasts Managerial Cost Control

Strategic Planning Reviews Strategic Profitability Assessment

SEMI STRUCTURED

Operational Cash Management

UNSTRUCTURED
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Absenteeism

Staffing Morale

Staff Retention
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COMPUTERISED DSS To support these problem structures and to assist decision making, computerised DSS can either : OPTIMISE SATISFICE by finding the best solution by finding a good but not necessarily the best solutions, often based upon time and cost considerations

The levels of problem solving support with a DSS ranging from lowest to highest would be :
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Basic Information Retrieval Providing Relevant Information Files Creation of Reports From Multiple Sources Estimation of Decision Consequences Proposing Viable Options Proposing Decisions Making Decisions
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Ultimately a well conceived DSS will help individuals and groups within the organisation to take well informed decisions and to resolve problems in order to achieve the business mission and objectives. DSS therefore include : MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS FUNCTIONAL AND STRATEGIC DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS SPECIAL PURPOSE SYSTEMS

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THE TRADITIONAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (MIS) A traditional MIS is an integrated assembly of : People Policies and Procedures Databases AND Devices

to provide organisational management with information to achieve business ambitions. The central notion of an MIS is to provide : The Right People The Right Information from all relevant sources At the Right Time In the Right Format

It is a management information system so therefore its prime purpose is to support the management functions of planning, organising and controlling business functions across the entire organisation.
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The architecture of a typical MIS is shown in Figure 8.2


DATABASES OF CORPORATE DATA DATABASES OF INTERNAL TRANSACTION DATA

THE MIS FUNCTIONAL COMPONENTS MARKETING MIS HR MIS MANAGEMENT MIS FINANCIAL MIS

OUTPUT REPORTS SCHEDULES REPORTS KEY INDICATOR REPORTS DEMAND REPORTS EXCEPTIONAL REQUEST REPORTS DRILL DOWN REPORTS

SUPPLY CHAIN AND BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS

ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING

OPERATIONAL DATA BASES

DATABASES OF EXTERNAL DATA

R & D MIS OTHER FUNCTIONAL MIS


APPLICATION DATA BASIS DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS

Figure 8.2
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The design of an MIS will depend upon the needs of the organisation. The outputs of the system will be a series of reports which are distributed to managers with standard formatting usually in hardcopies and softcopy format. These reports, which are normally for specific business functions, have been originated through a series of databases which have processed information as well as transaction data for retrieval. With the sophistication of IT and the associated speed that is now available, MIS reporting can be achieved in real-time so that managers can have key data and information at their finger tips. Examples of such real time reports would be executive dashboards providing performance data against forecast, for example with comparative analysis worldwide.

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DSS EXPLAINED Decision support systems, if used well, provide management with greater potential to control costs, optimise profit, produce better products & services and improve business processes. DSS, depending upon their scope, aim to provide for more structured decision taking. They also aim to provide the flexibility to cope with both structured and unstructured problems, to thereby support the incremental phases in problem resolution. DSS will also support decision frequencies ranging from periodic to ad-hoc decisions to be made at different levels in the organisation. A DSS is different from an MIS in a number of ways.

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COMPARISON OF MIS AND DSS


Consider the following table to outline the differences between MIS and DSS.
EVALUATION CRITERIA USERS CONTROL SUPPORT FOCUS OUTPUT SYSTEM RESPONSIVENESS

MIS

DSS

Organisational Management Users have little control Support regular decisions Upon information only Regular periodic report Usually online, related to real time Immediate

Individuals, Groups and the entire organisation Users have more control Support phases in problem solving and decision taking Decision making and decision taking Interactive reports as a direct support system No immediacy, just routine reporting Periodic and longer response time

So therefore there is a need for both MIS and DSS as they serve different managerial needs.
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EXECUTIVE SUPPORT SYSTEMS (ESS) Executive Support Systems are a special type of Decision Support System (DSS) which includes all the people, processes, policies and procedures, software and hardware needed to support senior level executives. ESS therefore support executive level decisions and board level. The classical view of the ESS is that the system provides the essential monitoring of the environment from which the organisations critical success factors (CSFs) are derived -moreover, executive decisions are needed to preserve these CSFs. The ESS deals with corporate strategic intent, direction, issues & challenges all to ensure progress is achieved. The conventional understanding of DSS is that the system provides the means for the user to thoroughly analyse in order to achieve answers, upon which informed decisions can be taken.
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The ESS, presents structured information about the organisation that top executives believe to be important for strategic level decision taking. ESS have an orientation for the future, may be tailored to meet the needs of specific executive decisions and should be easy to use, all focused upon ways in which to add value to the businesses and its business processes . . . All of which relate to cost and profit. ESS are critically important to support Strategic Planning, which normally requires support for longer term objectives, leveraging the strengths of the organisation, sustaining core competencies, predicting future trends and assessing the needs for innovation. In this way the human resources required for strategic implementation can be determined through the use of the ESS. Ultimately ESS provides essential support for strategic managerial control.
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DISCUSSION QUESTION (1)

DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING ARE ESSENTIAL MANAGERIAL SKILLS THAT ARE EXPERIENCED BY PEERS, SUPERIORS AND SUBORDINATES. HOW CAN DECISION SUPPORT MANAGERIAL FUNCTION ? SYSTEMS CONTRIBUTE TO THIS

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DISCUSSION QUESTION (2)

THE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM IS CLAIMED TO PROVIDE THE RIGHT INFORMATION, TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT FORMAT AT THE RIGHT TIME ? WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING AS TO INFORMATION SYSTEMS ARE REALLY NEEDED ? WHY MANAGEMENT

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SESSION 9

FUNCTIONAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (1)

THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

THE MANUFACTURING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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FUNCTIONAL MIS The manual will now provide an overview of key functional MIS namely : THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM THE MANUFACTURING MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM THE MARKETING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM THE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

Session 9 will handle the Financial Management Information Systems and the Marketing Management Information Systems.

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THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM The users of a company financial information are : Internal Users -- Managerial Staff -- Non Managerial Staff External Users -- External Stakeholders -- The Community -- Those with no direct relationships to the company

The financial information system serves a wide variety of users.

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However, internally the following functions are performed : Collecting financial data from a multiple sources to be integrated into one system Providing access to financial data for financial and non-financial users on a secure basis Making financial data available for management Achieve essential financial analysis for periodic reporting Track historical and current financial performance Monitor funds flow Report upon key financial performance indicators

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A high level model of a financial information system is shown in Figure 9.1.

The normal conventions of a system are followed with inputs from multiple sources that are processed through a Financial Information System (FIS) database to deliver defined outputs for end use application.

