Information System:MIS: Vodafone
Information technology is an integral part of the organization. It has its huge role in collecting, storing and disseminating the information which is required for the purpose of taking the important decisions or operating the business operations. With the help of information technology the dimensions of globalization could be handled in an appropriate manner. Here the special consideration has been given to understand the functional aspects of information technology within the organization (Poon and Lau, 2000). Ahead the major type of information system has also taken into special consideration. Further the trends and challenges into the implementation of information have also explained into the study in an appropriate manner. r.
1.1: Evaluate the information needs of at least four functional areas of your chosen organisation.
Here in this task the chosen organization is Vodafone, one of the largest telecommunication sector organizations all cross the world. The need of information is very huge for Vodafone as they are active at the international stage and have their operations at various regions and countries. Vodafone is already active into the communication sector so they highly understand the use and need of information better than any other industry and company. Thus the four functional area of Vodafone has gained huge priority (Poon and Lau, 2000).
The major functional area where the need of information is very huge is the operations department, marketing department, financial and research and development department. These areas are to be treated as highly useful with the perspective of contributing into the organizational success at very large scale. The operations department is one of the areas which is highly related to the organization’s production capacity and profitability (Rashid and Aslam, 2012). With the help of operations department the organization can meet out the demand of their customers. The need of information is very huge for the operations departments. The level of information operations departments include gaining the knowledge about suppliers, different kind of sources of procuring the raw material and most importantly the assessing the quality that could be procured from various suppliers. It is very significant to understand that with the help of such information the operations department could definitely improve the quality. Ahead gaining the information about the pricing structure could also require for the operations. They can bring cost effectiveness. At last the list of need of information includes ensuring the reduction in time scale. It is clear that new technologies are coming with new equipments and machineries that can help in minimizing the assembly line and most importantly the manufacturing process could become easier. Thus these are certain kind of information which operations department of Vodafone may require (Wang and Yu, 2006).
Another department is the marketing department which needs the information directly about the customers and current trend of market. The main need of marketing department is that the strategies could be formulated accordingly. The marketing management of Vodafone deals with intense competition so they need the information about their market. It could provide the information about the preference of customers and it can help in taking the marketing mix decisions. Further the need of information also involves handling the competitors. If the information about competitor’s strategies and market position could be gather than the Vodafone can focus on positioning their brand in strengthening way. Ahead the marketing department need the information so that they can align with the operations department and services could be improved after gaining the responses from customers (Chen and Mohamed, 2008). The opinions and complaints is also a part of information so marketing department need this kind of information so that the operational and service delivery efficiency could be introduced within the organization. Thus these are certain reasons behind the Vodafone’s marketing department information need.
Further the research and development department has huge need regarding the gathering of information. They are the people who actually bring innovation and improvement into service quality. It is a responsibility of research department to ensure that the Vodafone should gain competitive advantage by bringing new technology features in the telecommunication sector. Thus the major information need for research and development department is to provide competitive edge to the cited organization. Ahead it is also clear that the research and development department need the information due to their role in improving the existing technology and identifying the problems which have been faced by company in their current business operations (D'Esopo and Almquist, 2007). Thus the research and development department need the latest technological information so that the problem identification and then its rectification could be proposed. The research and development department can gather the information from both external as well as internal environment. The need of financial department with respect to the information is also crucial for Vodafone. Here the information could be related to taking the investment decision, allocating the financial resources. They need the information in order to invest their money into any country or region. Further when Vodafone looks into merging or acquire any company then also financial department need huge level of strategic as well as market information so that the future estimation about the possible performance could be done appropriately (Donnelly and Harrison, 2009). The need of information for financial department includes the distribution of money to various departments. The information could be related to feasibility of ay project or task for which money has been demanded. Thus in this way the Vodafone’s financial department’s information need is clear in effective way. Hence it is very brief yet significant description about Vodafone’s four functional areas and their information needs.
2.1 Describe minimum of five different types of information systems used in organizations
Information system that could be used by the companies could be of different types. Every kind of information system has its own expediency and high level of benefits for the company. It is to acknowledge that the business entities should use the information system as per their business structure. The description of five different type of information
system is given below:
Transaction processing system: It is a kind of system which involves the information storage of all kind of transaction that has been done by the company within the period. It involves the record of various transactions and could be accessed properly by the line or floor workers. It is completely an operational level system is an automated or semi automated tracking system. The main functionality of transaction processing system (TPS) is that it validate or sort the data and then list or merge the data to provide the appropriate reports. Further the regular updating of data is also a function of TPS (Piotrowski & Armstrong, 2005). Various kinds of TPS are payroll system, order processing system, reservation system and stock control system. It is highly efficient with respect to provide highly relevant information for other systems.
