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The Use of Information Systems

Free «The Use of Information Systems» Essay Sample

Information systems have a major role in the functioning of many industries in a country. They are used in banks, schools, hospitals and even by the government to perform different tasks. It is safe to say that without information systems it would be very hard for most of these sectors to function correctly. All day-to-day functions of these sectors, from making decisions to communication and gathering information, depend on information systems (Geerts, & McCarthy, 2006). This essay will analyze a few examples of information systems, provide their definition and describe benefits of their use.

Enterprise information systems is a category of information systems that is commonly used in large organizations. They are responsible for supporting different functions like workflow management, enterprise resource planning, data warehouse and geographic elements of the company (Zhang, & Lin, 2010). These information systems may also serve functions that are specific to an organization. Such kind of information systems includes hospital information systems and airline information systems among others (Panetto, & Cecile, 2012).

Another type of information systems is the procurement information systems. These are information systems that assist a business in making the procedure of purchasing items simple. There are also business intelligence tools. These include digital dashboard as well as spreadsheets. All these tools are very useful in business.

Information Systems

Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an information system that works to support the core business processes of a firm. The core processes include human resource, marketing and sales among others (Zhang, & Lin, 2010). In most organizations there is related data (data used in different processes) and unusable data (data thatis stored in the respective information systems). This, in turn, makes organizations to allocate their time and effort to ensure synchronization of data in all information systems. The ERP system is a way to counter the synchronization efforts by bringing in different information systems. ERP is an information system built on a distributed computing interface, which includes one or more database management systems. The computing interface serves as a platform on which the individual business processes are implemented (Wang, Gao, & Ip, 2010).

The new generation of ERP perform the core functions of different globally known enterprises. ERP functions in a certain way that consists of a user interface, an application server and a database server. ERP allows multi-instance database management and configuration management among other processes. It also ensures that the application of many programs associated with different processes named above is done properly. Since these ERPs are made for large corporations, they, therefore, have to support different languages and different currencies (Panetto, & Cecile, 2012). Moreover, these ERPs need to take into account business practices that are used in different countries. Due to these elements, ERPs are very complex and hence very hard to apply and to maintain. ERPs are huge complex software systems that use small and highly focused applications. ERPs are useful and can be utilized in other enterprise information systems such as finance and procurement systems. ERP system modules include product lifecycle management and supply chain management. These may also be divided further into purchasing, manufacturing and distribution ERPs. An example of an ERP system is the Sage ERP. This is an accounting software that provides cost-effective solutions to off-the-shelf, entry level and sophisticated systems. It is designed for growth-oriented firms that need more than simple bookkeeping systems can offer.

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Benefits of ERP

ERP mainly helps the employees of a firm to perform their daily duties more efficiently through ensuring that barriers are broken down between business units. Another benefit that ERPs have is that they offer a firm view of data, which may be used to address concerns more efficiently and bring about improvements. ERPs enable a firm to comply with the regulatory standards, thus reducing any risks. ERP systems also lead to automization of the main processes of a business. They also enhance customer services through providing a single source for billing and relationship tracking.

Procurement Information Systems

This type of information systems deals with helping a firm to ensure that the process of purchasing a commodity is automated. The aim of the procurement information system is to ensure a company gets what is needed for the business and its operations run at a low cost. The procurement system generates new orders based on information like the available inventory, the expected arrival of new goods and the sales and production plans. It is also used to ensure that all the ordered goods arrive (Panetto, & Cecile, 2012). The procurement systems ensure that the right amount is ordered at the right time by the right source.Unless this is not the case, then the firm will experience some inconveniences. If the required material for production arrives early, then the firm can experience problems with storage space and funds for buying the material. On the other hand, if the material arrives late, scheduled production will be disrupted. Therefore, the main idea is to avoid inventory costs, hence causing a reduction in the out of stock situations (Geerts, & McCarthy, 2006).

The procurement management system is a very important element of the supply chain management, whereby the coordination of the purchasing process is not limited to two parties. The supply chain management is a process whose main objective is to ensure that the relationship between the firm and its suppliers is strengthened so as to ensure that inefficiencies are eliminated and the purchasing process is perfected (Wang, Gao, & Ip, 2010). The procurement course of action is associated with electronic data substitution, which is the electronic switch-over of information based on a typical set of messages. EDI is an approach to lessen inaccuracies emerging as a result of the procurement process. When an order is keyed into a procurement system of an organization, it is then printed and sent to the order processing department or to the recipient organization. Information on the printed order is subsequently rekeyed into the procurement system. Using the EDI, firms are able to automate these parts of the procurement process. This, in turn, ensures that the procurement process is faster and errors are eliminated. Automation also ensures that the cost for a purchasing order is reduced considerably (Moe, & Päivärinta, 2013).

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Procurement information systems may involve direct procurement systems, which entail the fusion between purchasing into the company’s supply chain management, delivering the correct supplies at the right time. An example of the procurement information system is the System Acquisition Management tool. This system is useful since it merges information from the initial registration to the online certification and representation.

Business Intelligence Tools

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are business intelligence tools used to analyze and report the firm’s data. They do not require a complex installation procedure, which makes them very popular. Thus, a large percentage of businesses base their business intelligence efforts on spreadsheet models (Wang, Gao, & Ip, 2010).

Examples and Benefits of Spreadsheets

One of the examples of the spreadsheet category is a clear analytic, which is a spreadsheet tool that is based on the MS Excel and serves the business intelligence with spreadsheet manageability. This, in turn, centralizes the data as the process is going on. This tool allows Excel reporting in a firm to runs smoothly while it adds important aspects such as version control, administrative and sharing functions, scheduling of reports and, finally, auditability (Moe, & Päivärinta, 2013). This business intelligence tool enables the elimination of a data warehouse for pre-aggregative functions. The tool also supports functions, which, in turn, are easy to trace, and audits data to ensure that the whole company complies with them.

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Digital Dashboard Intelligence Tool

This is a business intelligence tool. It is a data visualization tool that displays different aspects of metrics and key performance of the enterprise on a single screen (Panetto, & Cecile, 2012).

Examples and Benefits of the Digital Dashboard

An example of this tool is the SAP business intelligence tool. This tool is highly recommended to firms that require a detailed picture of each and every company process. It is tailored to meet and satisfy each and every employee requirements, even the IT team. The tool brings together the applications and reporting, thus providing a detailed snapshot of the entire organization (Wang, Gao, & Ip, 2010). It is advantageous since visualization enables a clear understanding of data. It can be used as a platform to improve the collective IQ of the company through giving those that are authorized an insight into the data and performance indicators.

Conclusion

Application of information system is totally dependent on the industry in which the organization is operating. The examples of these industries include the banking and healthcare industry among many others. The information provided above proves that they are very important for the functionality of many sectors in the country. Although, enterprise information systems may be very expensive to create, they are very helpful. It is also clear that industries have a wide range of processes that depend on these information systems to ensure that the business runs smoothly without any problems in the production. On the other hand, business intelligence tools are a means for organizations to scrutinize data and create business ideas, thereby becoming vital elements in generating greater decisions that compel results. Therefore, information systems as well as business intelligence tools must be applied properly to ensure the industries function efficiently.

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