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A MODEL OF A FINANCIAL INFORMATION SYSTEM


INPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Accounting Information Systems OUTPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Financial Forecasting Sub-system Financial Statements

Data & Information

Internal Audit Sub-system

Financial Application Databases

Funds Management Sub-system

Users DSS & ESS Financial Control & Budgeting Sub-system

Financial Intelligence Sub-system

FIGURE 9.1

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THE INPUT SUB-SYSTEMS AUDITING involves the independent assessment of the financial condition of the organisation and to determine the accuracy of records held. Activity is performed by an internal audit team and than also an external auditing company required by law. Computer systems as well as manual systems will be used.

ACCOUNTING INFORMATION

involves the transactions that are made with reference to revenue received and cash paid out from records held daily.

FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE

involves investor relations through annual meetings, quarterly performance reports and the annual reports from a variety of relevant sources. Important financial environmental information will be an input, for example, government economic policy taxation low charges, word of mouth informed reports from the city as well as published industry & government sector reports.
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THE FINANCIAL APPLICATIONS DATABASE The applications will be classified and organised according to need, for example by : Revenue Centres Cost Centres Investment Centres Profit Centres Periodic Financial Management Reviews Cash Management to track income to track expenditures to monitor investments to monitor profitability -- to monitor financial performance

-- to monitor liquidity and cash flow

Different software packages are available for financial data base management.
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THE OUTPUTS The applications of the financial management information systems will be processed information from the financial applications database to serve the : Financial Forecasting Sub systems Funds Management Sub systems Financial Control Sub systems to assess the future for cash flow planning to assess the financial health of the business and to serve the financial budgetary process to report total performance.

Financial Statement Reporting

Collectively these service the generation of the accounting statements known as the profit & loss statements, the balance sheet and the cash flow statement. All these are designed for a variety of users and in turn their respective financial decision support systems.
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THE MANUFACTURING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (MMIS) Advances in computer technology have supported the manufacturing management information system considerably, resulting in dramatic improvements in innovation and productivity. The uses of the system are primarily those directly associated with Manufacturing, Production and Operations Management. The core functions performed are to : Monitor and control the flow of goods, products, materials and services through the manufacturing organisation Review the conversion process as value is added from raw materials through to finished goods Source and evaluate new technologies
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Provide for research & development to drive manufacturing innovations Logistics monitoring and control

Manufacturing process control

A high level model of a MMIS is shown in Figure 9.2.

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A MODEL OF A MANUFACTURING SYSTEM


INPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Accounting Information Systems Internal Sources Industrial & Design Engineering System Environmental Sources Manufacturing Intelligence Sub-system OUTPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Production / Process Control Sub-system Logistics & Inventory Sub-system Quality Control Sub-system Manufacturing DSS & ESS Users

Data & Information

Manufacturing Application Databases

Cost Control Sub-system

FIGURE 9.2

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THE INPUT SUB-SYSTEMS ACCOUNTING involves details on costs, cost behaviour and costing protocols applied to the

INFORMATION marketing overheads and promises. A manufacturing costing model will be an essential part of this input subsystem in order to determine manufacturing productivity and materials flow.

DESIGN &

often uses computer-aided design (CAD) for new & existing products and Robotics may be also used as part of the design subsystem. The Engineering subsystem will also assess material input requirements for materials planning. This is in turn linked to the production subsystem for production scheduling and total production resource planning, so that the Manufacturing Management Information System is integrated.

ENGINEERING computer aided manufacturing (CAM), known as CAD-CAM systems.

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MANUFACTURING INTELLIGENCE

will involve scanning the manufacturing environment in relation to industry conditions, labour flow and materials flow and in particular supply chain relationships. The quality of supplies and suppliers mist be viewed as critical subsystem inputs. The system may be used for facilitator location as the manufacturing requirement grows.

THE MANUFACTURING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM DATABASE This data base serves the system outputs to achieve the overall objective of the manufacturing information system . Therefore the applications database must ensure that the overall system works in conjunction with other functional information systems to support manufacturing management problem solving, and decision making with reference to the manufacturing end-toend processes.

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THE MANUFACTURING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (MMIS) OUTPUTS In order to service the decision support system and the Executive Support Systems required by the users of the MMIS, there are key outputs that should be delivered, namely : Production and Process Control required to build and operate production facilities to streamline manufacturing processes and ensure optimum marketing cycle lines & related job flows are required to determine the optimum inventory levels to ensure that manufacturing outputs are related to inputs to determine economic manufacturing qualities (EMQ) and economic ordering qualities (EOQ). Just In Time (JIT) systems are now commonly used to minimise logistics costs.
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Logistics & Inventory Control

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Quality Control

is needed to ensure total quality management and to aim for zero defects and some quality materials / services.

Cost Control

is a monitoring subsystem to check cost variances against cost inputs from the accounting subsystems, needed for periodic monthly & quarterly reporting.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. WHAT ARE THE COMMON ELEMENTS IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS DESIGN FOR THE FUNCTIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS REVIEWED IN THIS SESSION ? WHAT IS AT THE HEART OF THE SYSTEM ?

2. WHAT WILL BE THE KEY CHALLENGES TO BE FACED IN THE DESIGN OF A FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM ?

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SESSION 10

FUNCTIONAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (2) & ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS

THE MARKETING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM THE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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THE MARKETING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (MMIS) The uses of a companys MKIS will be those employed in the marketing & sales organisation for which strategic level and operational level decisions will be taken in order to preserve the companys position in the market place. It will also be used by distribution channel partners for relationship bonding and en-use consumers. The MKIS will have at least the following functions : Collecting marketing data from multiple sources Scanning the market environment Providing data on customer needs, wants, preferences and values Providing budget inputs for the marketing planning process

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Support management activities in relation to market & sales forecasting Supporting the functional areas of marketing related to the marketing mix variables known as the 4 Ps and now the 7 Ps. Supporting customer relationships

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A simple model of an MKIS is shown in Figure 10.1. The MKIS Input Sub Systems Internal Accounting involves the financial records of customers, tracking income and debtors to support cash flow planning against forecasts made. Marketing costs from the marketing budget forecasts are essential inputs. Terms of trade, credit policies and pricing all provide part of this subsystem. provides data and information upon customers, market segments, buying behaviour and the effectiveness of the companies marketing strategy as delivered through the marketing mix and sales variables. provides the essential environmental scanned needed to ensure that the organisations marketing strategy remain relevant to the trends and requirements of the market place and the industry.
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Marketing Research

Marketing Intelligence

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MKIS MODEL
INPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Internal Accounting Information Systems Internal Sources Marketing Research Sub-systems Environmental Sources Marketing Intelligence Sub- system OUTPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Product Sub-system

Data & Information

MKIS Application Database

Place & Physical Evidence Sub-system Promotion Sub-system People & Customer Process Sub-system

DSS & ESS Users

FIGURE 10.1

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MKIS DATABASE The MKIS database processes the sub-system inputs for specific end-use applications required by the marketing function in order to take both strategic and operational decisions. The data base serves the end users of the MKIS through a series of specific outputs. MKIS SUB SYSTEM OUTPUTS The MKIS system outputs will deliver critical information upon which to make future marketing mix decisions and also to assess the value derived from customer groups from the existing marketing mix strategy. The important contribution of these outputs will be to assist the integration of the marketing mix subsystems so that the customer value experienced can be planned for by the marketing strategist. The collective MKIS outputs will in turn contribute to the design, development, coordination, review and resourcing of annual and longer term marketing plans.
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HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM The users of the HR Management Information System will be the management team within the HR function, the internal business functions as HR customers, individual employees and top management policy makers. This is a critically important Management Information System as it serves the people agenda for the organisation. People are the most important asset of any organisation. Some of the key functions performed will be : Employee Relations Recruitment & Contracts Succession Planning Staff Profiling & Staff Records
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Training Job Analysis & Competency Assessment & Performance Appraisal Employee Engagement Benefits, Rewards & Compensation and many other personnel related issues.

