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Unit 1: Introduction to MIS
• The MIS is defined as an integrated system of man and machine
for providing the information to support the operations, the
management and the decision making function in the
• The MIS is defined as a system based on the database of the
organization evolved for the purpose of providing information
to the people in the organization.
• The MIS is defined as a computer-based information system.
• The MIS is a computerized business processing system
gathering information for the people in the organization to meet
the information needs for decision making to achieve the
corporate objectives of the organization.
• The initial concept of MIS was to process data from the
organization and present it in the form of reports at regular
intervals. It was impersonal, requiring each individual to pick
and choose processed data and use it for his requirements. This
concept was further modified when a distinction was made
between data and information.
• The information is a product of an analysis of data. This
concept is similar to a raw material and the finished product.
The system should present information in such a form and
format that it creates an impact on its user, provoking a decision
or an investigation.
• The concept was then evolved that the system should be capable
of handling a need based exception reporting. This need may be
an individual or a group of people. Keeping all data together in
such a form that it can be accessed by anybody and can be
processed to suit his needs. This concept is that the data is one
but it can be viewed by different individuals in different ways.
• Over a period of time, the concept of the end user computing
using multiple databases emerged. This concept brought a
fundamental change in MIS. The change was decentralization of
the system. The concept of MIS changed to a decision making
system. The job in a computer department is to manage the
information resource and leave the task of information
processing to the user.
• The concept of MIS in today’s world is a system which handles
the databases, provides computing facilities to the end user and
gives a variety of decision making tools to the end user of the
• The concept of MIS gives high regard (attention) to the
individual and his ability to use information.
Role of MIS:
• The role of the MIS is similar to the role of heart in the body.
The information is the blood and MIS is the heart. It regulates
and controls the incoming impure blood, processes it and sends
it to the destination in the quality needed. It fulfils the needs of
blood supply to human body in normal course and also in crisis.
The MIS plays exactly the same role in the organization. The
system ensures that an appropriate data is collected from the
various sources, processed, and send further to all the needy
• The MIS satisfies the diverse needs through a variety of systems
such as Query System, Analysis Systems, Modeling Systems
and Decision Support Systems. The MIS helps in strategic
planning, Management Control, Operational Control and
• The MIS helps the clerical personnel in the transaction
processing and answers their queries on the data pertaining (to
be concerned with sth) to the transaction, the status of a
particular record and references on a variety of documents.
• The MIS helps the junior management personnel by providing
the operational data for planning, scheduling and control and
helps them further in decision making at the operations level to
correct an out of control situation.
• The MIS helps the middle management in short term planning,
target setting and controlling the business functions.
• The MIS helps the top management in goal setting, strategic
planning and evolving the business plans and their
• The MIS plays the role of information generation,
communication, problem identification and help in the process
of decision making. The MIS plays a vital role in management,
administration and operations of an organization.
Impact of MIS:
Since the MIS plays a very important role in the organization,
it creates an impact on the organization’s functions,
performance and productivity.
The impact of MIS on the functions is in its management.
With a good MIS support, the management of marketing,
finance, production and personnel becomes more efficient.
The tracking and monitoring of the functional targets become
easy. The functional managers are informed about the
progress, achievements and shortfalls in the activity and the
The MIS creates another impact in the organization which
relates to the understanding of the business itself. The MIS
begins with the definition of a data entity and its attributes.
The MIS calls for a systemization of the business operations
for an effective system design. It improves the administration
of the business by bringing a discipline in its operations of as
everybody is required to follow and use systems and
Since the goals and objectives of the MIS are the products of
business goals and objectives, it helps indirectly to pull the
entire organization in one direction towards the corporate
goals and objectives by providing the relevant information to
the people in the organization.
Management as a Control System:
Planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, directing and
controlling are the various steps in a management process.
All the steps prior to a control are necessary but are not
necessarily self assuring the results unless it is followed by a
strong control mechanism. These steps can be viewed as
Management Control System.
A definition of control is the process through which
managers assure that actual activities conform to the planned
activities, leading to the achievement of the stated common
The basic steps of the control process are given in the figure
The control system is essential to meet the environmental
changes, to meet the complexity of today’s business, to
correct the mistakes made by the people, and to effectively
monitor the delegation process.
MIS Support for Management:
The management process is executed through a variety of
decisions taken at each step of planning, organizing, staffing,
directing, coordinating and control.
The decisions required to be taken in these steps are tabulated
Planning A selection from various alternatives-
strategies, resources, methods etc.
Organization A selection of a combination out of
several combinations of the goals,
people, resources, method, and
Staffing Providing a proper manpower
Directing Choosing a method from the various
methods of directing the efforts in the
Coordinating Choice of the tools and the techniques
for coordinating the efforts for optimum
Controlling A selection of the exceptional
conditions and the decision guidelines.
The objective of the MIS is to provide information for a
decision support in the process of management. It should help
in such a way that the business goals are achieved in the most
While the environment factors are difficult to control, it is left
for the management to change its philosophy towards the
various players in the business, VIZ the employees, the
consumers, the suppliers, the government, the community
and the shareholders. Basically it is a change in attitude
towards these players. [If the attitude to treat the employees
as business partners, you will empower them and create a
sense of belonging to the organization.]
If the attitude towards the consumer is changed to fulfill the
expectations giving rise to a higher satisfaction, then the
management practices in the product design, manufacturing
and marketing will undergo a significant change.
The management practices, therefore, emerge out of the
management’s philosophy and the environment, in which it
operates. The management effectiveness, would largely
depend on both these factors. MIS design would therefore be
different depending upon the management practices followed
by several organizations in the same industry. Such design
improves the management effectiveness leading to an
improvement in the enterprise effectiveness.
Organization as a System:
A system is an assembly of elements arranged in a logical
order to achieve certain objectives. The organization is also a
system of people.
The individuals in the organization are selected in terms of
number, quality and ability and are placed in hierarchical
order to plan and execute the business activities to achieve
certain goals and objectives.
The arrangement of task in terms of process and work design
is dependent on the people. The choice of technology of
handling the task is dependent on the people. You may
choose the best technology and well designed task, but they
have to be suited for the people.
The organization continuously exchanges the information
with the environment and is influenced by the changes in it.
The organization, therefore, has to be built in such a fashion
that it adjusts with the changes in the environment and that
the goals and objectives are achieved.
The systems and their goals are not stable. The goals changes
in response to the changes in the business focus, the
environment and in the people in the organization. A
significant change calls for change in the organization
structure. A goal displacement is said to have occurred when
the system goal replace the organization system goals. When
a goal displacement occurs, it affects the organization’s goals
Unit 2: Strategic Management of Business:
A plan is a determined course of action to be taken in future.
It is a document containing the details of how the action will
be executed, and it is made against a time scale.
The setting of the goals and the objectives is the primary task
of the management without which planning can not begin.
