Information System Planning in Organizations


Information System Planning or IS Planning is a much important aspect of an organization in today’s world of constant change. Change Management is an integral part of the corporate fraternity these days and that too with reasons. In general sense it can mentioned that Change management includes assessment of changes, implement the change, plan and attainment. This is where the Information System Planning comes into the scene. Information System Planning is the basic framework of an organization. It incorporates IS builders who are the people who enable the organization to run smoothly and efficiently.

They are the people, other than the top management section, who ensure the make or break factor of an organization. As the corporate scenario is vulnerable to changes overnight it becomes that much important for the Information System Plan Builders to keep updated all the while. Changes, general or specified, should be monitored closely and analyzed according from the perception of company and solution should be chalked out accordingly. It is the Information System Builders job through proper IS planning to maneuver the system in accordance to the change so that the organization is not affected under any circumstances. (Soros 2007)

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As a result is obvious that it is essential for the Information System Planning to address Change management principals for the proper usage and management of resources and obtaining the complete or maximum utility out of the process. Change can be advantageous or fatal for an organization. The job of the Information System planning is to channel the mode of operations towards an advantage scenario.

The ISP (Information System planning) procedure can be enumerated is a special form of management information system that greatly assists the decision-making requirements of higher-level executives. It is of particular value since it makes available both internal and external information that it, personally considers pertinent to the completion of an organization’s strategic objectives. The system is particularly helpful due to its inherent capacity to help scrutinize, compare and draw attention to specific trends in significant variables. This capacity allows it to not just keep an eye on performances but also to spot potential openings and troublesome issues. Needles to say all these fine abilities make the ISP a particularly efficient Decision Support System.

But despite its obvious effectiveness there are points one must consider before allowing the ISP to guide their decision-making skills. For starters while the ISP is easy to use and does not need an expert to be operated it is also extremely limited in terms of functionality. ISP’s are not good with complicated calculations; easy to compute functions are all you can expect out of it. Also, while the ISP provides information that is easily comprehended it also has a tendency to get overloaded with this information quite easily, making easy jobs far more difficult than usual. ISP’s are also often found to be ‘unreliable’ regarding data and have been known to leak data out due to its lack of security facilities.

Lastly, even though executives report to have been particularly helped by the ISP in various circumstances small companies might find it difficult to sustain such a system, since its implementation tends to be extremely expensive. The use of the ISP therefore should be done keeping in mind the size of the company and also the fact that it is after all a machine, which tends to go awry at times. Personal decisions tend to come handy at times when the machine does not work. (Schneider 2009)

Knowledge management

It should be mentioned in the initial phases of the paper that the term ‘Knowledge Management’ is not really a well defined term to start with. The definition of Knowledge Management is rather vague and major part of the materials that are published in relation to Knowledge Management failed to define the concept as most of the materials appeared to be rather ambiguous while it came to the point of providing a static definition for the term Knowledge Management. This has been the scenario since this concept of Knowledge Management came into existence and its inception is rather unformulated in nature. However, it could be recalled that in general sense the term ‘Knowledge Management’ is used in a wider context within the business communities.

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In this regard the concept of Knowledge Management is considered as an important tool in the world of market induced competitive advantages and survival strategies of the companies.The term can be used for an infinite number of variables. In this case it is to be taken into consideration that a firm may generate enough potential to govern the absolute majority in altering the time tested paths of the usual tricks and trade of a genuine organisation by differentiating itself and thereby gaining a significant amount of comparative advantage over its rival companies. So knowledge is important to business. Therefore it is evident that protection of an important factor is an equally important factor for any business. (Stainton 2005)

The KMS or Knowledge Management System is an information technology based system used to manage knowledge in various organizations. It is usually a part of a Knowledge Management program, although it is generally neither indispensable nor adequate for the success of such a program. The KMS is used to assist the creation of information, later it is also used to acquire, store and circulate the same.

The KMS plays a crucial role in the decision making process of a firm since it’s functions are directed at making all the organization’s factual documents to its employees. Thanks to the KMS every individual employed in the firm can have an access to all the sources of information as well as the key solutions that the firm uses for its operations or for some specific project. Now, the use of such a system is dependant on exactly how the firm is organized and whether every member of the staff is equally involved in the firm’s functions (or a given project) or not.

The use of a KMS has often been advocated based on its capacity to distribute important organizational information amongst the staff members. While some think this is an advantage, others tend to disagree. The parties who support the system argue that such transparency within the organization can help work to be completed promptly and thereby prevent the repetition of jobs. Avoiding such repetitiveness, they say, also helps decrease the time wasted on training employees. They also think that if employees are let into the secrets of the firm right from the beginning they might feel far more attached to the organization. The decision regarding the organization of a firm and how it might be managed therefore is deeply entwined with the decision regarding the use of a KMS. (Morgan 2005)

Managing the IT Human resource

The Information System is a system dealing with people, data and information, three things that have gained unforeseen significance in the information age. Today organizations have effectively shifted their focus from product to knowledge, from the item manufactured to the know-how that goes behind it. As a result information and people dealing with the information have emerged as the ultimate winners in this new era. The Information system too emphasizes this growing importance of knowledge. It represents the strong information infrastructure every organization today seeks to achieve.