Management information system: It is a management level information system which is used by middle level managers to take their decisions and strengthen their approach towards any situation. The management information system (MIS) has major advantage related to providing the opportunity to assess the performance of an organization by comparing the previous outputs. MIS actually works after the data provided by TPS. The example of MIS is the sales management systems, inventory control system, budgeting system and personnel system. Thus these all examples have high level of relevance with the managerial level decisions so at this stage the MIS is highly effective and appropriate (Koch, Leidner & Gonzalez 2013). The nature of MIS suggests that it is based on internal information flow only and it has less analytical capacity.
Decision supports system: Now the level or accessibility of this system has been increased due to information storage capacity. It is generally utilized by the senior managers so that the concrete upper level decisions could be taken. It is also known as knowledge based system as it has lots of knowledge and intellect about various situation and business conditions which allows to focus on taking the right decisions with right approach. It also supports the exchange of information and here managers try to identify the results or probable consequences of the taken decisions on the basis of structured information. It includes the financial models, logistics systems and group decision support system. (Zhou, 2004).
Executive information system: It is strategic level information system and here the information comes from both internal and external sources. It is clear that here at this stage the senior level managers use the information in analyzing the environment and its suitability for the company. The main purpose of executive support system is to understand the future trend for the business entity. The example of EIS is not specific as it is most of the times customized information system used by the organization.
Data warehouse system: It is highly base on technological aspects. It is clear that the data warehouse system has lots of advantages related to store the information and data for various uses. The data warehouse system is also operational level system. It facilitates to integrate with various department and sharing the information or data related to the department. Thus these are major five kinds of information systems that could be implemented by the organizations (Tensone, 2006).
2.2- Investigate the current trend in using Information System applications to solve business problems in various organisations. In various organizations the trend related to using the information system for solving the business problem is positive and favourable. The information system is allowing the business entities to get competitive advantage and are justifying with their roles and responsibilities within the organization. It is clear that the information system has ensured that the company should have adequate amount of information that can help with respect to taking the effective decisions and integrating between various departments. The information system has its access to various levels like strategic level, middle level and operational level. The business problem related to estimation of demand could also easily solve through these support systems. The decision support system has benefits in handling the sales management. The sales team can get information about the market trend and can prepare their manufacturing and production strategies accordingly (Bilgihan and et.al. 2011). The order could be placed according and the cost effectiveness could be introduced within the organization. The storage and segregation has also become possible at very large scale. It is to acknowledge that the knowledge based system categorizes the information into various forms and the relevant information could be by the companies. Mainly the manufacturing firms can experience the demand related problem within the production unit. They might struggle with estimation of procurement of raw material and most importantly using the inventory. The retail firms are the one those deals with the related to the inventory or supply chain management. They need to deal with large variety of products as well as have to arrange the shelf after assessing the possible demand. (Birge and Linetsky, 2007) Ahead the business environment is very much dynamic and unpredictable so the trends in using the information are changing very rapidly. Most of the companies are relying on making alignment between the information systems. It helps in understanding the past trends and projections and it helps with a view of predicting the future projections or trends. The information system allows understanding the environment as well so here the decisions could be taken by middle level managers at strategic level to avoid the problems related to uncertainty and dynamism of business environment. It is clear that the information system covers each and every dimension of business like dealing with past results, focusing on future consequences by revolving around the environmental analysis. Other than this the business problem is related to the low level of customer satisfaction (Mario, 1999). However the giant companies are able to understand the demand and need of customers but still the high level of competition demands the availability of highly updated information so that the alignment with small changes took place into the business environment and customer preferences could be understandable. Here the problem is that due to the international business operations the level of information is very high. It involves structured, unstructured, relevant, irrelevant every kind of information. Thus it is impossible to track the individuals or on the basis of segmentation. To deal with this situation the trend related to information system suggests that the advancement of information system is going to be prioritized within the organizations. It might help in increasing the familiarity with customers and the level of services could be improved. Further the internal structure could also be improved as the trend of informational system applicability suggest. The managers are sharing the information with each other so that the benefit of organization could take place at large scale. It is clear that the activities like order processing, stock control and keeping the records could be improved immensely through accurate and advanced information system (Govardu And Heijden, 2009). The most significant current trend is that it has become the basis of various operational levels as well as strategic level decision making and the formulation of business strategies. Thus it is current trend related to the applicability of information system to solve diverse business problems in various organizations.