Planning is a dynamic process. As the future becomes the
present reality, the course of action decided earlier may
require a change.
Planning involves a chain of decisions, one dependent on the
other, since it deals with a long term period. A successful
implementation of a plan means the execution of these
decisions in a right manner one after another.
Planning, in terms of future, can be long-range or short-
range. Long-range planning is for a period of five years or
more, while short-range planning is for one year at the most.
The long-range planning is more concerned about the
business as a whole, and deals with subjects like the growth
and the rate of growth, the direction of business, a business
share and so on.
The short-range planning is more concerned with the
attainment of the business results of the year. It could be in
terms of action by certain business tasks, such as launching
of a new product, starting a manufacturing facility,
completing the project and so on.
Corporate business planning deals with the corporate
business goals and objectives. The business may be a
manufacturing or a service; it may deal with the industry or
trade; may operate in a public or a private sector; may be
national or international business. Corporate business
planning is a necessity in all cases.
The corporate business planning deals with a company, its
universe is beyond the company.
The corporate business plan considers the world trends in the
business, the industry, the technology, the international
markets, the national priorities, the competitors, the business
Planning, therefore, is a complex exercise of steering the
company through the complexities, the difficulties and the
uncertainties towards the attainment of goals and objectives.
The following reasons make planning an essential management
process to keep the business in a good shape and condition:
1. Market Forces:
It is very difficult to predict the market forces such as the
demand and supply, the trend of the market growth, the
consumer behavior and the choices, the emergence of new
products and new product concepts. The market forces affect
the sales, the growth and the profitability.
2. Technical Change:
There are number of illustrative cases throughout the world
on the technological breakthroughs and changes which have
threatened the current business creating new business
opportunities. The emergence of the microchip, laser
technology, fiber optics technology, wireless communication,
turbo engines are the examples which have made some
products obsolete (no longer used, out of date), threatening
the current business, but at the same time, have created new
3. Complex Diversity of Business:
The scope of business is wide, touching many fronts. The
variety of products, the different market segments, the various
methods of manufacturing, the multiple locations, the transport,
the communication, the manufacturing resources brings
complexity in the management of business. Unless there is a
proper planning, prepared with due consideration to the diverse
and complex nature of business, handling these factors is not
possible. This might lead to loss of business opportunity.
Facing competition in the business means fighting on a
number of fronts. Competition could be direct or indirect. It
may share the market or create a new product which will shift
the market affecting your business. The companies compete
on the merits such as the know how (practical knowledge,
skill or experience in sth), quality, prompt delivery, after
sales service etc.
Competition is a natural phenomenon in business, and it has
to be dealt within a proper manner to protect business
interests. This means that the management has to
continuously evolve new strategies to deal with the
The environment is beyond the control of management. It
could be one of the social, businesses, economic, industrial,
technological environments affecting the business. The
environmental changes are difficult to predict and are
The introduction of television has adversely (not favorable,
opposing) affected the film industry. Personal computers are
fast replacing the typewriters on account of changing office
Planning does not eliminate the risk but provides an effective
tool to face it. Business planning therefore is absolute
essential for the survival of the business.
Development of the Business Strategies:
Like any other business activity, planning also has a process
and methodology. It begins with deciding the social
responsibility, and proceeds to spell out the business mission
and goals, and the strategies to achieve them.
In the very beginning of the planning process, it is necessary
to establish and communicate to all concerned, the social and
economic responsibilities of the organization. In order to
discharge these responsibilities, it is necessary to decide the
mission of the organization. The mission or aim sets the
direction of the organization and decide the scope and the
boundaries of the business.
The task after deciding the mission is to set goal(s) for the
organization. The goal is more specific and has a time scale
of three to five years. The goals become a reference for the
top management in planning the business activities.
After determining the mission and the goals, the next task is
to set various objectives for the organization. The objectives
are described in terms of business results to be achieved in a
short duration of a year or two. Objectives may be
profitability, the sales, the quality standard etc. When
achieved the objectives will contribute to the accomplish of
The next step in the planning process is to set targets for
more detailed working and reference. The targets may be
monthly for the sales, production, inventory(detailed list of
sth) and so on.
The success in achieving the goals and objectives are the
environmental factors such as the technology, the markets,
the life style, the work culture, the policies of the government
and so on. A strategy helps to meet the external forces
affecting the business development effectively and further
ensures that the goals and the objectives are achieved.
Type of Strategies:
Strategies can be classified into four broad classes:
1. Overall Company Strategy:
This strategy considers a very long term business perspective
and deals with the strength of the entire company. It is the
most productive strategy, if chosen correctly and
fatal(causing disaster) if chosen wrongly.
The other strategies act under the overall company strategy.
To illustrate the overall company strategy, following examples
• A two wheeler manufacturing company will have a
strategy of mass production and an aggressive
• A computer manufacturer will have a strategy of adding
new products every two or three years.
• A company can have a strategy of remaining in the low
price range and catering (to try to satisfy a particular
need or demand) to the masses.
2. Growth Strategy:
An organization may grow in two different ways. Growth
may either means the growth of the existing business
turnover year after year, or it may means the expansion and
diversification of the business.
Growth strategy means the selection of a product with a very
fast growth potential. It means choice of industries such as
electronics, communication, transport, textile, plastic and so
on where the growth potential exists for expansion,
diversification and integration. The growth strategy means
acquisition of business of the other firm and opening new
3. Product Strategy:
A product strategy means choice of a product, which can
expand as a family of products and provide the basis for
adding associated products.
The product strategy can be innovated continuously for new
markets. Some examples are as follows:
a) A company producing pressure cookers enters the business
of making ovens, boilers, washing machines and mixers- the
product for home market.
b) A company producing a low price detergent powder enters
the business of washing soap and bath soap.
4. Market Strategy:
The marketing strategies deal with the distribution, services,
market research, pricing, advertising, packing and choice of the
Some examples of marketing strategies are as follows:
a) Many companies adopt the strategy of providing after sales
service of the highest order. They may offer a free after sales
service or establish service organizations to solve customer
complaints and problems.
b) A company can offer its products in different packages
keeping in mind the customer budget.
Short-range planning deals with the targets and the objectives
of the organization. Based on the goals and the objectives, a
short-range plan provide the scheme for implementation of
the long-range plan.
Short-range plans are made for one year in terms of the
targets which are to be achieved within the given budget. A
manufacturing organization will make targets for production,
sales, capacity, etc. Most of the companies after deciding the
targets, work on the budgets.
A budget gives details of the resources required to achieve
the targets. The companies prepare budgets for sales,
production, expenses, capital expenditure, raw materials,
The budgets are used as a control mechanism. The person
responsible for the budget is informed regularly whether the
performance is below the budget or above.
The budgets act as self-motivating tools for achieving the
operational performance. It induces (to cause sth) action on
the part of the manager if his performance is under the
budget. All the budgets when computed in the monetary
terms results into financial budgets.