A high level model of an HRIS is shown in Figure 10.2.

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HRIS MODEL
INPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Accounting Information Systems Internal Sources Human Resource Research Sub-systems Environmental Sources HR Intelligence Sub- system OUTPUT SUB-SYSTEMS Workforce Planning Sub-system Recruiting Sub-system

Data & Information

HRIS Applications Database

Workforce Management Sub-system Compensation Sub-system Benefit Sub-system Environmental Reporting Sub-system

DSS & ESS Users

FIGURE 10.2

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The HRIS Input Sub Systems The Accounting Sub System will record salaries, deductions, special agreements to cover the financial aspects concerned with payroll, records and payments. This will be classified by job grade and company division / department. Often personnel records are held in this sub system. will provide job analysis and evaluations, training needs analysis, succession studies, performance appraisals, organisational climate studies, talent management research and so on. will track the labour market environment, recruitment sources, government labour laws, union relationships for industrial relations, networking within the HR community and intelligence on competitors HR practices.
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The HR Research Sub System

The HR Intelligence Sub System

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The HR Database will use a number of HR Software applications to process inputs into Decision Support Systems and Executive Support System outputs, usually centralised for ease of access and retrieval. The dedicated HR applications will serve a number of HR sub-systems : Workforce Planning for workforce modelling, job analysis & evaluation, organisational design and changes to workflow processes will be a core requirement for employee acquisition and employee retention, internal sourcing and external sourcing, tracking vacancies and fulfilment

Recruitment Planning

Workforce Management will have a wider domain including training, education, organisational development, competency assessments, performance appraisals, relocations, succession planning, career planning and any disciplinary actions.
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Compensation

will be focused upon payroll, adjustments, bonuses, re-grading & merit increments. It will also monitor attendance and sick leave taken. is engaged with defining the basis for compensation as well as prescribing benefits by job grade and function. It will cover benefits statements and claims made. for external reporting to government upon issues such as health records, grievances, union activity, industrial tribunals.

Benefits

Environment Reporting

The value of the HRIS will depend upon the organisation culture and how the HR function has really progressed from a department for personnel administration to one for human capital development employing systems for Strategic Human Resource Management. One move away from functional MIS is that for Enterprise Wide Resource Planning.
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ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING An enterprise system is organisation-wide whereby the information can be accessed by all business functions and at all levels of management to give support to business management and organisational performance. The intention is to integrate all business functions into one system for planning enterprise resource. The main driver for the development of ERP systems was the recognition by organisations that they were disadvantaged in the global economy if their information was held by separate department functions and often with different computing systems. The advantages of having ERP under one system rather than being fragmented was seen to be the following : -


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one major vendor reduced costs of maintenance


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one major vendor reduced costs of maintenance to unify and integrate business strategy improvement in work processes

However, the promise may not have been the actual delivery, some organisations faced : -

high initial costs of development over running on time estimates for system completion software alignment problems with legacy systems lack of feasibility difficulty in implementing change

There has been a tail off in popularity, but main companies still depend upon such integrated systems to support strategic level and operational decision taking.
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Most enterprise systems share a common database, which irradicates problems of information access and quality and comparability which does occur when multiple transaction systems are used to support selected functions of the business. Key examples of ERP systems in use are : -

supply chain process management integrated inventory management customer relationship management
For each of these systems and wider ERP systems, there are a number of ERP vendors offering software, for example.

SAP (probably the worlds largest supplier) Oracle Peoplesoft Microsoft

who will offer services to install a system within 6 months, but it may take 2 years or more to become understood and be fully operational. Upgrades, of course are an on-going process.
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A typical ERP system would use functional MIS components as the basis for systems integration as shown in Figure 10.3.

MANUFACTURING

ACCOUNTING

ERP INTEGRATION DATABASE


VENDORS

ENTERPRISE-WIDE BUSINESS PROCESSES

CUSTOMERS

HUMAN RESOURCES

FINANCE

SALES & MARKETING

DISTRIBUTION

Figure 10.3

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The hidden costs of ERP systems has been experienced by many organisations, such costs include : -

on-going training on-going consultancy dependence upon the ERP vendor systems development is always on-going difficult to achieve data migration hidden costs among those involved in implementation and operation arising from the complexities involved

Therefore a decision to adopt ERP means that decisions have to be weighed very carefully to consider the real net gain to be achieved,
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.

FOR EITHER THE MARKETING MANAGEMENT OR THE HR MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM, DISCUSS HOW THEIR FUNCTIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS CONTRIBUTE TO STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL DECISION TAKING.

2. STATE WHAT YOU FEEL TO BE THE REAL CONTRIBUTION OF ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS.

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SESSION 11
S 11 / 01 . 18

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION SOME KEY TERMS DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF A KMS WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL SUCCESSFUL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT THE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CYCLE THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES TO KM SUMMARY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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INTRODUCTION From previous sessions we know that data consists of raw facts, information is the organisation of those facts into a form which adds value to the user. Moving one stage further, the application of information actually creates knowledge. Knowledge, however, is probably the most neglected organisational asset and hence the need for knowledge management being recognised in more recent years. A wealth of knowledge is held by organisations in their employees. However, identifying and accessing that knowledge can be extremely difficult especially in large organisations. The challenge therefore to be faced is how an organisation can develop in such a way that it uses its knowledge to the strategic advantage of the business . A Knowledge Management System (KMS) is therefore an organised collection of people, policies, processes and procedures, software, databases and hardware devices used to enable the sharing of knowledge which management seeks to capture as intellectual capital for organisational learning.

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SOME KEY TERMS

EPISTEMOLOGY KNOWLEDGE

: :

The study of the nature and foundation of knowledge. The effective utilisation of information and data through the competency, skills, ideas, intuition, commitment and motivation of people. Knowledge provides the ability to respond to situations. The collective body of experience and understanding within the organisation that is used to face planned and unplanned situations. This is a managerial set of processes to enable the transfer of knowledge, whereby knowledge seekers are aligned with knowledge sources.
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CORPORATE KNOWLEDGE

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
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KNOWLEDGE ANALYSES

These are Techniques used to model knowledge needs and to determine knowledge sources for knowledge planning. Uses knowledge resources to plan a system to capture, organise and distribute knowledge to meet the expectations of knowledge management , as well as the end users, of the knowledge system outputs. Most important of all is to plan future knowledge needs.