Unlike what most people suppose this information infrastructure does not come at the cost of the human resource infrastructure, in fact both are intricately linked to each other. The more the emphasis on information grows the more the organizations will value their human resource, because it is after all the people who represent the information and the know-how. Systems such as the Information system are merely created for the proper channeling of this human capacity. Hence, they will always remain mere devices that put to good use the information that employees bring to a certain organization.

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As a result, the growth of Information Systems in the field of technology is likely to increase the value of the employees of every firm far beyond what it is presently. Of course the organization’s work too will be far simplified thanks to the superior technology of the information system. But ultimately organizations will still be dealing with the sound knowledge and understanding of exceptionally astute workers who bring their knowledge to the firm. Life for the managers, employees and the executives at any given organization could not possibly be better than what it will be once the use of information systems becomes rampant. (Bowditch & Buono 2007)

In the context of IT Human Resource, it can be stated that ITHRM is a systematic and complex strategy that is planned top-down for increasing and implementing effective organizational change. It mainly aims to change the structure, attitudes, standards and thinking of an organization through interventions so that it can adapt to new and better challenges, technology and marketing strategies.

It does not simply make an organization better but focuses on interpreting and supervising an organizational change by involving organizational planning, expression, system improvement and analysis bringing about the required result. It is characterized by individuality, learning, inspiration, sociology and psychology and its qualities are interdisciplinary. It has three components – diagnosis, intervention or action and evaluation, which need to be properly controlled to bring about an effective change.

Intervention is the second stage of ITHRM. The various sets of structurally planned activities that are a part of the ITHRM program and followed by the individuals and groups in an organization for improving their performance are called ITHRM techniques or interventions.

These change strategies or interventions are planned and implemented through change agents. Interventions include structural and third Party Peace making interventions, Inter-group and Team interventions, Process Consultation, Sensitivity Training and Survey Feedback. Extensively used ITHRM interventions are Quality of work life (QWL) projects, Management by Objectives (MBO), Organizational Transformation, Quality Circles, Parallel Learning Structures, Total Quality Management (TQM), Process Re-engineering, self-managed teams and large-scale systems change. (Auster & Sirower 2006)

Organizational Impact of IT use

It is true that a good Information System is a major asset to a company and a bad one can even cause a company to fail. The power of a good Information System is such that it can even give smaller companies the opportunity of taking on the larger ones. A good Information system allows a company to manipulate data for obtaining a consistent forecast whose formulation is especially important for companies having an online component and marketing strategies.

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Using the internet even smaller but strong companies can easily compete with larger ones if they have a good Information System supporting them. For a company to meet its goal and thus, prosper a lot of data and information needs to be considered all the time and the decisions made need to reach all the members at the proper time. This is among the major objectives of a modern day company. So, with the help of a good Information System not only will a company be able to manage its information and data efficient but also maintain a proper communication channel among the employees, employers, customers and other entities of the company. (Ivancevich, Konopaske & Matteson 2005)

The various innovation of the technology world along with a good Information System enhances the performance of a company resulting in its success. The business application and services of a good Information System package even helps the company to improve its strategies thus, making it more competitive than others. It enables the company to develop a top class business plan which when incorporated with its systems and functions become major assets for the company and this is responsible, in certain manners, for its success.

But for the Information System to yield the proper results, a company needs to constantly update it so that its workings can be modified according to the present needs and goals of the company. A good Information System also helps when a company is experimenting with its existing assets and systems. Experiments may or may not be successful and thus, needs to be carried out in small scale first. Also investing huge amounts of money into a new project without testing it may cause the company to suffer heavy losses from which it may never recover. But, if the company has a good Information System then it will be able to estimate the potential success or failure of the new project based on which the company can decide to either proceed with a successful plan or drop otherwise.

A good Information System will not only empower the company but also provide it with the best information required for its effective working. A good Information System also reduces the time its employees spend on carrying out a particular task since they can quickly access and easily understand all the important data and respond on time. It helps to convert current and important data into valuable information which can be delivered to other people in almost no time so that they can work with it and respond quickly. (Berkovitch & Narayanan 2006)

The Information System can be modified according to the individual user and requirements of the company so that it works towards the success of the company. Although initially the benefits of an Information System may not be completely clear, it is very important that the Information System is allowed to grow as the business evolves so that it becomes better and in the process helps the company achieve its goals for becoming successful. An inert Information System may not always be a good one since it needs to evolve with modern technological innovations. Thus, only those Information Systems which are allowed to evolve according to requirements play a big hand in the success and failure of the company.

Bibliography

Auster, E. R., & Sirower, M. L. (2006) The dynamics of communication waves: A three-stage conceptual framework with implications for practice, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 16-244.

Berkovitch, E., & Narayanan, M. P. (2006). Motives for communication: An empirical investigation, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 28(3), 347-362.

Bowditch, J. L., & Buono, A. F. (2007) Aprimer on organizational behavior (5rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 122-124.

Ivancevich, J. M., Konopaske, R., & Matteson, M. T. (2005). Organizational behavior and management (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Pp. 227-229.

Morgan, L. (2005) Knowledge Continuity Management In Healthcare, Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, vol. 26, pp- 17-26.

Schneider, S. C. (2009) Strategy formulation: The impact of Information System, Organization Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 149-168.

Soros, G. (2007) The alchemy of Planning: Reading the mind of the market. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 156.

Stainton, R. (2005) Organizational Intelligence: A Critical Agenda. London: Polity Press. Pp. 174-175.

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