2.3 Evaluate the suitability of information systems for different functional areas of your chosen organisation
With the perspective of Vodafone the information system and its types can help in handling the various functions within the organization. Vodafone is very large and conglomerate organization and these information systems types can help on the ground of managing the wide level of business decisions and organizational strategies. The suitability of transaction processing system is huge in managing the lower level inflow or outflow of the financial resources or funds. The Vodafone can keep track on various transactions which are taking place at operational level. All the records can be kept secured and could be taken into consideration for future transactions. Further the payroll system could be improved at very large scale with the help of transaction processing system (Stair and Reynolds, 2011). The Vodafone can register the details of their employees and their salary structure in the information system. It helps in assessing the hike or remuneration improvement ratio of individuals on the departmental basis. This kind of information or the data storage could be highly effective for the managers of cited organization. Thus here the human resource management or the suitability of information system with regards to the financial department has been explained. Further the marketing department is also equally benefitted from these information systems (Oz, 2008). The decision support system has huge relevancy with the storage of information related to the competitors and sales management. The Vodafone can get information about the competitors and can disseminate the information to each and every level (Cassidy, 1998). The marketing mix strategies of cited business entity could be designed accordingly. Further the information about customers could also be recorded in proper way. At the same juncture both the departments can definitely get into at integration stage and can form their strategies. The pricing structure, sales forecasting or estimation could become aligned with external environment.
The sales team can get the information accordingly. Further the operations department of Vodafone can also extract the reliable and relevant information from these information systems. The structured and flexible manufacturing system could also come into existence by Vodafone. The Vodafone has huge level of operations and they demand different kind of services so that the positive impact at the mindset of customers could be created. The development of business operations is possible if service improvement is regular process within the services and organizational activities (Walter, 2010). The information system is not about the collection of positive information. The Vodafone can get access to information related to the customer’s feedback and relevant changes into the current business trajectories could be introduced. Vodafone can improve its investment decision and asses their performance level. On the basis of research and development department the suitability of information system is very huge. The managers working at middle level can get access to new kind of technology and can definitely introduce innovation within their business activities. The research department can use the data warehouse system along with the executive information management system so that the competitiveness of Vodafone could be ensured. Thus it become clear that cited organization has high level of suitability of these information systems within the organization and can definitely improve their existing business process (Müller, 2010).
3.1: Use an information system to generate valid, accurate and useful information for any given problem of your selected organisation.
Here in currents scenario the major problem is related to the identification of customer need and wants in the era of frequently changing demands and needs of customers. As mentioned above that the competition is high and the business environment is very dynamic. So the impact of these aspects could be realized upon the buying preference of customers. Thus this problem for Vodafone has been taken into special consideration. Here the role of information system or technology is very high in dealing with the identified problems. It is clear that the information system has advantage to bring adequate changes so that the identified problems could be dealt in proper and effective way (Elias and Wright, 2006). The information system could be used to generate valid and accurate set of information to deal with identified customer related problem. Here the role of management information system is very huge. Further the basis of information system should be the sales team. It is most reliable and valid sources of information with the context of mentioned problem or challenging business aspect. Thus the sale management system can help in understanding the behavioural aspects of customers. Sales management can provide the overview about the market in which Vodafone is active. The sales team could be given direction to record the feedback and opinion of customers towards the products. Further the sales people need to register their comments about the mindset or perception of customers towards the service and product range. Afterwards the same information could be floated at the middle level management. Here the managers can try to understand the situation. The managers like marketing manager, operations manager etc, can sit together and can discuss upon these sets of information (Broadbent and Cullen, 2012). Till this stage the actual scenario about the position of Vodafone among the market could be understood.
Further the managers can gather the information about its competitors. It can also help in taking the right kind of decisions. Once the past and present scenario has become clear, now the organization can definitely focus upon the prediction of future buying preferences. The trend and buying preferences of customers could be understandable in effective and proper way. Thus the information system can reached at strategic level by using the management information system. Here the role of decision support system is again very crucial with respect to the formulation of strategies. It could be mentioned that the information system can help in making the alignment between the past, present and future performance estimation. The Vodafone can definitely get access to the information which is required to improve the satisfaction level of customers. Further it is to acknowledge that the information system must be used in proper manner. There is various stages which are required to be followed. The upper level management can take the decision only if the operational level or lower level management is able to generate highly valid and reliable information. Here the main emphasis has been given to operational level means sales management only (Elias and Wright, 2006). They work at ground level and interpret the customer’s preferences in well manner. Further the Vodafone can disseminate this information middle level where the decision making and strategy formulation can take place. Now here again the information could be disseminated to two different areas. One is the marketing manager and other is related to research team. If it reached at marketing level then the strategies could be formulated by marketing manager to deal with identified problem. But if the problem has reached to the research team then the scope could be wide and higher authorities need to intervene with respect to introduce any new technology or service range in order to attract the customers. Thus it has become clear that using the information system is highly responsible job which must be done in painstaking manner. If Vodafone fails to do so then two consequences can be occurred either the customer satisfaction can go down or inefficiency of sales team to understand their customer could comes into existence (Broadbent and Cullen, 2012). Thus establishing the systematic linkage between the various information systems types used at various hierarchical levels is the ultimate solution to increase familiarity with customers and their demand and needs.