The advantages of short-range planning with the help of
budgets are as follows:
a) It gives the manager a clear target of achievement.
b) It specifies to the manager the resources allocation for a
given task and the freedom to use it.
c) It helps the manager with information on the
performance whether it is under or over the budget.
d) It provides an efficient tool to coordinate all the efforts
within the organization.
Tools of Planning:
When we talk about the tools of planning, we are talking
about the tools of decision-making reference to planning.
There are a number of alternatives, choices, options available
while planning the business. Further, there is selection of
resources and their allocation in an optimum manner to
maximize the gains.
The planning, therefore, involves decision-making with the
help of tools. These tools are based on one of more factors.
These factors are:
Creativity comes out of an experience, a judgment, an
intuition of an individual or group of individuals.
Creativity is the result of the conceptual skills of an
individual. The conceptual skills comprises the
1. The ability to generate a number of ideas rapidly.
2. The ability to change quickly from one frame
reference to another.
3. Originally in interpreting an event and generating
different views on the situation.
4. The ability to handle with clarity and ease a
complex relationship of various factors in a given
b) System Approach:
System approach to planning considers all the factors and
their inter-relationship relevant to the subject. It takes a
course to an analytical study of the total system, generates
alternative course of action and helps to select the best in
the given circumstances.
The systems approach helps to understand the situation
with clarity. It helps to find solutions to problems.
The systems approach has the following characteristics:
1. It uses all the areas and the branches of knowledge.
2. It follows a scientific analysis to identify the problem.
3. It uses a model of a complex situation to handle the
4. It weights cost against benefit for assessment of the
5. It considers the environment and its impact on the
c) Sensitivity Analysis:
The sensitivity analysis helps to test the validity of the
solution in variable conditions. The problem situation is
handled with certain assumptions and conditions.
Sensitivity analysis required to know whether the solution
will still remain valid if the assumption changed and new
The sensitivity analysis helps to test the validity of the
optimal solution under changed conditions.
A model is a meaningful representation of a real situation, on
a mini scale, where only the significant factors of the
situations are highlighted. The purpose of a model is to
understand complex situation based on only the significant
The model could be a physical model, like a model of a
house, a park, a sport complex etc. The model could be a
scale model reducing a large body to small one. The model
could be mathematical model like breakeven analysis model,
network model etc. Here a situation is represented in a
mathematical form such as equations, matrices, graphics etc.
A model needs to be treated for its utility or effectiveness.
The model can be tested by using the control results already
Strategic Analysis of Business:
The business today is competitive. The parameters of
competition change from time to time calling upon the
management of business to make conscious continuous
efforts to competitive.
The business continuous to be competitive so long as it has a
competitive advantage in one or more aspects of the business.
The competitive advantage may be price, quality, service,
product and so on or combination of these factors.
The five forces which drive an organization in competitive
• Business rivalry(to be as good as sth/sb)
• Threat from substitute product or service
• Threat of new entrants
• Bargaining power of suppliers
• Bargaining power of customers
These forces are handled effectively by analyzing business of
the organization in different manner, and building strategies,
which offer a competitive advantage.
The manner in which such advantage can be built is to use
one or a combination of following five strategic options:
• Create barriers to entry
• Reduce cost of product process
• Differentiate product or service
• Improve quality of offer
• Innovate to move up on value chain
MIS for strategic business planning:
Business environment is prone to change and this factor
makes business planning very complex. MIS is designed to
assess and monitor the factors such as the market forces,
technological changes and competition. MIS design is
required to keep a watch on environment factors and provide
information to the management for a strategy formation.
There are various business strategies such as overall company
growth, product, market, financing and so on. MIS should
provide the relevant information that would help the
management in deciding the type of strategies the business
MIS is supposed to provide current information on the status
of the business. It is supposed to give a status with regard to
whether the business is on a growth path or is likely to
decline. [For example, when a business is on a growth path, it
would require a mix of price, product and market strategies.
If a business is showing a decline, it would need a mix of
price-discount, sales promotion and advertising strategies.]
In business planning, MIS should provide support to top
management for focusing its attention on decision-making
and action. The MIS should provide early warning to change
the focus of the management from one aspect to the other.
The task of the top management is to evolve the strategies as
well as to provide the necessary resources to implement the
strategies. The MIS should provide information on resources,
costs, quality and availability, for deciding the cost effective
When the strategies are being implemented, it is necessary
that the management gets a continuous feedback. MIS is
supposed to give a critical feedback on the strategy
Unit 3: Information Security Challenges in e- enterprises:
Security Threats and Vulnerability:-
In e-enterprises there is a heavy use of technology that
includes information technology, networks, internet and web,
database management, telecommunication and so on.
The storage of data, information, program, packages, reports
and information products is electronic and is either on hard
disks on servers or compact disks.
Electronic medium, whether online or offline is vulnerable to
The vulnerability of systems to security threats can be met
effectively only with security management systems (SMS)
with specific following objectives:-
• Minimize the loss of physical and information assets.
• Minimize the loss of business or business opportunities.
• Ensure system integrity (honest and strong moral) and
reliability of data.
• Keep quality of information systems highest.
• Recover fast from any disaster.
Threats to information systems are caused from sources and
reasons. All the reasons can be put in three classes. They are:
1. Failure of systems:
Hardware, software, network failures are not uncommon
causing non-availability of the system to the users.
Hardware failure is due to poor unkempt and maintenance.
Software failure is due to bad quality, and poor maintenance
and incorrect, erroneous and incomplete user actions.
System failure is also caused by not providing power backup
devices to control power and frequency variations.
2. Human Actions:
Information systems are more vulnerable to human actions.
Information systems are used by internal personnel of the
organization as well as by outside personnel who have been
given access to it for limited purpose.
These actions could be wrong accidentally, or purposely with
intention of theft, copying, damaging, and corrupting the
information and system. The result of such human actions is
non-availability of the system, some data and information of
Human action could be wrong if unauthorized personnel from
within of outside the organization access the system.
3. Natural Calamities:
Information systems are also insecure in the event of
destruction due to natural calamities like fire, earthquake,
floods and so on.
It may result in total loss of the system: both hardware and
software, data files and reports. The effects of such impact is
not easily manageable for the system to make up and run for
Control Security Threat and Vulnerability:
To control the threats to information system and the degree of
vulnerability by reducing significantly the incidence of
failures, erroneous human actions and predict and prepare for
contingencies (an event that may or may not happen) to
minimize the damaging impact of natural calamities.
SMS is a configuration of manual or automated measures that
protect information systems and assure the performance as
Manual measures include security policies, procedures, rules,
and operations discipline, which create awareness about
security and enforces administrative discipline in work
process across the organization.
Automated measures such as smart cards, Id’s, view monitors
and such other devices are built in security mechanism for
1. Security controls:
Security controls could be manual or automated through a
computer system. Automated controls check the quality of input in
terms of valid source, and for completeness of the data.