KNOWLEDGE PLANNING

KNOWLEDGE TECHNOLOGY : This is the use of technology to be applied in a knowledge based system, for example enterprise systems, decision support systems and artificial intelligence. The technology enables the continuous renewal of the organisational knowledge base.
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It is appreciated that knowledge is the most neglected asset of an enterprise, therefore, overtime there are new models, tools and methodologies emerging to support knowledge transfer. Knowledge management makes intelligent behaviour possible ! THE DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF A KMS In order to enable employees to have access to knowledge based systems it should be assumed that knowledge management initiatives are on-going. We must recognise that these are ill defined and even absent in many organisations. The distinguishing characteristics of a KMS would therefore include : Purpose : A KMS will have explicit Knowledge Management objectives such as for example the collaboration and sharing of good practice to achieve knowledge transfer. Context : One important perspective of an KMS would view knowledge that is meaningfully organised, accumulated and embedded in a context for decision making applications.
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Processes : KMS are developed to support and enhance knowledge-intensive processes, tasks or projects, for example, creation, construction, identification, capturing, acquisition, selection, valuation, organisation, linking, structuring, formalisation, visualisation, transfer, distribution, retention, maintenance, refinement, revision, evolution, accessing, retrieval and last but not least, the application of knowledge. These processes complete the knowledge cycle . A KMS will need to be simplified in order to be effective, because, as seen here, the processes can be complex. Participants : There are multiple participants involved in a KMS. These include users who play the roles of active, involved participants in knowledge networks and communities. Participants enable the distribution of knowledge to achieve continuous change, reconstruction and other applications in different contexts, by different participants with differing backgrounds and experiences. Such is the complexity of KMS, but to manage a KMS is to achieve clarity of purpose and end-use application. To ensure effective KMS planning, capturing organising and interconnecting knowledge to provide random and systematic access is essential for the organisation to leverage organisation intellectual capital.
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In order to be really effective, precise definitions of knowledge are needed. What is important is that KNOWLEDGE is CONTEXTUALLY RELEVANT, ACTIONABLE AND APPLIED.

WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE CAPITAL Intellectual capital includes all knowledge resources of an organisation including : Human Capital Social Capital Customer Capital

Enterprise Capital

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Human Capital - the capabilities of key individuals and teams related to know-how, skills application competencies, education, exposure, experiments and learning. This recognises people as assets, not costs !

Social Capital

- the informal networks, relationships (guan xi) , bonds, trust, shared values as well as the common understanding between the individual and the employing organisation. Social capital is manifest through the working culture, the routines and rituals, patterns of behaviour and cross-cultural relationships.

Customer Capital- the knowledge about the customer base, their needs, wants, values, expectations and preferences. Knowledge in this area is important to know how the customer experience is valued in order for this to be used for future customer relationship management.
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Enterprise Capital -

this is explicit knowledge about the structure of the organisation and how the organisation in lead, managed, operated and controlled within the industry context. Enterprise Capital requires knowledge about the enterprise Critical Success Factors because these are the foundation for competitive business performance.

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SUCCESSFUL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Despite the complexities involved and the real challenges to be faced, the main objectives for successful knowledge management are to : Enable the conditions for knowledge creation, discovery and capture Create repositories for knowledge Allow and extend knowledge access through facilitation techniques Grow a knowledge-based culture

Manage knowledge as an asset Create structures and processes to enable a system for knowledge management Ensure critical lessons learned are shared Ensure critical knowledge is shared and transferred Support organisational learning continuously
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THE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CYCLE


Obtaining, storing, sharing and using knowledge is one of the most difficult things to achieve because knowledge is both implicit and explicit. Awareness of the knowledge management cycle will help to understand the actual processes involved (see Figure 11.1).
Knowledge Capture Refinement & Storage

Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Sharing & Dissemination

Knowledge Usage & Elimination


Figure 11.1

It can be seen that this cycle is perpetual, therefore the individual and teams with the organisation never stop learning. The knowledge creation and utilisation process is continuous and ever evolving as the organisation interacts with its environment.
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THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (KMS) The sophistication of KM will range from formalised to informal systems to capture tacit and explicit knowledge. Many small to medium-size enterprise may not even be aware of or use this KM jargon but the process of knowledge transfer will nevertheless be apparent. For institutional KM systems the benefits will be : reduction of loss in intellectual capital when employees leave an employing organisation reduction in costs associated with information gathering economies of scale in obtaining information centralisation and institutionalisation of knowledge based abilities increasing managerial productivity as knowledge access is easier
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Increase in employee and customer satisfaction through informed problem & issue resolution

The challenges however are to secure managerial support to achieve a formal system for knowledge management, which may in fact not be viewed as a top priority.

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THE CHALLENGES TO KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT The main challenge is to be able to map the knowledge needs of the organisation, proactively. To plan ahead for the knowledge needs will require alignment with future strategic and operational planning. Furthermore, to thereby determine the knowledge gaps is a challenge, because the organisation may NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DONT KNOW until the lack of knowledge is experienced !! A further challenge is to locate expertise and then to capture transferable knowledge from it.. Knowledge Management must therefore strive to integrate processes and systems to match KM ambition with KM abilities.
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Any form of system needs a structure to enable it to function. Many organisations are not structured for Knowledge Management. What is really required therefore are KM information Professionals, these would include : -

KM Planners and Facilitators A team whose roles include working with or as directors, managers, content structuring , IT tools, knowledge network, human resources, project management, external information strategies, internal marketing of KM concepts, help-desk, design of KM and information training. This domain is extensive.

KM Practitioners Knowledge leaders, knowledge managers, knowledge navigators, knowledge synthesizers, content editors, publishers, coaches and mentors.
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Enterprise-wide Knowledge Workers whose roles include : Making decisions at the corporate level Strategic planning and competitive intelligence

However, providing for such diversity would seem too ambitious, even granting that such diverse roles are useful in the knowing organisation. This may therefore be the future KM landscape, but reaching this may be some considerable time away.

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SUMMARY For KM to be valued, people as potential users of a KMS must : be able to ask the right questions they must know their knowledge gaps other people must be convinced to share information in the interests of the organisation as a whole unique knowledge must be codified and be captured knowledge must be accessible and be secure when people need specific knowledge, they can get it really value knowledge as an asset.
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (1)

1.

WHY DO YOU CONSIDER THAT MANY ORGANISATIONS DO NOT VALUE KNOWLEDGE AS AN ASSET ?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (2)


2. USING A SCHOOL OR COLLEGE WITH WHICH YOU ARE FAMILIAR, EXPLAIN WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL.

