The world is fast becoming a global village. The systems used to collect informations yesterday are different from those used today. More advanced and competitive information system are being produce everyday. Every business no matter how small, like a small retailer store, depends on high technology to store data. To them now it is a living tool and the still keep their doors open to welcome new form of change in information systems. Information system has now become the bread of life in every organizational operation. This paper is going to expatiate more on how information system operates to enhance business in our world today. Tesco enterprise will be use as the yard stick to better understand the development of Information systems.
2.1 Information Systems.
According to Kenneth and Jane Laudon, Information systems can be defined technically as a set of interrelated components that collect to retrieve process, stores, distributes information to support decision making and control on an organization.
Information systems are the systems of persons, data records and activities that process the data of information in a given organization, either through manual processes or automated processes. This system is consist of people, procedures, softwares, hardwares and data that helps in effective decision making. Philip Kotler says ” A marketing information system consist of people, equipments and procedures to gather, sort and analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely and accurate information to marketing decision makers.”
According to Erik BOHLIN, Stranford L. LEVIN, Nakil SUNG, Chang-HO YOON (2004), the effect of information technology systems on globalization, innovation, growth and productivity are immense. Information technology system has contributed immensely to the globalization of production and capital markets by reducing cost of information and communication. They stated that technology has made it easier for multinationals and other companies to spread production facilities all over the world, to coordinate international marketing campaigns and to ease collaboration in projects taking place in different continents.
There are various types of information systems such as Office Information system, database management system, Decision supporting system and transaction processing system.
Information systems are normally created to perform task for which the human brain can not handle well enough some of these task are controlling many business processes simultaneously, performing complex calculations and storing large amount of information.
Many businesses invest huge amounts of money in information systems for the following reasons;
For rapid production of goods and services
To develop excellent and effective communication skills.
Improve decision making
Have operational excellence
For competitives advantages
Customer and supplier intimacy.
It saves time and money and makes life easy and comfortable.
Levels of management.
There are three hierarchical levels of management on an organization; the senior level management, the middle level management and the operational level of management.
Senior Level Management.
This is the highest level of management. They are concern with making good and effective decisions for the development of the enterprise. They supply answers to questions about the long term plans of the company such as what kind of products will the company be producing in the next five years or what method will they apply to improve their business. There are many kinds of information systems that managers at this level can use in order to ease the work and quickly too, some of the systems are seen as follows:
Executive Support System. (ESS)
It is a reporting software which helps senior managers transform data into useful summarize reports.
It allows them quick assess to reports coming from different levels and different departments in the company such as staffing, billing, cost allocation, scheduling and many others.
ESS is most useful to senior managers like Chief Executive Officers in order to enable the make decision easily.
ESS forecast the future.
ESS relies highly on information MIS and DSS database for decision making. It can not work in isolation less the company becomes dysfunctional.
The main duty of the managers at this level is to monitor the activities of the subordinates, collect information from junior management and reassemble them and give the feedbacks or report to those at the senior management team.
Their reports help in strategic planning thus leading to effective decision making to achieve their objectives.
They are responsible for implementing the senior managers’ policies and plans to the workers.
They also need to ensure that employees are well motivated and should act responsibly in maintaining company values.
Management Information System (MIS)
This system is meant to serve mostly middle managers. It helps them regulate the various operations in an organization. It helps in the internal control procedures. MIS are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operation activities in the organization. O’Brien, J (1999).
MIS as a system :
It is a system that makes available the right information to the right person (senior managers) at the right time, place, form and at the right cost.
It monitors daily sales, profit and lost accounts.
It gathers feedbacks and current reports.
It also answers all day to day questions about the company.
Inputs of MIS:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM), this a process created to handle the company’s relationship or contact with its customers.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). This is a system that helps managers coordinate all the resources information and functions of a business.
Transaction Process Management (TPS). It records all daily routines in a company.
Recommended softwares for MIS:
Database retrieve application
Service control manager- a component of Microsoft Windows operating System.
Software Configuration Management (SCM) used to track down and control changes in softwares.
Decision Support System (DSS).
It a group of information systems that support businesses and organizations in decision making activities. It helps most the middle class managers to make quick and effective decisions. It helps middle managers compile important information from a combination of business models, raw data, personal knowledge or documents to solve problems and then take decisions.
Functions of DSS.
It helps to solve unpredicted problems such as non-routine issues.
Deducts external information like price change, government change in tax.
It gathers and inventory of current information assets including legacy, dataware house and data marts.
It produces comparative sales figures different periods.
Finally it presents revenue figures base on new products sales assumptions.
The model ( decision content and user criteria).
Holsapple and Whinston (1996) classify DSS in to six frame works
DSS support base system can be divided into three categories;
First line managers as operational managers.