2. Fault Tolerant Computer Systems:
These systems contain redundant hardware, software, power
supply to take over if the one in use fails to service the
3. Physical Access Control:
Access to servers, PCs, and other sensitive installations
and storage area is restricted and only allowed on authorization
from the management.
4. Monitoring the Usage:
Monitoring keeps track of users access, files referred, read and
5. Employee Evaluation:
The greatest risk to security is from insider of the organization.
Their selection and appointment should be after in depth scrutiny
(thorough examination) of past record and references.
6. Application of Biometric Security:
Each individual user has unique physical traits, which can be
used, as key to control access as well as to identify who has
accessed the files and records. The physical traits (distinguishing
characteristics) are fingerprints, hand geometry and style of
7. Virus Entry Protection:
A virus is a hidden program that gets entry through network and
forces the system to clone the virus. They are capable of damaging
data, erasing files or formatting disk and so on. Antivirus software
products are available to prevent the entry of virus.
Management Security Threat in E-Business:
Modern organization uses Internet and public networks for E-
Business. All the hardware and software on the network is
challenged by security threats.
The vulnerability of the E-Business systems, applications and
processes increases due to very nature of its openness to
internal people as well as to outside people.
The security measures in E-Business have to be e-enabled.
Measures so far successful are the following:-
A firewall is placed between private networks such
as LAN/MAN and external network, Internet. The role of
firewall is to control access to internal network sought by the
Encryption is the process of making information
not understandable to all except authorized user or receipt. It
is used to make the communication highly meaningless to
Authentication provides ability to individual to
conform that other party is genuine as claimed in
d. Digital Signature:
Digital signature is a digital code attached to the
communication. It helps verify the origin and sender.
In spite of all care taken to secure information technology
infrastructure, there is an element of risk due to certain
unforeseen circumstance, or unpredictable and uncontrollable
cause damaging information assets of the organization. To
counter this threat, management resorts (to make use of sth
esp sth bad) to disaster management plan (DMP).
The objective to DMP is not only to start the system again
but start properly from a stage when it is stopped. DMP
species the procedure of recovery action when disaster
DMP plan includes measures such as following:
a) Alternative processing arrangements.
b) Duplicate and offsite storage of data, hardware and
c) Choice of system and application, which should run, in
A brief summary of certain actions to meet security threats
are given below:
Threats to facilities and structure:
Earthquakes, fire, explosions, floods and such other events.
Power failure and power related problems.
Damage by disgruntled (angry) employees.
Unauthorized use of IT structure.
Place critical hardware on higher floor.
Design buildings for the natural threats.
Store sensitive data, applications, offside in a different
Provide security training to employee.
Provide dedicated power lines with UPS.
Install close circuit cameras.
Use biometric access controls and IDs.
Threats to Database and DBMS:
Corruption of data.
Theft of data.
Use of antivirus software.
Restricted authority to update, delete.
Limited, authorized access to database.
Dedicated DB administrator.
MIS and Security Challenges:-
There are three main security areas, Data, Database and
Application where security mechanism must execute its
control to assure the security of Information assets.
Backing up a data is an essential security measures, easy to
implement by policy. Data has gained intrinsic (belonging
naturally to sb/sth) value, either in the manpower needed to
generate that data or in the significance of that data to your
customers. Data loss, both accidental and due to theft, it is a heavy
cost and risk to business.
Database often lie within the organization boundary and are
generally protected through ‘firewall system’. A database is
considered to be secure if it assures the confidentiality, integrity
and availability of the information stored.
The database is insecure due to following reasons:
a) Data tampering (interfere with/without authoring):
The confidentiality and integrity of information is at risk
due to its tampering during its transmission from one location to
b) Data Theft:
The data theft is a possibility from organization’s people
if they identify such a weakest link to penetrate.
c) Password-related threats:
In large systems, application users must remember
multiple passwords for different applications and services that
they are authorized to use.
d) Unauthorized access to Data:
The risk of accessing the confidential data is very high if
access control by selective control, user Vs data is absent.
Application security flaw (a fault or weakness) can undo
(loosen) the good work done by infrastructure security
components. Application level attacks often cannot be prevented
or detected by infrastructure security components. Infrastructure
security components can ensure confidentiality and integrity of
sensitive data intended for critical servers and meant for prevail
(superior) age users.
4. Information Technology Impact on Society:
Impact of IT on Privacy:
• Privacy is the right of individual to hold back certain
information about self without disclosure and allow it to be
collected with the consent (permission) with the assurance that
it would remain protected from unauthorized access.
• Information technology is playing a mission critical role in the
life of individual. Individual is a member of the family, a social
group and organization. An individual during the course of the
working provides lot of personal data, and information about
others. This information could be about credit/debit card, e-mail
address, telephone numbers, bank account number and so on.
• IT is capable of finding access to this data, download and
process it in some manner and create an information set about
an individual without the knowledge of that individual. This is
termed as privacy violation or breach (breaking of law) of
• In the process of business execution, data about individual is
collected as a requirement for processing the transaction.
• When goods are sold, address, phone number, credit card
information is collected from the consumer for billing, and post
• Most people prefer to maintain their personal data in most
secured place so that privacy violation is almost impossible.
The organizations which are collecting this data, have an ethical
and moral obligation (a law that forces one to do sth) to protect
the interest and wishes of the individuals whose data they are
using for a known requirements.
• Some precautionary measures, actions are to be taken by an
individual as under:
1. Check why personal data is required?
2. Get commitment on what use it would be put to?
3. Declare your choice where data should not be used without your
4. Do not give credit card number, PAN number that identifies you
5. Sign a privacy agreement/contract with the organization or
obtain a standard privacy agreement signed by the party.
Ethics: (a study of moral principles or rules of behavior)
• Ethics is a study of the principles and practices, which guide to
decide whether the action taken is morally right or wrong.
Ethics is about values and human behavior. The values (moral
or professional standards of behavior, principle) and human
behavior is primary regulated by various legal provisions.
• When IT solution is thought and designed it is necessary to
check whether it is legally tenable (that can be defended
successfully against attack) along with technical, operational
and economic feasibility. Checking legal feasibility protects you
from violation or breach of law enacted for privacy protection,
obligation to provide healthy work atmosphere.
• Respecting ethical values means making a beginning to protect
generally accepted individual human rights. The rights are:
1. The right to healthy life and work safety.
2. The right to privacy.
3. The right to private intellectual property (information and
4. The right to fair treatment and no discrimination.
Code of ethics and professional conduct:
General Moral Imperatives (a thing that is essential):
• Contribute to society and human well being.
• Avoid harm to others
• Be honest and trust worthy
• Be fair and take action not to discriminate
• Give proper credit intellectual property
• Honor confidentiality
More specific professional responsibilities:
• Acquire and maintain professional competence
• Know and respect existing laws pertaining to professional work
• Honor contracts, agreements and assign responsibilities.
