The degree of success of any information management initiative or intervention in an organization depends upon the approach of the management of the organization towards such an initiative. If the approach is short term and the benefits or objectives envisaged is too narrow, then the information system remains only of marginal value.
On the other hand if the management is fully convinced of the need for such a system and gives it wholehearted support and backing, then naturally the process of information system development is adhered to in a more comprehensive manner, with proper planning, listing of objectives, proper analysis and design and proper implementation. This result in a superior information system that can not only fulfill the information needs of the organization in the present but can also continue to serve the organization in times to come.
The objectives and deliverables planned for such a system is well structured and the user, i.e., the managers who are involved in the planning and designing stage of the development process of the information system. There is no gap in the expectations and deliverables. This means that there is no misunderstanding between what the managers want from the system and what the developer designs the system to deliver. This leads to greater acceptability of the system within the organization and leads to greater return on investment as far as the organization is concerned. The training required for the managers is also much less if they are involved in the process of development.
Also the role of the top management comes to a focus in the development process. The top management by giving its full support may choose to send a message to the entire organization that leads to greater acceptability of the system and a lesser resistance to change. If the top management is ambivalent, problems of acceptability and conflict arise. Information systems are known to cause conflict, resulting from a resistance to change of mindset amongst employees. This behavior may to an extent be controlled without human resource intervention if the top management support is not only given to the project but also made well known across the organization. This means that communication is needed for the system and the support of the top management should be well communicated to the employees to gain greater acceptability and a smooth transition.
Most organizations choose to outsource the work of development of information systems to specialized IT firms. This brings to the fore the necessity to control the outsourcing process. The problem with the strategy of outsourcing the development work of information systems is that the outsourced agency may not understand the specific internal requirements of the organization. Specialized IT consulting firms are available to control this process on behalf of the organization. Typically, the IT consulting firm studies the needs of the organization and prepares a design document in consultation with the users, i.e., the managers of the organization and then the IT development firm develops the system by adhering to the design. Suitable control is exercised by the organization in which this information system will be implemented in the form of discussions, ratification of prototypes, etc., along with controls exercised by the IT consulting firm like comparison of design with the actual development. This ensures that the product is prepared as per plan and that any deviations are noticed during the development stage and not during the implementation stage. This ensures that corrective measures can be taken to rectify the mistakes, if any, without much on cost or time.
In some cases, the organization may choose to develop the information system with its own resources. This is difficult as in today’s world the technological development has been sogreat in these areas of information technology and communication technology that it may be almost impossible for normal organizations, i.e., whose main job is not IT consulting or IT development to garner the technical expertise of an IT development firm and then develop a system from scratch. This will not only be very costly for the organization but may lead to unreliable results. In such a case, the managerial objectives will be clear and well adhered to but the technical objectives may suffer.