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SESSION 12

SPECIALISED INFORMATION SYSTEMS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERT SYSTEMS

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) -- A DEFINITION ROBOTICS VISIONING SYSTEMS NEURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING LEARNING SYSTEMS NEURAL NETWORKS EXPERT SYSTEMS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) A DEFINITION The activity of providing machines such as computers with the ability to display behaviour that would be regarded as intelligent if it were observed in humans. Advances in AI have indeed lead to systems that work like the human brain to recognise complex patterns. Research in this field is continuing because the application potential spans most industries.

The ambition, some generations away, will be to be to align the human brain with that of a computer to see if they are capable of being distinguished !!

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Criteria for this alignment will be to : learn from past experience and apply the knowledge gained process complexity solve problems with imperfect information prioritise respond quickly internet visual images be creative and imaginative

So yes, there is yet a well-defined difference between natural and artificial intelligence, but there are specialised areas that have emerged, for example :
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Expert Systems (to be treated separately) Robotics Vision and hearing systems
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Learning Systems Natural Language Processing Neural Networks

Many of which are developing now in parallel !!

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ROBOTICS The software that is controlling robots is what is really important, as far as the field of Artificial Intelligence is concerned. The end use applications are vast for example : Precision welding on Production lines Handling repetitive manufacturing tasks with precision Unmanned vehicles Surgical support for selected operations Military applications

The field is expanding rapidly and even moving towards micro-robotics.

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VISIONING SYSTEMS These are designed to capture, store and interpret visual images, for example, fingerprint analysis used for forensic investigations that can access a database to identify the subjects required for future review. Visioning systems are also used in manufacturing quality control, the potential is considerable in the future.

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING This specialised application allows computers to interpret natural voice communications and to respond accordingly. Voice recognition systems convert sound waves into words, and then the natural language processing system reacts to the words as commands. The future may permit language translations based upon simple voice commands. The potential again is tremendous.
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LEARNING SYSTEMS The A1 software requires feedback from decisions taken to determine future actions and responses. Many computer games are using learning systems as a means to establish inter-activity with the user (or players). NEURAL NETWORKS Neural networks (called neural nets) are configured to simulate the working of the human brain. They require complex software programming, however, their end-use applications are invaluable because huge amounts of data input can be processed, for example : for drilling applications in the oil & gas industry for city customer traffic management for forecasting demand of specified systems Once again this evolution, or revolution is in its infancy relative to the future potential.
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EXPERT SYSTEMS Expert computer based systems are designed to perform in a similar way to a human expert in the area in which they are specified.

The purpose of the expert system is produce solutions or conditions to a specified challenge. For example, in Manufacturing expert systems, the system may help to design optimal work flow processes and in so doing reduce inefficiencies and related costs.

Of course, the development time and cost involved to create a fully functional expert system can be considerable and as such a cost / benefit analysis would be needed.

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CRITERIA TO EVALUATE EXPERT SYSTEMS Clearly there must be a rationale to justify the investment required in expert systems. Such systems could only be justified if : The Return on Investment is tangible There is little downside risk They hold and Retain human knowledge that is difficult to replace Complex problem solving can be achieved They produce expertise that is rare and also expensive Solution speeds provide a real advantage The components of a conceptual expert system design are shown in Figure 12.1.

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AN EXPERT SYSTEM CONTROL MODEL


Instructions & Information Solutions & Explanations Knowledge

USER

User Interface
PROBLEM DOMAIN

Inference Engine

Knowledge Base

EXPERT SYSTEM

Development Engine

Figure 12.1
EXPERTS AND KNOWLEDGE ENGINEERS
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The main components of the Expert System models are : THE USER INTERFACE -- allows user to interact with system THE KNOWLEDGE BASE -- houses accumulated knowledge THE INFERENCE ENGINE -- provides reasoning -- interprets the knowledge base THE DEVELOPMENT ENGINE -- creates the expert system These components are serviced by experts and knowledge engineers and then are used by those seeking expert solutions.
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THE KNOWLEDGE BASE stores all relevant information for the expert system to use, together with the protocols required. The knowledge base in fact is simply a natural extension of database & decision support systems. The knowledge base is usually focused to provide expertise upon a well-defined domain, eg. medical researching, medical diagnostics. The intention of the knowledge base is to increase understanding and thereby enable more effective choices to be confirmed as being both feasible and desirable. The knowledge base has a network of rules . Such rules are statements that link conditions which exist to actions which can be taken. These rules are stored as IF-THEN statements of logic which progress from the lowest level of evidence provided to a clear conclusion being obtained. For example, consider the following use of an expert system to grant a housing loan : S 12 / 12 . 18
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HOUSING LOAN APPLICATION FOR A RANGE $300,000 TO $500,000


Expert System Rules : 1. If then there are no previous evidence of credit issues 2. If then there are no previous criminal records 3. If then net monthly income exceeds greater than 3 5 times of the monthly loan payment 4. If then 20% is the minimum down-payment 5. If then net asset value of the borrower from other assets held is greater than $100,000 6. If then current employment is not less than 3-years with the current employers THEN 7. Accept the Loan Application In this way, a Rule Set provides one clear conclusion, providing the rules are easily determined.
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A RULE SET THAT PRODUCES ONE FINAL CONCLUSION


CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION

RULES 2-N

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE

RULE 1

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE

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THE INFERENCE ENGINE The inference engine is designed to perform reasoning by using the contents of the knowledge base in a particular sequence. It is designed to replicate human reasoning. There are two approaches to reasoning : 1. Forward Reasoning that is data driven, called forward chaining ie, facts came first followed by conclusions 2. Reverse Reasoning that is goal driven, called backward chaining ie. Working with the conclusion and working backwards to the facts. With the functionality of the inference engine, rules are evaluated on an interactive basis to permit a solution, or conclusion to be achieved. Normally reverse reasoning works faster.
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THE DEVELOPMENT ENGINE The development engine within an expert system uses a variety of programming languages. Ready made processors can be tailored to a particular problem domain. In some situations, decision trees may be used as a model to design the development engine. Expert Systems continue to evolve because they provide the user with more alternatives, provided the system has processed the data correctly and logically. Expert Systems allow managers to apply more logic in their decision taking arising from the consistent approach to be taken within the system design. It is also worthy of note that expert systems enable the organisation to retain knowledge as a resource to organisation to support better managerial performance. It is fair to say that expert systems may still need to be supplemented by human intuition and judgement.
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In summary, Expert Systems need to align with the strategic planning and performance objectives of the enterprise provided the problem domains are well defined and a full understanding of users expectations are met.

Attention will need to be given to the legal and ethical considerations of any proposed system.

