IS/IT in the Organization
Here are the questions. Refer the essential sources:
As an IS/IT manager, you will be expected to support organizational objectives.
How do you see the nature and role of the IS/IT function?
Describe your position on the question of whether, in general, the IS/IT role should focus on reducing risk, or developing opportunities to gain competitive advantage. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.?
2 pages – 600 words are required. Please add citations and references page number for each citation in the paragraph. Prepare answer from your thoughts. This is master level degree so, the answer should be very clear and concise
IS/IT in the Organization
Within the organization, the Information Systems (IS) function exists as the interface between the IT infrastructure on one hand and the business on the other (Whiteley, 2013, p. 39) The IS function is composed of three different entities. The first comprises of a formal organization function or unit called an information systems department. The second includes information system specialists such as systems analysts, programmers, project leaders, and information systems managers. This may extend to external experts such as software consultants and firms, and hardware vendors and manufacturers who may frequently participate in the daily operations as well as long-term planning of information systems. The third element of the IS package is the technology itself, both software and hardware.
The IS/IT function has roles that it serves within any organization. The first of this is information storage and analysis. It shall be noted that at this current date, most organizations no longer manage their information and data with hard-copy formats and registers. Contemporary organizations and companies can utilize comprehensive and sophisticated databases that can contain all possible pieces of data concerning the enterprise, through the adoption of information systems. IS store, update and even analyze information, which the organization can then use to pinpoint solutions to prevailing or future problems.
Another role of the IS function is to help with decision-making. IS can be used to formulate strategic plans and makes appropriate decisions for the organization’s prosperity and longevity (Kumar, 2009, p. 232). Such policies and decisions will be based on information from numerous sources, including that from external references such as business websites, which may provide information on the general economy. The IS function is also used to assist with the business process whereby it helps the organization in the development of a larger number of value-added systems. An example is where a company can integrate information systems with the manufacturing cycle so that output produced complies with the various quality management standards requirements.
As seen above, the IS/IT function has some crucial roles within the modern day organization. Risk reduction and developing opportunities for competitive advantage are some of the other roles of the IS/IT function. With regards to gaining competitive advantage, there are some ways in which information system can be used in for this purpose in organizations: risk reduction, differentiation, cost adjustment, innovation and formation of alliances (Howarth, Stanton, & Sinclair-Hunt, 2005, p. 55). Strategic information systems are those which are mainly used to seize opportunities and can either be developed from scratch or evolve from existing organizational IS (Oz, 2009, p. 42) The apparent advantage of this strategy is the gain in competitive advantage. The approach, however, has a downside in the fact that it is easier to solve a problem than create an opportunity. It shall be noted that most IS are built for the purpose of solving problems although many others are made to seize opportunities. Since problems already exist within the organizational process, they manifest as obstacles to particular desired mode of operations and hence draw attention to themselves. Opportunities, on the other hand, are less tangible and may require a certain amount of creativity, imagination, and vision so as to identify, create or act on such opportunities.
Due to this reason, I regard risk reduction as a more important focus of the IS/IT function than the development of possibilities. An advantage of risk reduction in organizations is the smooth lining of internal and external processes so as to enable making or more informed, less risky decisions (Khosrowpour, 1996) Using IS, time-critical decisions requiring immediate access to relevant information can be swiftly made and therefore improve the overall function and productivity of the organization. The importance of the risk reduction role is even highlighted earlier whereby risk reduction is recognized as a way through which the IS/IT function can aid organizations to gain competitive advantage.
Howarth, A., Stanton, B., & Sinclair-Hunt, M. (2005). Information Systems Management. Cambridge: Select Knowledge.
Khosrowpour, M. (1996). Information Technology Management and Organizational Innovations. Harrisburg , Pennsylvania: Idea Group Publishing.
Kumar, M. (2009). Business Information Systems. New Delhi, India: Vikas Publishing Company.
Oz, E. (2009). Management Information Systems (6th ed.). Boston, Massaschusetts: Cengage Couse Technology.
Whiteley, D. (2013). An Introduction to Information Systems. New York, New York: Palgrave.