• Improve public understanding of computing and its
Technical Solutions for Privacy Protection:
• Protecting the privacy of individual or organization assumed
critical importance on emergence of Internet and Web
technology. Some technology solutions are also available to
ensure such protection.
• The data entered, processed and sent through Internet passes
through different computer systems installed on network across
the world. These systems are capable of keeping the record of
this communication traffic and also can capture and store the
communication with all connecting references and identifies.
All these activities happen at backend without the knowledge of
• The communication system capabilities can identify and
analyze the following:
1. Identification of a person or location from where an action
has started through registration record.
2. Which files, websites and web pages visited?
3. Which transactions have been attempted and completed,
namely buying, selling, displaying, downloading and
Intellectual Property, Copyright and Patents:
• Information or information product such as business rule,
business model, pattern, layout, diagram or specific compilation
in certain format and for business advantage can be classified as
intellectual property. They can be viewed, copied and
distributed on network. And in such distribution, it can change
in structure, content, and matter with loss of its original identity.
Therefore such intellectual property requires protection
provisions from trade secrets, copyright and patents acts.
• Software, if it is unique in design, architecture, process, and it is
a creation from within the organization then software is a trade
secret. Protecting information and information product falling in
public domain from copying is difficult as both are distributed
for use to an outsider. In the trade secret act ‘idea’ behind
uniqueness is a trade secret and prevents it copying by law.
Another protection mechanism is to bring the product under
license arrangement restricting the use and knowledge to know
Copyright act protects intellectual property for pretty long time
from copying by others. The protection is applicable against
copying part or full in any manner. The weakness of the copyright
act is that it does not protect the idea behind product and its use.
Hence if somebody uses the idea and develops a product with
difference then it is not copying. Illegal copying of computer
software is known as a software piracy.
If software along with computer capability generates a product,
can one person or organization be considered as author or owner?
There are many aspects of intellectual property which are legal
issues, and do not have foolproof legal protection. The only way is
to depend on ethics and moral commitment on the part of users of
A ‘patent’ grants the owner of the product exclusive monopoly on
the ideas behind the product for number of years, sufficiently
protecting the interest of the owner/inventor of the product. The
patents are granted the patent office after formal application by the
inventor to patent certification body of the country.
Note: patent-- an official document giving the holder the sole right
to make, use or sell an invention and preventing others from
Impact of IT on the workplace:
• Information and information products have raised number of
ethical, moral, and legal issues, and they are being resolved with
acts and laws.
• Though positive benefits or impacts are largely in management
area improving financial performance of the business, it has
affected resource in some aspects in negative manner.
• Information and information products application has brought
down personal interaction between human beings as most of the
processes are automated. With the result individuals analytical
and decision-making skills are getting rusted, and work and
work place is boring. With no interaction, individuals are
isolated affecting human behavior. It has also created health
hazards due to continuous working on systems and applications
under stressful conditions.
• It has also made a negative impact when it is used to monitor
the work, workplace and the worker. It is used to measure
worker’s performance, behavior, and personal characteristics.
The people who are affected by this application resent (to feel
angry about sth insulting) it.
Information System Quality and Impact:
• Users of information and information products have a capability
and understanding to use it with limited knowledge obtained
through training, online help, system documentation and so on.
• Information systems are designed to work on certain technology
platforms whose inherent technical strengths and limitations are
considered as known to the users.
• Under such circumstances, it is difficult to define ‘Information
System Quality’ as a benchmark or control to pinpoint the
responsibility and accountability in the event of damaging
• Three main source of poor information system quality and
performance producing damaging impact are the following:
Poor Input Data Quality:
• Invalid source
• Incomplete verification and validation
• Inadequate (not sufficient) data entry level controls
• Incorrect application
Software Bugs and Errors:
• Poor testing, test case design
• Heavy reliance (confidence or trust in sth) on automated
Hardware and software failure:
• Poor maintenance of hardware and software
• Power failure, and associated system stoppage problems
• Faulty software not able to support promised capabilities and
• Hardware and software failure caused due to natural or other
causes and not supported by sufficient backup provisions
Impact on Quality of Life:
• Use of information technology is now being experienced at
home, in public institutions, business organizations, education,
health care, transportation, manufacturing and services. It has
not only touched our personal life but also affected social life of
• Following four main areas are seen as affected by impact of
1. People are empowered with information and knowledge. It has
changed the decision-making hierarchy structure in the
organization. Operational decisions are passed on to lower level
and high risk strategic decisions are in the hands of top
2. Business dynamics and competitions are changing so fast that
response time to a change has to be much less than before. IT is
capable of giving strength to respond quickly. People affected
by such impact have to adjust very fast to faster pace of work.
Those who can not adjust suffer from work stress.
3. The concept of houses, family and office life is slowly getting
vanished because technology exposes you to work anytime
anywhere. This means your home could be your office. The
result in relation with family members, friends become weak
over a period of time. You may be isolated from family and
4. IT has given birth to new crime, called internet or cyber crime,
a result of widespread abuse (wrong use) of IT. The list of
abuses is as given below:
• Spamming: sending unsolicited (not asked for like advertising
• Hacking: obtain illegal access to personal, commercial data.
• Jamming: Disabling the site so that unauthorized viewers can
not use website.
• Sending Viruses: Insert and sent viruses through internet to
disable the computers and networks.
5. Decision Making:
• The word ‘decision’ is derived from the Latin root decido,
meaning to cut off. The concept of decision, therefore, is
settlement, a fixed intention bringing to conclusive result, a
judgment, and a resolution (determination).
• A decision is the choice out of several options made by the
decision maker to achieve some objective in a given situation.
• Business decisions are those, which are made in the process of
conducting business to achieve its objectives in a given
• The business decision making is sequential in nature. Each of
them has a relation to some other decision or situation. The
decision-making process is a complex process in the hierarchy
• The decision-making process requires creativity, imagination
and deep understanding of human behavior.
Decision Making Process:
• Decision making is a process which the decision maker uses to
arrive at a decision.
• The core of this process is described by Herbert Simon in a
Fig. Herbert Simon Model
Intelligence: Raw data collected, processed and examined.
Identifies a problem calling for a decision.
Design: Inventing, developing and analyzing the different decision
alternative and testing the feasibility of implementation. Assess
the value of the decision outcome.
Choice: Select one alternative as a decision, based on the selection
• In the intelligence phase, the MIS collects the data. The data is
scanned, examined, checked and edited. Further, the data is
sorted and merged with other data and computations are made,
summarized and presented. In this process, the attention of the
manager is drawn to all problem situations.
• In the design phase, the manager develops a model of the
problem situation on which he can generate and test the
different decisions to facilitate its implementation.