Much has been accomplished, but much work remains as new frontiers open for expert systems applications.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (1)

1. IMAGINE YOU ARE NOW IN THE YEAR 2035, WHAT SYSTEMS OF ARITIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL GOVERN OUR DAILY LIVES ?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (2)

2.

EXPERT SYSTEMS ARE USED IN BANKING, MANUFACTURING, HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL APPLICATIONS, EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION / REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE AND SO ON . . . WHY ARE THEY REALLY NEEDED ?

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SESSION 13

DEVELOPING INFORMATION SYSTEMS

INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM MOTIVATION THE CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT LIFECYCLE SYSTEMS AUDIT SYSTEMS ANALYSIS SYSTEMS DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS IMPLEMENTATION SYSTEMS REVIEW

MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS INTO COMMON MISTAKES MADE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


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INTRODUCTION Systems development starts with careful planning. It will require a team effort to be effective, this will include the systems users as well as the systems development specialists, as the designers to work closely. Designers and users must work together for the benefit of all stakeholder groups including the systems managers. In a systems development project team you would expect to find the following people : External consultants to see the project through from end to end, including a systems analyst and programmer Internal specialists from the IT department The systems users who will need to specify system needs Cross-functional specialists who may be involved A Project Manager
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The task of the development team will be to translate the strategic and operational aims and objectives of the enterprise into systems development design, development and implementation. For the project team to work effectively, they should have clear and unambiguous terms of reference to work with. It is here that information systems managers within the company can contribute a clear understanding of existing systems which may have to work alongside the new system. The current IT strategy, investments and consultants all have a part to play in systems development.

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Hence here is a 3-step approach to be considered : -

1.

THE STRATEGIC PLAN & OPERATING DEPARTMENT PLANS

2.

IS PLANNING WITH CROSS FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION

3.

SYSTEM DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT WITH PRIORITIES, RESOURCES, COMMUNICATIONS, SCHEDULES AND DESIGNS ALL SET FOR IT SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT & DOCUMENTATION

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SYSTEM MOTIVATION From a management perspective, is the desire for a new information system driven by future aspirations or existing systems frameworks ? ie. : failure driven arising from systems under-achievement aspiration driven arising from the ambition that the new system must accomplish

If it is failure driven, then the reasons for failure or poor performance must be known before starting the new systems development process. If the motivation is aspiration driven, then the desired behaviour, outcomes and processes must be known before the components and structure of the system can be assessed and the desired properties of the system be determined.
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THE CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE


Regardless of the size of the systems development project, there are common phases to be considered as shown in Figure 13.1.
Systems Audit Systems Analysis Systems Design & Development Systems Implementation Systems Monitoring, Review & Maintenance Issues, challenges, strengths and weaknesses , constraints, resources, to know where we are now What must be done and what needs must be met for the systems users

How can a solution be achieved and at what cost. When can this be achieved and the people, capacity, processes & technology resources required for achievement to dedicated timelines and budget-constraints. How can we ensure a total solution is delivered to benefit the system users and the organisation on an ongoing basis

Figure 13.1
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Systems Audit The audit is undertaken to discuss facts and to reduce the need for assumption setting, opinions or conjecture. Top Management will need to know What is wrong and what is needed to make it right ! Therefore it is essential to know : The problems a new system will resolve The new approaches that it may produce The resources required The potential costs The real benefits to be gained The associated risks Time taken Therefore the audit will also consider the feasibility for the system in financial/economic terms, operational terms, timing terms as well as from a legal perspective. This will normally take the form of a systems investigation report for top management review.
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Systems Analysis If the systems audit report has been approved, the next phase will be systems analysis to determine what the information system must do to improve the position represented in the systems audit. At this stage, the focus is upon data gathering about the existing system (if any) and to consider the requirements of the new system in order to address the actual gaps. Thereby alternative solutions are considered, within the current & future operating constraints. The data gathering required may be substantial in order to get a comprehensive understanding. It may be necessary to determine the data relationships between different entities in the organisation and to complete an analysis to show how data actually flows through a series of relevant activities and moreover how this data is stored and retrieved. The use of entity diagrams and data flow diagrams will provide insight and clarification.

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The outputs from the analysis should be : A total information needs specification and system requirements. This will become the brief for the next phase of systems design & development.

This assessment would normally be submitted in the form of a System Analysis report to show : The strengths & weaknesses of the existing information system The functional requirements by users for a new system The resources needed An outline description to specify the information needs and requirements for the new system being proposed This should give top management a clear understanding of what is needed to be done.
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System Design & Development The brief required from the systems analysis report has specified what is needed, now the purpose of systems design is to propose how this can be achieved. System design must meet the basic requirements : The Logical Design The Physical Design

The logical design explains the functionality of the system to explain what will be accomplished. The design specifications that should be documented, include : Inputs Processes Files Database Outputs Information Communications Controls Security Operating Requirements
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The physical design will specify how the logical design for the information system will be achieved. These are technology functions and will require technology management including hardware, software, personnel. This has been explained in the technology section of this manual. The report for Design & Development will go to top management and would have the following contents : 1. 2. 3. The brief from the System Analysis Department Main recommendations to achieve the required solution Detailed design proposals 3.1 Hardware 3.2 Software 3.3 Database 3.4 Procedures
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3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9

Communications People Training Maintenance Total Resource Needs (internal & external vendors) and Timescales for development and on-streaming

3.10 Budget

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Systems Implementation This phase is to determine readiness for implementation as well as to provide a plan for implementation. Readiness will refer back to the systems audit to re-assess current weaknesses. Once again it is vital to determine how the people, processes and technology can be realigned in readiness for new information systems implementation. It is recommended that the project team appointed for this systems development purpose apply project-based implementation methodologies to ensure smooth management of the project together with management of the documentation needed. This is critical for successful implementation. At a functional level, the following are typical steps used in systems implementation (Figure 13.2).

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Figure 13.2
LEGACY SYSTEMS SYSTEMS INTEGRATION IF ANY

VENDORS & VENDOR SELECTION

HARDWARE PURCHASING

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT

SOFTWARE PURCHASING

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT

DEPARTMENTS & MANAGEMENT RENOVATIONS

PREPARATION

PEOPLE, PROCESS, TECHNOLOGY

SITE LOCATION & READINESS

PHYSICAL LOCATION

NEW SPECIFICATIONS & FILES

DATA PREPARATION

DATA TRANSFERRING & DATA MERGING

NEW TRAINING NEEDS EXPOSED

INSTALLATION

PILOT RUNS & DEBUGGING

DEBUGGING

TEST RUNS

ESCALATION TESTING

CAREFUL MONITORING

START UP

GOING ONSTREAM

FURTHER REFINEMENTS

USER ACCEPTANCE

ACHIEVEMENT

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Systems Review

After implementation, there is a continuing need for performance assessment to ensure the system ambitions and abilities actually match. Furthermore the work of the systems designers should be confirmed by the system users as meeting their specified needs.

