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Information System Problems

17 Feb

There are three dimensions to an information system:


1) Organisations: co-ordinates work through structured hierarchy and business processes. The culture of the organisation is embedded in its information system, for example the emphasis is placed on customer care or production of a good.

2) People: information systems require skilled people to build, maintain and use them. Managers and employees attitudes towards the systems affect the ability to use them productively.

3) Technology: helps improve profits, reduce costs, increase competitive advantages and ensure the survival of a business. For example data management technology and networking technology (internet, video chat).

Information systems can be good for organisations but can also be bad if not used properly. More than 50% of all IS projects fail. They fail for many different reasons.

1) Organisational problems: outdated business processes, inadequate resources, and a turbulent business environment.

2) People problems: lack of employee training, the work environment, lack of knowledge of organisation and poor or indecisive management.

3) Technology problems: outdated software, inadequate database capacity and rapid technology change.

There are many different solutions to all of these problems, some mean the difference between success and failure for an organisation. Build or purchase a new information system is one solution. An organisation can do this by getting an in-house application, a software package, an internet based application or it can outsource. The organisation should then get feedback from employees after its implementation so as to avoid another failure in the future.


IS within an Organisation

17 Feb

Information systems perform vital roles for an organisation at three different levels; operational, tactical and strategic. At the operational level it supports the basic processes and operations of the business. Next is the tactical level, here managers and employees are assisted in making decisions. The last is strategic and at this level information systems support the organisations strategies and help to achieve competitive advantage.

Information systems can transform organisations. They can help to improve efficiency and productivity, this improved efficiency can result in increased profit margins. IS can also lead to a drastic reduction in operating costs and less waste. Technologies and information systems can enable firms to create and produce new products, services and business models and compete on a global level as a result. One of the main advantages that information systems can have for an organisation is the increased level of knowledge that workers and management gain. They can improve their understanding of the business and the market they are competing in and can do their jobs more efficiently. The decisions they make will be more effective as they will have clear information and this will benefit the organisation in the long run

Overall, information systems provide organisations with support for business processes and operations, decision making and gaining competitive advantage.

Advantages and disadvantages of information systems for businesses

16 Feb

Maintaining the latest information system involves five elements.
– Hardware
– Software
– Data
– People
– Process

The hardware must be reliable and maintain the ability to handles various workloads. Software must be designed carefully and evaluated in such a way as to maximise its effectiveness. All the data entered into the computer must be accurate. The people who maintain these systems must be highly skilled and knowledgeable enough to be able to handle the latest information systems, and the users must be taught how to operate the system.

There are many advantages of implementing information systems for businesses. It allows the user to access and to understand the information therefore allowing them to respond to information quickly and effectively. The user can get the most accurate and up-to-date information quickly which is very important for businesses as these decisions affect the business. In addition to this, information systems also allows users to alternate and present information, as well as perform different tasks.

However, there are some disadvantages of using information systems in businesses. One main problem is that information systems may not function properly which affects the running of the business. This can result in system break down, interrupting smooth operations and consumer dissatisfaction. Defective information systems can deliver wrong information to other systems which could create problems for the business and its customers. Information systems are also vulnerable to hackers and frauds.




What is an Information System and what are it’s major roles?

15 Feb

Hi there,

As I mentioned last week, I will begin my blog by uploading a video blog on ‘What is an Information System?’. In this vlog, Professor Michael Bieber explains Information Systems and the value of the program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology to prospective students.

There are three major roles of an Information System.

  • Firstly, it supports competitive advantage and decision making on a strategic level.Gaining a strategic advantage over competitors requires innovative use of information technology. For example, store managers might make a decision to install computerized touch-screen catalog ordering systems in all of their stores, tied in with computer-based telephone ordering systems and an Internet-based computer shopping network. This might attract new customers and lure customers away from competing stores because of the ease of ordering merchandise provided by such innovative information systems. Strategic information systems can help provide strategic products and services that give a business organization a comparative advantage over its competitors.
  • Secondly, it supports business decision making on a tactical level. Information systems also help store managers make better decisions. For example, decisions on what lines of merchandise need to be added or discontinued, or on what kind of investment they require, are typically made after an analysis provided by computer-based information systems. This not only supports the decision making of store-managers but also helps them look for ways to gain an advantage over other retailers in the competition for customers.
  • Finally, it supports business processes and operations on an operational level, for example, retail information system to record customer purchases, track inventory and pay employees.

Major roles of an IS

In my next blog, I will discuss who uses an Information System and why. I will also discuss the many benefits of an Information System.


