ISM3015CBE Rasmussen College Management Information Systems Paper

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What does MIS do within IT?

Management Information Systems(MIS) is the Information TechnologyFILLER TEXTwhich enables business intelligence and operations. MIS is not limited to computing but includes people, products, and processes. MIS might be considered a strategic vision for how raw data can become real knowledge. While no business can rely solely on MIS for their success in the marketplace, the most successful companies in the world such as Amazon and Google have capitalized on this capability.

Because MIS is able to transform raw data into knowledge, managers at all levels of business are able to leverage this critical information for decision making and planning. Information systems are constantly collecting and storing data. Companies that deploy MIS are able to capture and capitalize on this data-capture.

MIS is also used as a competitor analysis tool allowing your business to compare consumer trends based upon real-time and stored data points.

MIS Approaches

The MIS model continues to be dynamic and adaptable, however, for the purpose of conceptual understanding we will consider two views or approaches of MIS:

  • Organizational Functional SystemsFILLER TEXTThink about your business and its functional areas such as logistics or marketing. Each functional area of business will drive the need for MIS capability which means that each functional area will require Information Technology systems, personnel, and MIS policies.
  • Marketing: Competitor analytics, demographics, forecasting, and sales performance.
  • Logistics: Asset inventory, supply chain analytics, product-distribution.
  • Human Resources: Secure PII storage, salary and pay management, Paid Time Off, performance evaluation.
  • Finance: Accounting, real-time analytics, benchmarks, budget forecasting.
  • Information Technology: Data processing and analytics, storage, security, back-up.
  • Activity Systems StructureFILLER TEXTUsing a different methodology, MIS may be arrayed into activities.
  • Planning (Strategic and Tactical): This is the process of providing short and long-term strategies, goals and objectives. MIS places a crucial role in business by providing analytics for past performance as well as projections for future competition and market strategies. Tactical planning is considered short-term which strategic planning is long term.
  • Business Transactions: Monetary, logistics, and operational. These are the systems required to perform internal and external transactions.
  • Managerial: Any system required to perform management functions such as resource allocation and distribution.

Operational:

Day-to-day business processing system support functions for activities and performance.

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The MIS Modal

Using the MIS model, each functional or organizational area of business has specific IT requirements. Each functional area must be integrated. Financial databases must be able to access, read and write data in the logistics functional sub-system. MIS systems cannot be stove-piped! Each system and sub-system should be interoperable and integrated in order to be efficient and sustainable.

Key Goals and Objectives:

  • SustainabilityFILLER TEXTAny MIS business strategy should ensure that IT systems are able to support the business long-term goals. Procuring IT systems to support short-term projects and goals is not sustainable. Systems that can scale to the changing needs of a business are sustainable and cost-effective.
  • IntegrityFILLER TEXTMIS systems must be reliable and provide data integrity. Businesses must have a secure environment in which data is protected from external and internal threats. Business must trust that the data being received is the same data that was sent.
  • TimelinessFILLER TEXTEnsuring that data is always available from any place and at any time is the goal of MIS. Business must ensure that data is classified or categorized into data-types that can then be prioritized.
  • Data type 1: Data must be available immediately
  • Data type 2: Data is available within 60 minutes
  • Data type 3: Data is available when possible

It is imperative that businesses fully implement and integrate MIS into the overall strategic business strategy. MIS is much more about people and leadership then it is about automation. MIS is a strategic capability that when properly implemented makes business more efficient!

The Importance of Disaster Recovery Plans

The reliability and resilience of IT systems have never been more essential for success as businesses cope with the forces of globalization, 24/7 operations, government and trade regulations, global recession, and overextended IT budgets and resources. Any unexpected downtime in today’s business environment has the potential to cause both short and long-term costs with far-reaching consequences. In conjunction with building redundant and reliable information systems, disaster recovery is the strategy that enables full recovery from catastrophic outages.

Disaster recovery planning should be built into the Business Continuity Plan.Disaster recovery provides the immediate reaction to system outages by providing redundant systems, policies, procedures andpersonnel to resume MIS as quickly as possible and with limited impact to business operations. Given the reliability of information systems in the context of E-Business, disaster recovery is the primary component of any business continuity plan!

What types of disasters are we talking about?

Any outage to the MIS that impacts business continuity falls within the scope of disaster recovery. Impacts from the weather, electrical outages, floods, fires, etc., are all examples of external disasters that can disrupt MIS. Outages can also be caused by human error such as configuration updates that do not perform as planned. There are adversarial threats, both internal and external, in which our information systems are subject to exploitation via hacking. MIS outages or disasters are critically important to the long-term survival of any business.

Although natural disasters may appear to be the most devastating causes of MIS outages, they are hardly the most frequent or most expensive. Costs of downtime are not only associated with lost revenues, but also with financial performance, damage to reputations, and even travel or legal expenses. A few questions managers should ask when determining the cost of downtime are:

  • How many transactions can the company afford to lose without significantly harming business?
  • Does the company depend upon one or more mission-critical applications to conduct business?
  • How much revenue will the company lose for every hour a critical application is unavailable?
  • What is the productivity cost associated with each hour of downtime?
  • How will collaborative business processes with partners, suppliers, and customers be affected by an unexpected IT outage?
  • What is the total cost of lost productivity and lost revenue during unplanned downtime?

Planning for Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery can be quite expensive to plan for which is why outsourcing MIS or leveraging cloud-technology is an attractive alternative. Disaster recovery entails the availability of a full replication of a company’s existing data and services to an alternative and geographically separate location. In order for this model to be most effective, data must be regularly replicated or backed up to the DR site. There are three general categories or types of DR sites: hot sites, warm sites, and cold sites.

  • Hot siteFILLER TEXTThe most expensive and difficult is the hot site because this configuration requires a fully functional and manned MIS capability that can immediately assume business operations once an outage with the primary MIS occurs. Hot sites remain fully operational in parallel with the primary MIS. User data and configurations are regularly backed up or copied to the hot site.
  • Warm siteFILLER TEXTThis type of DR site provides contingent operations, however, this configuration is not able to “immediately” provide MIS functionality. Warm sites may not have a full physical replication or hardware and software. Configurations and user data may not be up-to-date.
  • Cold siteFILLER TEXTThis configuration merely consists of the facilities needed to operate the MIS. Cold sites do not include any IT infrastructure. Cold sites take considerable time to get operational and cause the biggest delay to business operations. Cold sites are the least expensive.

FILLER TEXT. Disaster recovery is not just to protect against weather events such as hurricanes but includes any unexpected outage that impacts business operations. The risk of not developing a DR plan can be insurmountable or irrecoverable for a small company. Develop the DR plan, keep it up-to-date and train.

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