All components of the system will need to be reviewed including the hardware, software, database, systems integration as needed, network systems and performance in real time.

Management will need to assess the claimed benefits and costs of the system as being those previously defined, in the hope that a responsive total solution has been achieved.

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MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS INTO COMMON MISTAKES MADE Pitfalls commonly encountered in systems development projects include : Unrealistic expectations as to what the system will be able to deliver the success of any system is dependent on the people who implement and operate it Failing to involve users at the design stage as well as the audit stage The system developed does not fit in with the organisations overall information systems strategy often because high-level managers with strategic vision were not included in the project team Managers who think they can do it all themselves and have problems with outside consultants
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Too much rigidity plans should be able to be modified if this proves necessary Failure to evaluate, to estimate costs and benefits and to continuously monitor them Inadequate resourcing of the project in terms of money, time and people Starting with pre-conceived ideas about solutions so that the problem is then defined to fit the solution

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. YOU ARE ASSIGNED TO LEAD AN INFORMATION SYSTEM MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH THE BRIEF TO PREPARE AN INTERNAL TRAINING DOCUMENT FOR ALL TEAM MEMBERS. THIS DOCUMENT IS HEADED DEVELOPING INFORMATION SYSTEM PROCEDURES AND PITFALLS . OUTLINE THE HEADINGS FOR THE DOCUMENT.

2.

THERE IS A COMMON COMMENT MADE ABOUT INFORMATION SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT. THAT IS THE SYSTEMS DESIGNERS ARE NOT THE SYSTEMS USERS . WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS ACTUALLY MEANS ?

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SESSION 14
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IMPLEMENTING THE SYSTEM

A PLANNED APPROACH ISSUES & CHALLENGES RISKS AND CHANGES TESTING THE SYSTEM SPECIFIC SYSTEM LEVEL TESTS CHANGE OVERS MONITORING & REVIEW DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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A PLANNED APPROACH
Implementing the IS system has been outlined in a schematic form in Figure 13.2 Session 13, and now the process of managing the implementation of a systems project should be outlined. The planning phase will involve systems design development, control and monitoring. It is understood that external consultants and vendors will be needed. Once the system has been prescribed and all requirements are clearly known, the project manager will need to survey the local and international market to search for the external advice and supplies needed.

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Selected organisations will be invited to tender for the project based upon the brief supplied, they will be evaluated, shortlisted and be invited to give a presentation to senior management, if this is desired. The appointed consultants and vendors will then be contracted according to performance requirements, time and budget. USING A GANTT CHART FOR PROJECT PLANNING & CONTROL
A B C

Activities

D E F G

Figure : 14.1
0
Duration (Weeks)
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A useful tool for project planning is the GANTT Chart (Figure 14.1) which is used to convey discrete project activities overtime, so that scheduling for implementation can be seen in one diagram,. A GANTT Chart can be used for macro level planning at a strategic level as well as for operations such as the hiring of consultants and vendors. The chart gives a clear indication of sequence and dependency between activities throughout a project so that the implementation flows can be appreciated and understood. The basis for project control has now been established, critical activities can be identified, a critical path through the project can be determined and time deadlines can be set. Thereafter people can be allocated to the responsibility for each activity and a basis for a project team based approach to implementation can be achieved. All should be controlled by a project manager.
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ISSUES AND CHALLENGES Throughout the process of implementation, problems will arise, mainly because the assumptions upon which the project has been based are not fulfilled. Key management questions need to be addressed to discover : the real nature of the problem why the problem has arisen the sequences that leads up to the problem the implications for the rest of the project how these consequences can be mitigated the required actions and the desired outcomes who must be communicated with to make project adjustments the cost and time implications of the change (s)

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RISKS AND CHANGES Implementation is a human activity process which interacts with the internal and external environment of the organisation, therefore some elements in this process are beyond the control of the project manager. Nevertheless they will have a direct impact upon the systems performance, the perceptions of the systems users and the actual systems deliverables. The appointed project manager is an agent of change, change will attract risks that have to be managed. Typical people-based risks that may arise are as follows : System users have unrealistic expectations of the performance of the system and attempt to undermine the integrity of the system Some users, with political influence within the organisation simply do not accept the change over to a new system Users being unwilling or incapable of participating in the implementation process until it is running, and then complain about the performance
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Users being unwilling or incapable of participating in the implementation process until it is running, and then complain about the performance The technology based sophistication creates issues of system comprehension which causes resistance among system users as they move through a new learning curve. People in key roles became unavailable because their buy-in has not been achieved.

In essence the risks to implementation are about the need for management of change. In any project of substance, sound risk analysis and sound risk management will be needed to support the implementation.

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Testing the System Testing the Information System involves two levels : Testing the computer programmes to the desired performance specification Testing at systems level

The normal practice is to test-run a batch of transactions requiring data input to see if the program can cope. It is better to use live data to check actual performance so that programme or process debugging can be achieved. Test data to use will comprise : Common data inputs Unusual, but valid data inputs, to test the system for handling special data inputs Testing for data errors and how the system responds These tests are designed to test the programme, the next set of tasks are at system level as explained below.
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SPECIFIC SYSTEM LEVEL TESTS Loading Tests to assess performance at peak load. This is crucial with on-line and real-time systems where speed and response time is critical. One test is to assess turnaround time at different levels of loading. to assess compatibility to avoid downtime arising from hardware alignment and response speed. to assess the ability to recover from a system failure. There is a critical need to discuss the accuracy of data that can be recovered and can be reconstructed. Back up systems should be in place for emergencies.

Hardware Tests

Recovery Tests

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Document Tests

The programs must be well-documented so that developers can understand quickly how the programme works. Much time is spent on system upgrades & maintenance and these need documentation management.

Data Security Tests

To assess the security of data from unauthorised access or attempts to sabotage the system. Test against data corruption potential are needed.

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Testing the system should affirm performance at peak loading times, the security of the system and its data as well as ensuring that a system is in place to audit the performance. Equally important is the handling of complex data inputs and the recovery of the system under emergency situations. All of this is important if the new system is running in parallel with an existing (or legacy) system.

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CHANGE OVERS Converting from either a manual system to a computerised system or moving from one computer-based system to another is a complex process. Such changes need a change management programme to ensure that the implementation will be achieved as smoothly as possible.

DATA HANDLING Policies are need on the handling of historic data. This will require many hours to process as systems move, for example, from manual to computer based. Where existing systems are computerised then data conversion programs are needed.