• In the choice phase, the manager evolves a selection criterion
such as maximum profit, least cost, minimum waste, least time
taken and highest utility. The criterion is applied to the various
decision alternatives and the one which satisfies the most is
• In these three phases, if the manager fails to reach a decision, he
starts the process all over again form the intelligence phase
where additional data is collected, the decision making model is
refined, the selection criterion is changed and a decision is
Decision Analysis by Analytical Modeling:
Based on the method discussed, a decision is made but decision
needs to be analyzed for conditions and assumptions considered in
the decision model. The process is executed through analytical
modeling of problem and solution. The model is analyzed in four
1. What IF Analysis:-
Decisions are made using a model of the problem for
developing various solution alternatives and testing them for best
choice. The model is built with some variables and relationship
between variables. In reality, the considered values of variables or
relationship in the model may not hold good and therefore solution
needs to be tested for an outcome, if the considered values of
variables or relationship change. This method of analysis is called
‘What If Analysis’.
2. Sensitivity Analysis:-
In what if analysis you test the effect on solution by changing
the value of number of variables simultaneously or changing the
relations between them. But in sensitivity analysis, a special case
of what if analysis, only one variable is changed and rest are kept
3. Goal Achieving Analysis:-
In goal achieving analysis, you analyze the problem in
exactly reverse way as that of what if analysis or sensitivity
analysis. In goal achieving analysis, goal is fixed and you go down
to analyze the variables and values, which would help to seek that
goal. We work backward from the goal.
4. Goal Seeking Analysis:-
In goal seeking analysis, you do not fix the goal but you try
to achieve a goal of an optimum value arrived at after satisfying
all the constraints operating in the problem. In optimization
analysis, you come to know which are critical constraints and
which are limiting the value of goal. The decision maker can use
this analysis to work on constraints and resources and find ways to
improve upon solution to seek highest goal.
Behavioral Concepts in Decision Making:
• A manager, being a human being, behaves in a particular way in
a given situation. The response of one manager may not be the
same as that of the two other managers. Even though tools,
methods and procedures are evolved, the decision is many a
times influenced by personal factor such as behavior.
• The manager differs in their approach towards decision making
in the organization. They can be classified into two categories.
They are, the achievement-oriented i.e., looking for excellence
and the task-oriented i.e., looking for the completion of the task
somehow. In the achievement-oriented, manager will always
optimize for the best and therefore will be enterprising in every
aspect of the decision making.
• Some of the managers show a nature of risk avoidance. Their
behavior shows a distinct pattern indicating a conservative
approach to decision making – a path of low risk or no risk.
• The behavior of the manager is also influenced by the position
he holds in the organization. The behavior is influenced by a
fear and an anxiety (feeling nervous) that the personal image
may be tarnished (to damage reputation) and the career
prospects (the hope that sth will happen) in the organization
may be spoiled due to a defeat or a failure.
• If two managers are placed in two decision making situations,
and if their objectives are in conflict, the managers will arrive at
a decision objectively, satisfying individual goals. Thus, it is
clear that if the attitudes and the motives are not consistent
across the organization, the decision-making process slows
down in the organization.
MIS and Decision-Making:
• It is necessary to understand the concepts of decision making as
they are relevant to the design of the MIS. The Simon Model
provides a conceptual design of the MIS and decision making,
wherein the designer has to design the system in such a way that
the problem is identified in precise terms.
• In the design phase of the model, the designer is to ensure that
the system provides models for decision making. These models
should provide for the organization of decision alternatives, test
them and pave way for the selection of one of them.
• The concept of programmed decision making is the finest tool
available of the MIS designer, whereby he can transfer
decision-making to the MIS and still retain the responsibility
and accountability with the decision maker of the manager.
• In case of non-programmed decisions, the MIS should provide
the decision support systems to handle the variability in the
decision making conditions.
• The relevance of the decision-making concepts is significant in
the MIS design. The significance arises out of the complexity of
decision-making, the human factors in the decision-making, the
organizational and behavioral aspects, and the uncertain
6. Information and Knowledge:
Classification of the Information:
The information can be classified in a number of ways provide a
1. Action versus No-action Information:
The information which induces action is called and action
information. The information which communicates only the status
of a situation is a no-action information. ‘No stock’ report calling
a purchase action is action information but the stock ledger
showing the store transactions and the stock balances is a No-
2. Recurring versus Non-recurring Information:
The information generated at regular intervals is a recurring
information. The monthly sales reports, the stock statements, the
trial balance, etc. are recurring information. The financial analysis
or the report on the market research study is a non-recurring
3. Internal versus External Information:
The information generated through the internal sources of the
organization is termed as an internal information, while the
information generated through the Government reports, the
industry surveys, etc. is termed as an external information.
4. Planning Information:
Certain standards, norms and specifications are used in the
planning of any activity. Hence, such information is called the
5. Control Information:
Reporting the status of an activity through a feedback
mechanism is called the control information. When such
information shows a deviation from the goal or the objective, it
will induce a decision or an action leading to control.
A collection of information through the library reports and
the research studies builds a knowledge base as a source for
decision making. Such a collection is not directly connected to
decision-making, but the need of knowledge is perceived as a
power or strength of the organization.
Methods of data and Information Collection:
The methods of Data and Information collection are tabulated
Observation Visit to the customer for assessing the customer complaints. A visit to
assess the accidental damage.
Experiment Assessing the yield of a new fertilizer by a design to the control
experiment. Assessing the market response to a new packaging
through test marketing.
Survey Market survey, opinion polls, census.
Data pertaining to future like the alternate source of energy, the life
style in the 21st
Ledgers, payroll, stock statements, sales reports. Database on the
specific subject, research studies. Market and technology studies.
Publications The government publications, the industry publications, the
institutional publications such as Banks, UNO.
Nepal Rastra Bank publications, the tax publications, the reports and
Value of Information:
• The decision theory suggests the methods of solving the
problems of decision-making under certainty, risk and
• A decision-making situation is of certainty when the decision
maker has full knowledge about the alternatives and its
outcomes. This is possible when perfect information is
available. Therefore, the information has a perceived value in
terms of decision-making.
• The decision-maker feels more secured when additional
information is received in case of decision-making under an
uncertainty of a risk.
• The information is called a perfect information, if it wipes out
uncertainty or risk completely. However, a perfect information
is a myth.
General Model of a Human as an Information Processor:
• A manager or a decision maker uses his sensory receptors,
normally eyes and ears, to pick up information and transmit
them to brain for processing and storage. The result of this
processing will be a response which may be a decision, an
action or at least a recognition of the event for future use.
Hence, a manager can be said to be an information processor.
• While processing the information for a managerial response, the
manager also uses accumulated knowledge form memory. The
capacity of a manager to accept and process inputs to produce
output is variable and limited. That is why it is observed that all
the managers of the same level do not accept or absorb all the
inputs which the information may provide. The manager in such
a situation adopts the method of filtering the information.
• Filtering is a process whereby a manager selectively accepts
that much inputs, which his mental ability can manage to
• Knowledge is a set of information which provides capability to
understand different situations, enables to anticipate (to aspect
sth) implications (a thing that is suggested) and judge their
effects, suggests ways or clues to handle the situations.