  • Cathal Doyle
  • Professor Michael Bieber

Using Information Systems on A Daily Basis

15 Feb

In the 21st century information systems is at the touch of your fingertips and the gateway to the information highway, even just a few decades ago none of us had access to the amount of technology available today. It has transformed the way we live, in the way we communicate, from our personal relationships to our working habits.

For example the the internet has become a huge part of our everyday lives. We use it for almost everything including reading, listening to music, social networking, and so much more. It has become a way of life. If you were looking for the latest gossip on your favourite band/artist/actor etc 10-15 years ago, you mainly had to rely on magazines. These days while music etc magazines are still out there, the move to getting info on your favourite band etc is right at your fingertips.

In 2010 a survey by the International Telecommunication Union stated that Ireland had 68.9% of the population subscribing to the Internet. As of the end of 2012 that has gone up to 76.8%. On average an Irish individual would spends 3-5 hours a day on the internet.

Majority of people today use information systems in their daily lives. Whether it’s to do online shopping, doing research, checking the latest news, checking their banking account or simply catching up on Facebook. We wake up every day and use information systems such as the internet like it’s a newspaper and keep checking it throughout the day. Therefore information systems plays a big role in our daily lives.


Information Systems in a day-to-day running of a business.

13 Feb

Hey Guys,

This Blog will explain to you why information systems are used in every day-to-day running of a business.

Imagine this you’re the manager of a typical corner shop, nothing too big but yet the shop still has to deal with deliveries coming in and paying employees and dealing with customer requests and all the other usual tasks a small shop has to deal with. How do you think you can manage all this? Having it all on paper and sorting through it is possible but its making life much more harder for yourself! Just think that you can have all your deliveries dealt with through the use of an information system that allows you to keep track of which deliveries you have paid for, which deliveries are yet to come in and which deliveries may have got it wrong and what goods you must send back. An information system can keep track of all transactions and have all the information stored away and ready for whenever you may need it.

Without information systems you would have to go through every employees payslip to make sure you have it calculated correctly, make sure you have the right amount of tax taken off this may be easily done with a few employees but imagine having to go through all the steps every week for a big company with lots of employees,  head wrecking and chaotic! An information system can do all this for you in a more simpler way. Do any of you guys watch Raw, the restaurant TV programme on RTE 1? Do you remember the episode where Kate had opened up her own business and had all her financial statements  stuffed into her purse? Just imagine trying to sort through all that every week or month. It would drive you crazy and there is no need to because an information system can handle that for you once you gather the data. It’s as simple as this, Information Systems are the way to go to make your life and business work much more easier and to have your business organised. They really are the way forward.

System Development Life Cycle – SDLC

13 Feb

Hello followers! I hope you are enjoying the Raising and Giving week as much as I do :)

Last week I was writing about system analysis and design, and information systems components. Today I will explain what a System Development Life Cycle (acronym SDLC) is and its stages.

In order to develop a system you must arrange tasks into phases (groups of activities), involve users for whom the system is being built and develop procedures the company would like to have in place for their employees to follow.

System Development Life Cycle – It is a process of creating information systems, and the models and methodologies that people use to develop these systems. The SDLC process was designed to ensure that end-state solutions meet user requirements in support of business strategic goals and objectives. SDLC is used to develop, maintain and replace Information System. Systems are so big and complex that teams of architects, analysts, programmers, testers and users must work together to create the millions of lines of custom-written code that drive enterprises. SDLC is used to correct problems in existing system, and to improve the system quality and structure. It certainly eases the process of building a system and helps reduce failures such as unclear objectives, possibility of not meeting user needs, or cost overruns. The most important part in SDLC is communication. Without good communication it is not possible to satisfy the customer, and that may lead to errors and omissions which can be expensive in the end.

SDLC has five stages:SDLC

1.       Planning – this phase begins after the project has been defined and appropriate resources have been committed. The first part of this phase involves collecting, defining and validating functional, support and training requirements. The second portion is developing initial life cycle management plans, including project planning, project management, Configuration Management (CM), support, operations, and training management. We cannot just go and build the system.

2.       Analysis – system requirements are studied and structured in this phase. System analysts collect facts from existing system users in order to develop limitations and details. They will also define new system objectives. They use different data gathering techniques such as interviews, observations and surveys. This is an attempt to understand all aspects of the current system and eventually indicate how things may be improved by a new system.

