It’s very easy to say that IS aids decision-making. And there really is no denying that this is true. But is it possible to improve how IS helps people to make decisions?
Having explored this area, many of the articles which I found related to psychology. Considering the fact that it is generally the individual, and not an information system, who makes a decision, this makes sense. The primary reason often cited as being central to improved decision-making is that people do not spend enough time considering alternatives – http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/05/13-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making.php. IS could be blamed somewhat for this, as systems may be programmed to carry out certain actions. As such, it is important that the users of IS continue to look for better ways of doing business, even when making use of a system already. In this way, possible opportunities will not simply be overlooked.
Another factor to consider is that systems can, and do, fail. So it is vital to have a contingency plan. i.e. a back-up. The IFRC website – http://www.ifrc.org/ – gives a very simple definition of what a contingency plan should involve:
“The contingency planning process can basically be broken down into three simple questions:
• What is going to happen?
• What are we going to do about it?
• What can we do ahead of time to get prepared?”
As long as the user of a system prepares for the possibility of failure, there will be an improvement in the use of IS for decision-making.
Finally, it is necessary to be able to adapt. Not only must alternatives be considered and emergencies be prepared for, systems must constantly be updated in order for them to be as effective as possible. A system that was at the peak level of efficiency 10 years ago may not, necessarily, be the best option today. This means that users must look out for updated versions and find the solution that will be of the most benefit to the user.
If all these things are done, decision-making through the use of IS will be improved.