Your company’s MIS will only work when you have the right technology, people, process and organisational set-up.
MIS (Management Information System) is a greatly-used term these days, all around the corporate world. The demands of doing business today certainly call for collaboration between computers and human interventions. The idea of automating the various processes of an organisation does not mean that human intervention will be put on the back-burner.
In fact, it takes humans to even set up these systems, and it will also take humans to manage and maintain them. And when they are broken or become dysfunctional, humans again will be needed to fix them. These systems are typically composed of databases, secured in server rooms with electronic means of transferring and retrieving data. These compositions that make up an information system might be new to many of us, but the very function of processing information has been with us since the dawn of man.
So, the idea of Information Management does not refer to computers doing their things alone, but rather humans manipulating computers and associated components to bring out information relevant for business decisions.
In simple terms, Management Information Systems (MIS) seeks to bring together computer abilities and human interventions to provide vital information for prudent business decisions; so you have data stored on one side and an activity by some human/s on the other side. Ways of interaction include but are not limited to posting the data, retrieving the data, editing the data, and transferring the data
We are all involved in some form of MIS every day. Our daily activities include using phones to search out contacts and calling them, being on the Internet posting, reading posts and commenting. For others, it’s about daily email exchanges between themselves and colleagues or clients.
It is obvious that the above-mentioned examples of MIS engagements help us to achieve our purposes effectively. We no longer keep a notebook of contacts and refer to it in order to make calls. The contact books are now on our phones. Do you realise that you are the one who stores the names and retrieve them when you want? This is what we refer to as human manipulation of computing devices to achieve a goal.
These days, if you use any email system that does not help suggest your contacts as you begin to type in the address section you get irritated. Systems are in no doubt a blessing to us all.
The definition of what the organisation needs in terms of information systems must be a specific call from an assigned professional. The role here must take into consideration the business goals of the company and the personnel needed to support the defined system.
There is also a need to clearly understand and recommend the right technological tool/s needed to attain the defined system. This takes into consideration existing infrastructure, the needed additions and also scalability for future purposes.
When this system is implemented, there will be a need to constantly ensure the integrity of data inputted and the information it churns out.
A company’s success obviously depends on its information obtained, processed, stored and its retrievability: and there is therefore a need to ensure its security. This can be done in many ways, which include teaching users to be vigilant at every point of information transfer.
In smaller organisations the above can be handled by one person, but it is necessary to assign the above roles to separate individuals for efficiency in much bigger organisations. It must be noted that the MIS personnel play a vital role in the organisation’s business success.