In earlier times, the main levels of business capability and change were strategy, structure, processes and people but in today’s time another level has been added to the four that already exist. This invisible asset works as a key resource for the organization.
In today’s competitive business environment the key differentiator is the way organizations leverage the power of information. Material resources, human resources, monetary resources can only be utilized to the full if information is managed. Business organizations have therefore started looking at MIS beyond just as a support function. Information is now being used to provide insights to decision-makers so that better and informed decisions can be taken. Entire subject areas like data mining, data warehousing and business intelligence have been developed on this premise of information as a resource. More and more organizations are now digging into their own data to make predictions about the future. Decision-making techniques have vastly evolved as well and rely more on analytics for support rather than just judgment and experience as was the case in the past. Today the modern manager has the luxury of scenario analysis, what if analysis, business dashboard, etc., to visualize the effects of his decisions on the various simulated scenarios. Scenarios can now be built so that managers not only have a single plan of action but multiple plans to suit multiple other likely scenarios. This has helped to reduce uncertainty and therefore improve the bottom line.
Some important concepts need to be defined here before we move forward. Concepts like information, management, information systems and information technology are used often to describe information related concepts and issues used in an organization. They are defined below:
Information Management is a business and process driven concept in which the focus is on leveraging information for using it to take decisions, on the quality of such information that is provided and the integrity of the information. it is the scientific organization of data (by capturing storing, analyzing, retrieving and disseminating) and information for use within an organization.
Information system it is systems based concept that focuses on transactions, events and data. It is the systematic process involving information gathering, storing, processing, retrieving and disseminating, which ensures repeatability of good quality information’ supply within an organization.
Information technology is the broad set of technologies/technology disciplines like computer science and engineering, telecommunication, electronics, etc., which aid in information management.