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The technological evolution in the contemporary world has seen a lot of computerization of most business operations, resulting in the concept of management information system offering accurate and timely information needed for structured and unstructured decisions making…
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TPA4 Introduction The technological evolution in the contemporary world has seen a lot of computerization of most business operations, resulting in the concept of management information system offering accurate and timely information needed for structured and unstructured decisions making processes. This computer system provides past, present and future information about relevant events taking place in and outside the organization. Even though computer systems have mushroomed throughout the modern businesses, organizations have become more susceptible than ever to poorly planned as well as an ill-advised selection and implementation of computer components.
Despite the new proliferation of business information systems has supported the management core functions and other operations such as customer relationship management, accounting and inventory management, service scheduling and billing, supply chain management, contract management, manufacturing and e-business requirements with sophisticated user friendly customization tools, there is a need for due diligence prior to making decisions on the various computer components. The need for this action is because poor decisions when acquiring a computer system has seen some of them fail, leading to losses to the organization. For instance, around three-quarters of organizations across the Europe had their computer systems fail in 2011 only leading to data loss or system downtime (BBC, 2011). Another example is the loss suffered by the BBC when it was forced to abandon a £98 digital production system because it was being outpaced by the changing technology (BBC, 2013).
Factors to be considered when acquiring a Computer System
As defined by Kroenke and Hooper (2013), a system is an integration of several components that interact to achieve a common goal. Therefore, computer systems used by the businesses have several elements that managers must consider when making decisions to acquire them. These components include the hardware, software, people, data, and instructions/procedures. The hardware is the physical devices of a computer system used to input, process, output, and store data. The software refers to programs stored in the computer system. The instructions are related to the software while people are the system’s users. When an organization has a qualified workforce to run and operate its computer system, it goes ahead and considers other factors as discussed below.
Factors to consider when acquiring Computer Hardware
Compatibility – the hardware purchased should be capable of working and supporting other peripherals like scanners and printers. In addition, it should support the installed software.
Expandability – The hardware should be scalable to meet the increasing needs of the business. This factor is especially important when considering the memory device. Inadequate computer memory was blamed for the $2 billion UK air control system failure (Storm, 2014).
Cost versus benefits – a cost-benefit analysis is necessary when purchasing hardware. The cost should be lower than the benefits it will offer.
Supplier – the hardware should be purchased from a vendor who provides hardware guarantee since this is essential and should be unconditional. In addition, the vendor should provide the required technical assistance and other after-sales services.
Factors considered when Purchasing Software
Flexibility- The software should meet both the current and future needs of the business as they change.
User-friendliness- The software should be easy to learn and use in the sense that it should not be complex.
Maintainability– the software t should allow users to modify its packages as needs arise.
Compatibility – the software should meet or fit into the existing technology as efficiently as possible. This means that it should not be obsolete. The obsolescence was witnessed in the case where the BBC was forced to abandon its digital production system worth £98.
Portability – the software acquired should be able to run on a variety of machines.
Reliability – the software should perform the tasks it was designed to perform accordingly and without failure.
Documentation – it should be accompanied by instruction manuals, highlighting how to use, install and maintain it.
Security – the software should withstand fraudulent attempts. In addition, it should not be easily attacked by malicious programs. A case of a computer system hack was Coca-Colas IT system when it was hacked in 2009 by Chinese hackers (Vanner, 2014).
Conclusion
The computer system has immensely contributed to the running of businesses in the contemporary business world. This has been supported by the business information system which offers the management with the correct and timely information to aid in decision-making. For this system to continue performing as planned, all the necessary factors must be considered when making decisions on hardware and software acquisitions as discussed above.
References
BBC. (2011, November 24). Firms ill prepared for IT failure. BBC Business News, pp. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-15866885.
BBC. (2013, May 24). BBC abandons £100m digital project. BBC News, pp. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-22651126.
Kroenke, D. M., & Hooper, T. (2013). Using MIS. New Zealand: Pearson.
Storm, D. (2014, May 12). $2 billion air traffic control system failed by running out of computer memory. Retrieved March 24, 2015, from Computer World: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2476246/malware-vulnerabilities/-2-billion-air-traffic-control-system-failed-by-running-out-of-computer-memo.html
Vanner, C. (2014, January 14). 5 of the worst IT system failures. Retrieved March 24, 2015, from Computer Business Review: http://www.cbronline.com/news/verticals/cio-agenda/5-of-the-worst-it-system-failures-4159576/page/1 Read More
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