They control the day to day services in an organization. They focus on manageing the processes to produce and distribute products and services to customers.
Transaction Process System.
This system serves the operational level managers. It helps them trace the daily routine in the company for example sales entry and delivery. It also helps the managers to monitor status of operations in relation to external environment.
3. Appropriateness of TESCO Enterprise Information Systems.
TESCO plc is Britain’s largest retailer enterprise. Tesco provides grocery homeshopping services, consumer goods, telecommunication and financial services online.
Online shopping is a highly use information system in Tesco. This information system is the direct buying of goods and services over the internet or other computer networks. Through this system, many businesses have developed due to online competition services.
There are other websites besides Tesco that offer hosting services for online stores and small retailers these are Yahoo, Amazon.com and eBay.
A collection of online stores are known as Virtual Shopping Malls.
Become.com helps online shoppers make the ideal decision on shopping online. That is their mission.
These are steps taken to protect information and information systems from unauthorized users, access, disclosure disruption, modification and destruction. Security measures are meant to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.
Tesco has securing tags on its products. This is due to the rise of shoplifting caused by the economic crisis in the country. This was decided by the management team.
Many UK businesses whether big or small, depend greatly on American District Telegraph (ADT) or simply ADT, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and Digital Video Recorders (DVR) as a source of integrated electronic security system. Tesco is one of those convenience supermarkets that depend highly on the services provided by the above security systems.
These security systems provide fast alarm responses to burglary, fire attacks, violence and unnecessary disturbances in Tesco.
These security systems reduce a safe and convenient environment for Tesco customers.
They help reduce crime wave, protect people and property.
Tesco also applies the use of security codes in their online services. This is to ensure that the online customer placing the order is actually in possession of a credit/ Debit card and that the amount of money in the card is legitimate.
All these procedures is to prevent Credit/ Debit card fraud
Also to trace and track down thieves who are in possessions of other people’s cards through well advance information technology.
BMT Micro security software makes sures no database after online transaction is stored during online payment so hackers will not find their way easily into people’s accounts. That is why codes are needed so is will be hard for them to trace.
Card Security Code (CSC) or Card Verification Value is another security feature for credit/debit transaction online providing online security against fraudulent cards.
Recommended information security.
Unified Threat Management (UTM), this is to prevent intruders and softwares from affecting Tesco delicate networks less the loose their data informations.
Antivirus is also needed to check Tesco computers for the presence of virus that may crash the computers and loss database information that have not yet been processed.
These antivirus needs constant updates.
Cloud computing is the latest internet base computer system whereby shared resources such as softwares and information are provided to computers. It describes a new suppliement, consumption and delivery Information Technology model services based on the internet. It helps provides easy access to remote computing site provide by the internet.
It is a less expensive form of computing. It avoids capital expenditures on hardwares, softwares and services because the pay only provider for they use.
Consumption is billed on subscription basis with no upfront cost.
Low barrier to entry.
Share infrastructure and cost
Low management overheads
Immediate access to a broad range of applications.
The contract can be terminated at any time.
According to Nicholas Carr, the strategic importance of information technology is diminishing as it has become standardized and less expensive.
Issues against Cloud Computing.
Although cloud computing is a less expensive system of computing, enterprises may pay more on operating expenses.
Cloud computing has been highly criticized for its lack of privacy between users and their hosting companies. They hosting companies may monitor at will the communication and data stored in their systems. For example the National Security Agency (NSA) that works with American Telephone and Telgraph (AT & T) and Verizon Communications, monitors all their phones which make people insecure for lack of privacy.
There is no security in cloud computing but the Cloud Computing Alliance has been form to promote security assurances.
Tesco is not using cloud computing services. But they can subscribe for it so as to spend less on information technology system.
From the above information, we have seen how important information systems are in the development of an organization as it is being applied at every managerial level in a business. So it is recommended that business owners should continue searching for more advance information systems that will help ease their supply and distribution chain.
Information system is the only way for businesses to survive the pressure and competition that they are facing. If there is a any business that has not yet be highly connected to advance information systems, then that business should make a strategic plan about implementing cloud computing for a start because it is less expensive and will help the business save for future unforeseen circumstances.
O’Brien, J (1999) Management Information Systems- Manageing Information Systems in the Internet work Enterprise. Boston. Irwin MC Graw-Hill. ISBN 0071123733.
Kenneth and Jane Laudon, Managing the Digital Firm, 8th Ed.
Kotler, Philip, Keller, Kevin Lane (2006), Marketing Management, 12th edition. Pearson Education.
Erik BOHLIN, Stranford L. Levin, Nakil SUNG, Chang-HO YOON (2004) Global Economy and Digital Society. Elsevier , Amsterdam.
Nichlas Carr, (2008) Clouds and Storms.