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Review on paper by Steven L.

Alter
Nov. 4

REVIEW ON HOW EFFECTIVE MANAGERS USE INFORMATION SYSTEMS BY STEVEN L. ALTER


ARTICLE SUMMARY:
Overall, the article talks about how the managers are using information systems to facilitate decision making activities. It explains different models of decision support systems that are in practice along with their examples. Information technology has widely been accepted and it has helped organizations to have better decision making. Mr. Alter enlightens that some of the companies are successful in adopting decision support systems while others are not successful. Hence, he suggests that managers (both managers & non managers) should jointly work together and find out ways to make use of todays technology by using DSS effectively & efficiently.

SELF UNDERSTANDING:
Many successful organizations are using computer based decision support systems (DSS) to make managerial decisions. The paper, as per research conducted amongst 56 organizations, suggests that many companies use DSS to store data for analysis or for preparing reports or for decision making. However, he argues three major hurdles in successfully implementation of DSS. They are: 1. Executives in any organizations are familiar only with the types of systems they use. Therefore they do not prefer to use new systems which are forced only by developers. 2. Moreover developers only focus on technical aspects of the system and fail to understand effectiveness of the DSS to organization. 3. Some of the system loses the possibility of being implemented as the pressure of implementation comes from the source rather than the potential users.

Mr. Alter explains7 DSS that represent wide range of approaches in supporting decisions at different levels. They are systems that: i. ii. iii. iv. Retrieve isolated/scattered data items quickly. Facilitate analysis of data-files in ad hoc basis. Present standardized reports from pre-aggregated data. Estimate the consequences of possible decisions.

Richa Joshi, EMBA,Roll no: 12512

Review on paper by Steven L. Alter


Nov. 4

v. vi.

Proposes decisions. Makes decisions.

As mentioned above, DSS ranges from different viewpoints. However, DSS does help in decision making. It helps managers in problem solving , understanding business and individual learning. It also helps managers in communicating within different organizational units itself. This is because well built decision support systems provide uniform formats and templates for sending/receiving messages. Implementing DSS is extremely costly. The top management is usually concerned about the return from any investment. DSS might not give monetary return directly to the top management. However, it can facilitate top management in right decision making which might increase profitability of the company. Hence, Alter has stressed the importance of developing DSS in every organization for managers to make better & timely decisions & for better profitability of the company. Alter argues that the systems should be built based on the business requirements of the users (managers who make decisions) themselves from the start of the development rather than building based on knowledge of third-party DSS developers. Users should also be educated and trained as to how the DSS can be used at its best.

CONCLUSION:
In Nepal, decisions are still made based on experience, trend and skill rather than leveraging on the advantages of information technology. There are very few companies which use DSS in Nepal. This could be because of the capital constraint and lack of analytical expertise.

Richa Joshi, EMBA,Roll no: 12512

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