• Knowledge is a capability to handle a complex situation. More
the knowledge, higher is the capability.
7. Development of MIS:
Development of Long Range Plans of MIS:
• The plan for development and its implementation is a basic
necessity for MIS. In MIS, the information is recognized as a
major resource like capital, time and capacity.
• If this resource is to be managed well, it calls upon the
management to plan for it and control it for the appropriate use
in the organization.
• With the advancement of computer technology more known on
information technology, it is now possible to recognize
information as a valuable resource like money and capacity. It is
necessary to link its acquisition, storage, use, and disposal as
per the business needs for meeting the business objectives.
• The plan of MIS is consistent to the business plan of the
organization. The information needs for the implementation of
the business plan should find place in the MIS.
• The plan of development of the MIS is linked with the steps of
the implementation in a business development plan.
Ascertaining the Class of Information:
The design of the MIS should consider the class of information as
a whole and provide suitable information system architecture to
generate the information for various users in the organization.
Example of information User
Organizational The number of employees, products,
services, locations, the type of
Many users at
all the levels
Purchases, sales, production, stocks,
heads and others
Knowledge The trends in sales, production,
technology. The deviations from the
budgets, targets, norms etc.
Middle and the
Decision support Status information on a particular
aspect, such as utilization, profitability
standards, requirement versus
Operational Information on the production, sales,
purchase, dispatches, consumptions,
Determining the Information Requirement:
• The sole purpose of the MIS is to produce such information
which will reduce uncertainty risk in a given situation.
• The difficulty to determine a correct and complete set of
information is on account of the factors given below:
1. The capability constraint of the human being as an information
processor, a problem solver and a decision maker.
2. The nature and the variety of information in précised terms.
3. Reluctance (unwilling and therefore slow to act, agree etc.) of
decision makers to spell out the information for the political and
the behavioral reasons.
4. The ability of the decision makers to specify the information.
• There are four methods of determining the information
1. Asking or interviewing
2. Determining from the existing system
3. Analyzing the critical success factors
4. Experimentation and modeling.
Development and implementation of the MIS:
• Having made plan of the MIS, the development of the MIS calls
for determining the strategy of development. The development
strategy determines where to begin and in what sequence the
development can take place with the sole objective of assuring
the information support.
• The choice of the system or the subsystem depends on its
position in the total MIS plan, the size of the system, the user’s
understanding of the systems and the complexity and its
interface with other systems.
• When the system is complex, the development strategy is
Prototyping of the system. Prototyping is a process of
progressively ascertaining the information needs, developing
methodology, trying it out on a smaller scale with respect to the
data and the complexity, ensuring that it satisfies the needs of
the users, and assess the problems of development and
Life Cycle Approach:
• There are many systems or subsystems in the MIS which have a
life cycle, that is, they have birth and death. Their emergence
may be a sudden or may be a part of the business need, and they
are very much structured and rule based.
• They have hundred per cent clarity of inputs and their sources, a
definite set of outputs in terms of the contents and formats.
• These details more or less remain static from the day the system
emerges and remain in that static mode for a long time. Minor
modifications or changes do occur but they are not significant in
terms of handling either by the designer or the user of the
• Such systems, therefore, have a life and they can be developed
in a systematic manner, and can be reviewed after a year or two,
for significant modification, if any.
Management of Information Quality in the MIS:
• Information is a corporate resource, as important as the capital,
labor, know-how etc. and is being used for decision making. Its
quality, therefore, is required to be very high. A low quality of
information would adversely affect the organizational
performance as it affects decision making.
• The quality of information is the result of the quality of the
input data, processing design, system design, system and
procedures which generate such a data, and the management of
the data processing function.
• However, it is possible to measure the quality of information on
certain parameters. The quality of important parameters is
ensured by conducting a proper system analysis, designing a
suitable information system and ensuring its maintenance from
time to time, and also subjecting it to audit checks to ensure the
• The quality of the parameters is assured if the following steps
o All the input is processed and controlled.
o All updating and corrections are completed before the data
o Inputs are subjected to validity checks.
o The access to the data files is protected and secured
through an authorization scheme.
o Back-up of the data and files are taken to safeguard
corruption or loss of data.
o The system audit is conducted from time to time to ensure
that the information system specifications are not violated.
o Systems are developed with a standard specification of
design and development.
Organization for Development of MIS:
• Proper people organization is basis to the management of any
activity or function. The same thing is true for the development
of the MIS.
• The principles of the organization and structuring of the
organization to the specific needs of the function is a prime
necessity when we talk with reference to the MIS a number of
issues come up and they are not same in all the organization.
Hence, the organization structure of MIS would differ from one
organization to the other.
• The type, the size and the structure of corporate organization
becomes the basis for the MIS organization for handling the
MIS function and management alternatives. The major issues
1. Whether the MIS function should be handled as a centralized or
2. The allocation of the hardware and software resources.
3. The maintenance of the MIS service level at an appropriate
4. Fitting the organization of the MIS in the corporate
organization, its culture and the management philosophy.
Development Process Model of MIS:
Many organization use MIS successfully, other do not. Though the
hardware and the software is the latest and has appropriate
technology, its use is more for the collection and storage of data
and its elementary processing.
There are some features which make the MIS a success and some
others, which make it failure. These factors can be summarized as
Features Contributing to Success:
1. The MIS is integrated into the managerial functions. It sets clear
objectives to ensure that the MIS focuses on the major issues of
2. MIS focuses on the business result and goals, and highlights the
factors and reasons for non-achievements.
3. The MIS is easy to operate and, therefore, the design of the MIS
has such features which make up a user-friendly design.
4. MIS recognizes that the information needs become obsolete and
new needs emerge. The MIS design, therefore, has a basic
potential capability to quickly meet new needs of information.
Features Contributing to Failures:
1. The MIS is conceived as a data processing and not an
information processing system.
2. The MIS does not provide that information which is needed by
the managers but it tends to provide the information generally
the function call for. The MIS then becomes an impersonal
3. Underestimating the complexity in the business system and not
recognizing it in the MIS design leads to problems in the
4. Adequate attention is not given to the quality control aspects of
the inputs, the process and the outputs leading to insufficient
checks and controls in the MIS.
5. The MIS is developed without streamlining the business
processing systems in the organization.
Unit 8. Application of MIS
• Personnel management function has the primary objective of
providing suitable manpower in number and with certain ability,
skills, and knowledge, as the business organization demands
from time to time.
• Its goal is to control personal cost though continuous increase in
manpower productivity by resorting to the following
1. Human Resource Development through training and upgrading
2. Motivation through leadership and job enrichment.
3. Promotion and rewards through performance appraisal.
4. Grievance (to complain unfairly) handling.
5. Structuring the organization.
• Financial management function has a primary objective of
meeting the financial needs of the business, from time to time,
by way of working capital and long-term capital to run the
business with the goal of containing the cost of capital at the
• The second objective of financial management is to meet the
statutory compliance by way of declaring the audited financial
results, submit all reports and returns to the Government and
Tax Authorities and fulfill the obligations to the shareholders.
