Difficulties in Using IS for Decision Making

9 Feb

So far in this category, there has been multiple posts regarding the benefits associated with using IS for decision making and how vital IS is to an organisation. Yet, nobody has discussed whether or not organisations experience difficulties in using IS.

The simple answer? Yes. There are a vast range of problems which can, and often do, arise when using IS for decision making. For this post, I’m going to focus on when systems fail due to the inefficient acquirement of users needs. There are three main reasons which lead to the failure of IS in this case –

  1. Complex problems
  2. Unknown domains
  3. Nontechnical customers

as mentioned at “http://cathaldoyle.com/

When using IS for decision making, it is, of course, important that the requirements of the user are the central focus. If the creator of an Information System does not focus on what the system will eventually be used for, then it is almost inevitable that it will fail. In relation to the three topics mentioned above, there are very simple actions which can help to ensure the system is a success.

In a previous post – “https://eternalsunshineoftheismind.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/categories-of-decisions/“, the categories of decisions and the types of systems best suited to them were discussed. In the context of Problem 1 – Complex problems, I believe this is hugely relevant. If the creator of a system pays close attention to the complexity of the problem, then there is no reason why any requirement should prove too complex; the system should simply match the needs of the end user.

Secondly, Problem 2 – Unknown domains. If a system is created without ever fully exploring the area it involves, it is, once again, destined for failure. Once the necessary amount of background research is done before the commencement of the system creation, this should not be an issue. If the end user is hoping to use IS in making a decision regarding something which they themselves do not totally understand, how can they expect it to be successful?

And finally, Problem 3 – Nontechnical customers. This problem is perhaps the most common, as people often rush into using IS to make a decision. However, it is also the easiest to solve. The creator of the system must simply ensure that the end user is sufficiently aware of precisely how the system functions. Once this basic requirement is met, the problem of “nontechnical customers” is no longer an issue.

So, although problems do emerge when using IS for decision making, the solutions are clearly very simple.

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