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What is Strategic Management Information System and its Characteristics.
Strategic Management Information System
Strategic MIS is the set of systems which are considered critical to the current or future business competitiveness, and hence the survival of an organization. Strategic MIS also supplies an organization with business intelligence. In other words, if an information system is used in creative ways to achieve goals and fulfill set organizational missions, it can be considered to be a strategic MIS. Strategic MIS can be external or internal systems. External strategic MIS are used mainly by external quantities in the business environment, such as customers, suppliers, distributors etc and have a value added component that gives developers some time to reap the benefits of the system innovation.
Internal strategic MIS is used by employees within the organization and do not have value added component. The employees focus on issues such as improving the quality of products, services and also enhancing the decision making capabilities of managers. Such systems are used at all levels in the organization and they have long term implications for the firm and also for the business processes within the firm.
In general, Strategic MIS can be divided into 3 categories:
1. Systems that focus on innovation for competitive edge
2. Systems that use information as a weapon
3. Systems that increase productivity and lower the costs of goods and services
Characteristics of Strategic Management Information System
There are three common characteristics in all Strategic Management Information System
(a) Telecommunication as a central part of Strategic Management Information System Telecommunications is a vital part of SMIS. Successful organizations transcended traditional organizational boundaries and eliminated the barriers of time and space through the use of telecommunications. However, developing and implementing information systems that rely heavily on telecommunications is a challenging task and often becomes one of the bottlenecks for the development of SMIS.
(b) Reliance on a number of vendors for providing information technologies – For teTration of complex technologies to develöp an SMS, a number of vendors are mirgin many cases. Therefore, one of the ingredients of an MIS is the ability to identify, coordinate and manage transactions with a number of vendors and effectively bring together diverse technologies to achieve a goal.
(c) Cooperation among a number of organizations – Interorganizational systems are those systems which are shared by more than two organizations, in terms of cooperation and collaboration rather than competition. Such ventures often result in powerful systems enhancing productivity. reduction in operating costs, increased market share, creating new partnerships, especially for organizations that conduct business transactions in the global market
Barriers to Successful Development of Strategic Management Information System:
Chris Kemerer and Glen Sosa, from the Sloan school of management, identified 12 barriers to successful development of Strategic MIS. These barriers tall into 3 categories:
(1) Problem definition barriers
(a) Generating workable idea require leadership and team work
(b) Many innovative ideas are technically infeasible
(c) Many innovative ideas are prohibitively expensive
(d) Many ideas die because they lack a sufficient market
(2) Implementation barriers
(a) Telecommunications increases the complexity of implementing SMIS
(b) Multiple systems are difficult to integrate (c) Strategic MIS systems often require inter organizational cooperation
(d) State of the art technologies are difficult to implement.
3) Maintenance barriers
(a) Competitors can copy SMIS
(b) Unanticipated demand can overwhelm the usefulness of an SMIS
(c) Applications can be expensive to maintain or enhance
(d) High exit barriers can cause devastating losses
Organizations with limited financial resources technological sophistication organizational flexibility are likely to face one or more of the above mentioned barriers.
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