3.2: Evaluates alternative methods of solving the problem
There are various other strategies that can help in gaining the proper knowledge about customer preferences and their buying behaviour. First of all the companies can gather the information through market research techniques. It is not a part of information system. It is a technique where independent research or survey could be conducted by the firm itself and they can understand the nature of their segment market that they are targeting. The organizations need to focus on highly realistic and reliable market research techniques. It can help in gaining the required information about the mindset of perception of customers and appropriate changes into the organization strategies could be introduced. Further it is also essential to understand that the market research techniques have power to collect both negative and positive feedbacks form the customers accordingly (Bilgihan and et.al. 2011). Thus the scope of information could be wide. Further rather than conducting the survey by company itself they can take the help of other marketing research firms. They can the reports from the consultancy firms who have conducted the research about the market scenario of possible status of buying behaviour of customers towards their product. It is also a survey but here all efforts and investment has been made by another market research firms. Another significant aspect of following this particular technique is that it is possible when company conducted the survey by them then they might missed the real problems. Another marketing research firms look upon the perspective and business operations through different dimensions so it becomes clear to get positive and lucrative results. Overall the marketing research is one of the alternative strategies that can help in dealing with above mentioned problems (Piotrowski & Armstrong, 2005). There is need of implementing the survey strategies in an appropriate manner. The list of strategies may include the PESTLE analysis or the implementation of porter’s five forces model that also provide the overview about the market and customers. Ahead with the help of competitor’s analysis the company can definitely get access to the perception and mindset of customers about their product. Afterwards the comparative analysis with own strategies and competitors business practices the results could be extracted. These are certain management models that also provide logical and reliable information to the company in terms of dealing with above identified problem. Therefore these are alternative strategies which could be followed by the organizations against the information system (Govardu And Heijden, 2009).
On the basis of above study the detailed knowledge about information system and its expediency within the organization has become clear. It could be stated that the information system has its role in each and every functional area of an organization. The types of information system are very huge learning of above report. Further the applicability of information system to deal with various problems is another major outcome of current study. The information system must be applied within the organization in proper and effective way so that the positive and yielding results could be obtained by business entities.
Bilgihan, A., et.al. 2011. Information technology applications and competitive advantage in hotel companies. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology. 2(2). pp.139 – 153.
Birge, R. J. and Linetsky, V., 2007. Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science: Financial Engineering: Financial Engineering. Elsevier.
Broadbent, M. and Cullen, J., 2012. Managing Financial Resources. Routledge.
Cassidy, A., 1998. A Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning. CRC Press.
Chen, L. Mohamed, S., 2008. Impact of the internal business environment on knowledge management within construction organizations. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management. 8(1). pp.61 – 81.
D'Esopo, M. and Almquist, E., 2007. An approach to mastering the marketing mix. Business Strategy Series. 8 (2). pp.122 – 131.
Donnelly, R. and Harrison, G., 2009. The Marketing Planning Process. Routledge.
Elias, N. and Wright A., 2006. Using Knowledge Management Systems to Manage Knowledge Resource Risks. Advances in Management Accounting (Advances in Management Accounting. (15). pp.195 - 227
Govardus J. And Heijden, M., 2009. Designing Management Information Systems. Oxford University Press.
Koch, H., Leidner, D. E., & Gonzalez, E. S. 2013.Digitally enabling social networks: resolving IT-culture conflict. Information Systems Journal, 23(6), 501-523. doi:10.1111/isj.12020 Mario, P., 1999. Auditing Information Systems. Idea Group Inc (IGI).
Müller, R., 2010. Decision Making Process: Entrepeneurship in today's society. GRIN Verlag.
Sharp, B., 1991. Competitive Marketing Strategy: Porter Revisited. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 9(1). pp.4 –10.
Oz, E., 2008. Management Information Systems. Cengage Learning.
Piotrowski, C., & Armstrong, T. R. 2005. Major Research Areas in Organization Development: An Analysis of abi/inform. Organization Development Journal, 23(4), 86-91.
Poon, W. and Lau, K., 2000. Value challenges in supply chain management. Logistics Information Management. 13(3). pp.150 – 155.
Rashid, K. and Aslam, M., 2012. Business excellence through total supply chain quality management. Asian Journal on Quality. 13(3). pp.309 – 324.
Stair, R. and Reynolds, G., 2011. Fundamentals of Information Systems. Cengage Learning.
Tensone, V. D., 2006. Hospitality Information System and E-Commerce. Wiley.
Walter, D., 2010. The Decision Making Process: The Four-Step Decision Making Process as simple way to arrive at rational decisions. GRIN Verlag.
Wang, C. and Yu, W., 2006. Supply Chain Management: Issues in the New Era of Collaboration and Competition: Issues in the New Era of Collaboration and Competition. Idea Group Inc (IGI).
Zhou, Z., 2004. E-commerce and Information Technology in Hospitality and Tourism. Cengage Learning.