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PARALLEL RUNNING Existing systems can be used alongside the new system for a time until the new system is fully functional. It is also important that people employed for data input as well as the users of the system understand the new functionality. PILOT TESTING One simple way to manage the changeover is to pilot test the previous months input and process this on the new system and then compare results to see how well the new system performs. PHASING Ultimately the new system has to be phased in, function by function, attaining for overlap between old and new before the system is fully on stream . All approaches to change over will have problems for management and have to be dealt with to achieve completed systems implementation.
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MONITORING & REVIEW Project Monitoring is need to ensure the system meets with the user requirements that have been specified at the commencement of the project. In simple terms Has this new system delivered on its promise ?? . Periodic Reviews will be needed as a fundamental aspect of Information Systems Management. System Reviewing will be needed : After implementation and the system is fully up and running On a regular basis, weekly, monthly, quarterly etc As part of the strategic planning process for the company When issues & challenge arise.
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The system review should assess : Performance : Speed, Reliability, Accessibility, Downtime

User Satisfaction

Convenience, Functionality, Responsiveness, Data Presentation, Usability, Alignment of screen to paper documentation Relevance, Support, Real value added, Meeting Actual Needs

System Requirements :

Implementation is a challenge between ambition and ability. When the two are aligned effective implementation can be achieved.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. WHY DO YOU CONSIDER THAT THERE IS USUALLY A GAP BETWEEN AMBITION AND ABILITY WHEN IMPLEMENTING A NEW COMPUTER BASED INFORMATION SYSTEMS.

2. ARE SYSTEMS BASED TESTS THE ONLY WAY TO ASSESS THE FUNCTIONALITY OF AN INFORMATION SYSTEMS.

3. NEW INFORMATION SYSTEMS FACE RESISTANCE TO CHANGE, WHY IS THIS SO ?

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ANNEX 1

SEMINARS

Page

6 SEMINARS IN TOTAL ARE PLANNED FOR THIS MODULE TO COVER POTENTIAL SYLLABUS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS PROPOSED AT THE END OF EACH SESSION. ASSESSMENT BASED SEMINARS SHOULD ALSO BE HELD FOR ASSIGNMENT PREPARATION, REVISION AND EXAMINATION BRIEFING.

Page

ASSESSMENT SEMINARS SEQUENCE


1. 2. 3. 4. ASSIGNMENT PREPARATION ASSIGNMENT OUTLINES -- PRESENTATION ASSIGNMENT OUTLINES -- PRESENTATION REVISION OF SYLLABUS TOPICS FROM FRONT SHEETS OF EACH SESSION (TOPICS 1 TO 7) REVISION OF SYLLABUS TOPICS FROM FRONT SHEETS OF EACH SESSION (TOPICS 8 TO 14) EXAMINATION BRIEFING

5.

6.

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SEMINAR 1 : ASSIGNMENT PREPARATION


EXPECTATIONS University Protocols Structure of a Good Assignment Content Expected Referencing to meet Academic Requirements Examples from previous courses Conclusion How to make this effective Using Appendices
Student Task

Students produce A Roadmap to address the assignment question of choice

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SEMINAR 2 & 3 : ASSIGNMENT OUTLINE PRESENTATION

1. Students Are Required To Present The Plan For Their Information Systems Assignment 2. Students Will Be Selected For Presentation Depending Upon Class Size 3. Group Feedback From Peers Will Be Obtained 4. Critique Given By Tutor 5. Tutor Explains How The Assignment Is Marked And The Criteria Used For Assignment Evaluation

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SEMINAR 4 : REVISION OF SYLLABUS

TOPICS 1 TO 7

Page

SEMINAR 5 : REVISION OF SYLLABUS

TOPICS 8 TO 14

Page

SEMINAR 6 : EXAMINATION BRIEFINGS


Protocols Examination Techniques Tutor Expectations The Content Of A Good Answer Sample Questions & Answer Discussions Criteria For Marking Examination Answers

Page

ANNEX 2

RECOMMENDED READING

Page

Laudon, K. C., and Laudon J. P. (2010), Management Information Systems, (11th ed), Prentice Hall Lucey, T. (2008), Management Information Systems, (9th ed), Thompson Maier, R. (2007), Knowledge Management Systems : Information and Communication Technologies for Knowledge Management, (3rd ed), Berlin : Springer. Mutch, A. (2008), Managing Information and Knowledge in Organisations, Routledge OBrien, J. A. (2008), Introduction to Information Systems, (14th ed), McGrawHill

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FURTHER READING

Page

Journal of the Association of Information System Information Systems Research MIS Quarterly Executive Information Week Business Week Computer World UK Network World

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ANNEX 3

SAMPLE ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS AND SAMPLE EXAMINATION PAPERS

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ANNEX 3

ASSESSMENT

Sample Assignment Questions Sample Examination Questions

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SAMPLE ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS


Please note these assignments should not exceed 3000 words.

1. Select any one of the manual sessions and write a report for your Head of Department explaining the importance of the chosen subject to managing information systems in the organisation of your choice.

2. You have been asked to advise a small to medium enterprise operating a group of medical clinics upon the costs and benefits of installing a centralised computer information management system. You are required to present your advice in a report format to the owners of the business. Currently all systems are manual.
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3. You are required to conduct some secondary desk research to discuss the latest developments in the field of artificial intelligence and report this to your study group. A powerpoint presentation of no more than 10 slides is required with supporting notes.

4. Select a journal article in one field within the scope of this programme on Information Systems Management and provide the following critique. a. b. c. d. The main points being communicated Your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the article A 300-word summary of the article Where you consider the next article from these author(s) should be focused and why.
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SAMPLE EXAMINATION PAPER ( 1 )


You are required to answer 2 Questions from 5. Time allowed : 2 hours 1. Explain the key roles to be performed in Information Systems Management. 2. Outline the key stages in the Development and Implementation of a Management Information System. 3. Account for the rapid development in Decision Support Systems. 4. Account for why Knowledge Management has been so important to achieve in large organisations and yet difficulties are still being faced in its implementation. 5. Innovations in Artificial Intelligence are replacing human decision taking. Discuss.
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SAMPLE EXAMINATION PAPER ( 2 )


You are required to answer 2 Questions from 5. Time allowed : 2 hours 1. Data, Information and Knowledge are key terms for the Information Systems Manager. Using one example, apply these terms and then comment upon their contribution to managerial effectiveness. 2. Select one functional Management Information System and describe how it is designed and the purpose to be achieved. 3. Information Technology Management is at the centre of effective Information Systems. Explain what is involved. 4. Describe how well managed Information Systems can contribute to an organisations competitive advantage. 5. Outline the essentials of Strategic Information Management.
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SAMPLE EXAMINATION PAPER ( 3 )


You are required to answer 2 Questions from 5. Time allowed : 2 hours 1. Outline a simple Information System and explain how each part should be managed in order to support managerial decision taking. 2. From your reading and research, outline the costs and benefits of a computer based information system for a medium size enterprise preparing for rapid business development. 3. Companies today consider Information Security to be a high priority on the Information Systems agenda. Explain why and what developments are taking place in this area. 4. Outline the essential requirements needed to build a robust IT infrastructure to serve the organisations information system. 5. Explain typical management challenges to be faced in implementing a new information system.
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