3.       Design – Describes how the system will fulfil the user requirements. To achieve this, logical and physical design must be created. The logical design produced during the analysis is turned into a physical design – a detailed description of what is needed to solve original problem. Input, output, databases, forms, codification schemes and processing specifications are drawn up in detail. In the design stage, the programming language and the hardware and software platform in which the new system will run are also decided. Data structure, control process, equipment source, workload and limitation of the system, Interface, documentation, training, procedures of using the system, taking backups and staffing requirement are decided at this stage.

4.       Implementation – this is followed by testing and then implementation. During this phase, the new or enhanced system is installed in the production environment, users are trained, data is converted, the system is turned over to the sponsor, and business processes are evaluated. This stage includes efforts required to implement, resolve system problems identified during the implementation process, and plan for sustainment.Coding - the physical design specifications are turned into working computer code. Integration and Testing- a testing environment is created where all components are brought together. Installation - here the new system is rolled out.

5.       Maintenance – After having the user acceptance of the new system developed, the implementation phase arises. Implementation is the stage of a project during which theory is turned into practice. The major steps involved in this phase are:

Acquisition and Installation of Hardware and Software


User Training


The hardware and the relevant software required for running the system must be made fully operational before implementation. The conversion is also one of the most critical and expensive activities in the system development life cycle. The data from the old system needs to be converted to operate in the new format of the newly developed system. The database needs to be set-up with security and recovery procedures fully defined. Bugs must be rectified and requested changes completed.

Have a look at this interesting video introducing a Database Design:



Instructor Cathal Doyle



Decision support systems

12 Feb

Decision Support Systems (DSS) are a specific class of computerised information system that supports business and organisational decision-making activities. A properly designed DSS is an interactive software-based system intended to help decision makers compile useful information from raw data, documents, personal knowledge, and/or business models to identify and solve problems and make decisions.

Typical information that a decision support application might gather and present would be:

  • Accessing all of your current information assets, including legacy and relational data sources, cubes, data warehouses, and data marts.
  • Comparative sales figures between one week and the next.
  • Projected revenue figures based on new product sales estimates.

Good example

An idea on how British petroleum (BP). Supported their decision on how to deal with the oil spillage in the gulf of Mexico.

I hope this gives a better understanding on Decision support systems


Next week i will speak more on IS systems

Automation in the workplace.

12 Feb
Hey Bloggers,
Automation is an everyday workplace task. It is one of the key results of the electronic revolution. Word processors, spreadsheets,databases, accounting packages, networks, and e-mail are but some of the innovations that have transformed the way we working the late twentieth century. The diversity of these tools is the source of some of the most serious office problems that are encountered, with tens of thousands of programs running on dozens of different kinds of computers and operating systems, often linked together by a variety of networks, the potential for incompatibilities is great. Without doubt, the major change in the office scene over the past few decades is the introduction of Information Technology.
Office automation is the combination of:
  • word processing
  • electronic filing
  • diary management
  • communications, including electronic mail, telex and fax.
These key functions are the basic requirements of any office or department within an organisation. Office automation aims to organise these functions in such a way that they do not have to be carried out on a variety of equipment.

Key benefits to office automation are as follows:

  • Office automation reduces the number of administration workers needed in carrying out routine tasks
  • Large firms no longer have to employ typists
  • Office employees become more flexible and as a result one person can now do the jobs of several people
  • Receptionists can spend more time with clients
  • Managers need not necessarily delegate typing, with the secretary’s role being redefined to include more public Relations work.
  • Another one is an auto confirmation email that you receive when you pay for anything online. It is automatically sent to your email.

 Next  i will be discussing decision support systems in greater detail!!.


Management Information Systems

10 Feb

For those of you that missed my last blog, I explained how I would be taking each of the types of information systems separately over the next few weeks and explaining them in a bit of detail. If you who missed my last blog which looked at Executive Support Systems(EIS), please check it out at

As outlined in my colleague sad112425878’s blog on the second of February, the next type of information system I will be focusing on will be Management Information Systems (MIS).

In contrast to ESS, MIS is designed for the middle level management, used to analyze and facilitate strategic and operational activities. MIS are generally used to for managing three areas in particular: People, technology and data.

MIS work by continuously gathering both external and internal data and storing it in a centralised database, also known as a data warehouse. This data is then summarised into a series of management reports. The diagram below makes it easy to visualise the process.



Some advantages and disadvantages of MIS:


  • Decentralisation
  • Co-ordination between departments
  • Limits information overload
  • Better planning and  control
  • Aid decision-making


  • Costly to set up, maintain and upgrade
  • Integration issues
  • Constant monitoring issues
  • Quality of outputs governed by quality of inputs


Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. I hope it has helped your comprehension of MIS.  In my next blog I will be discussing Decision Support Systems so stay tuned!








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