• In meeting these objectives, Financial Management uses variety
of tolls and techniques as under:
1. Breakeven Analysis
2. Cost Analysis
3. Cash Flow Projection
4. Ratio Analysis
5. Capital Budgeting and ROI Analysis
6. Financial Modeling
7. Management Accounting
8. Expense Analysis, Auditing and Control
• The objective of Production Management function is to provide
manufacturing service to the organization. This involves the
manufacture of products of a certain specified quality and
within certain costs in a stipulated time fulfilling the promise
given to the customer.
• The production management is supported by other function,
viz., Production planning and Control, Industrial Engineering,
Maintenance and Quality Control. It has a very strong interface
with materials Management Function.
• The functional goals of the production management are fuller
utilization of the manufacturing capacity, minimal rejections,
maximum uptime of plant and equipment, and meeting the
• Service is an identifiable, intangible activity or a process
designed to fulfill certain expectations of the
• Kotler defines it as ‘service is an activity or a benefit that one
part can offer to another which is essentially intangible and does
not result in the ownership of anything.’
• To understand the service better, it is necessary to understand its
character or attributes. They are described below:
All services are fully intangible i.e. they lack ‘physical
existence.’ They can be seen being delivered and being received
by the customer but cannot be displayed. Intangible service may
have an association with physical goods.
2. Inseparability of Receiver & Provider:
In case of service, receiver and provider must be present.
Service process cannot be executed unless both are present at the
site of service delivery. It is a live consumption of service
Service being intangible cannot be stored like goods, which
can be stored in the warehouse and can be used at a later date.
Service process being intangible, can vary from one service
incident to the other service incident. This being the case, it is
difficult to standardize the process. At the most service scope can
be defined but is delivery process cannot be standardized. Every
service experience is different. The inconsistency occurs due to
different service providers performing at different times.
Customer Service Design:
The customer, who initiates the service trigger to avail the service,
is influenced by the:
• Assessment of Service, Scope, Quality.
• Assessment of price of offer and willingness to pay that price.
• Perception of ease of availing service delivery.
• Perception of service standard.
• Extend of knowledge about the service.
• Impact of promotion campaign.
Service process designer designs the ‘customer service’ based on
the assessment and analysis of customer’s choices, preferences,
quality expectations, willingness to pay the price and so on.
Customer service design is crucial for customer satisfaction. It is
strategic and also governed by the cost of service to the customer.
Cost of service is linked to customer service level decision of the
management. Higher the service level, higher is the cost of
Service Management System:
• Service process scope is ‘Initiated to Delivery to Post service
evaluation.’ This cycle is a basis for designing all service
• Once the service process design is finalized, its lunch and
implementation is a system by itself.
• The process is best managed through a well-designed system,
termed as Service Management System (SMS).
Unit 9. Decision Support System and Knowledge Management:
DSS concept and philosophy:
• Decision Support Systems are an application of Herbert Simon
Model. The decision support system basically helps the
information system in the intelligence phase where the objective
is to identify the problem and then go to the design phase for
• The choice of selection criterion varies from problem to
problem. It is, therefore, required to go through these phases
again and again till a satisfactory solution is found.
• The decision support system helps in making a decision and
also in its performance evaluation.
• In decision making, there are two type of decisions-
Programmable and Non-programmable.
• The programmable decision, because of its rule base structure,
can be computerized, as inputs, processing methodology,
analysis and choice of decision making are predetermined.
• While in non-programmable decisions, the rules are not fixed or
predetermined, and requires every time the user to go through
the decision-making cycle as indicated in the Herbert Simon
Group Decision Support System (GDSS):
• Many decision-making situations call for involvement of a
number of persons, each contributing towards the decision
process. Information technology supports such decision-making
where there is group participation. Such decision support
system is termed as Group Decision Support System (GDSS).
• If GDSS is a group responsibility then the group needs a
platform to conduct the process. Four configurations of group
members are possible as listed below:
a) Group members in one room operating on network with
common display screen to share the display for all members.
GDSS process is transparent.
b) Group members sit at their respective locations and use their
desktop and LAN to interact with other members. GDSS
process is not as transparent as in case of ‘a’.
c) Group members are in different cities and they come together
through teleconferencing or video conferencing with prior
planning for GDSS operations.
d) Group members are at remote locations may be in different
countries and they come together through long distance
In all four configurations, GDSS support software is available on
server for members to use. Disregarding the configuration model
of the group and the type of the network they use, following
activities are common:
• Sending the receiving information in all forms, types
across the network.
• Display of notes, graphics, drawings, pictures.
• Sharing ideas, choices, and indicating preferences.
• Participate in decision-making process with inputs, help
and so on.
In GDSS, group members interact, debate, communicate and
conclude using different tools and techniques. This process may
run for sometime online, then stop and wait for response(s), then
react on response till the problem is solved.
DSS Application in E-enterprise:
• DSS are used in Supply Chain Management (SCM) as well as
in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
• The objective of DSSs in supply chain management is to reduce
the cost of supply chain operations. Total cost of supply chain is
made of cost of transportation, cost of material handling, cost of
carrying inventory, cost of delayed operations, loss of
overheads relating to HR, power, cost of maintenance etc.
• DSSs for CRM focus on meeting customer centric decision
requirements namely pricing, product differentiation, deciding
payment options, and credit facilities, deciding methods of
problem resolutions, customer segmentation and so on.
• Another major application of DSS is executive decision
support. The executives responsible for strategic management
of business need DSS which are conceptualized, modeled and
used by them to look into every new problem.
• Knowledge is the ability of a person to understand the situation
and act effectively. Philosophers, thinkers, scientists are
considered to process a knowledge because of their ability to
abstract, understand, speculate and act on the subject. Beside
knowledge, these people have several other skills, namely use
of principles and theory, application of principles, reasoning
and problem solving capability, decision-making skill and so
• Knowledge in the work place is the ability of people and
organization to understand and act effectively.
• Another important term in context of knowledge management is
IC, intellectual capital components. IC could be defined as a
body of knowledge, which is well structured in text and
numeric form and has commercial and economic value
significance to the person or organization.
• Knowledge and IC is a set made of information, ability,
experience, and wisdom which gives the organization a
competitive advantage and expertise.
• Knowledge management has following processes:
o Define, capture, manipulate, store and develop.
o Develop information systems for knowledge creation.
o Design applications for improving organization’s
o Create knowledge set, i.e. intellectual capital to increase
economic value of the organization.
o Keep IC continuous on upgrade to use it as a central
o Distribute and share to concentrate.
Knowledge Management System:
• Time has come to handle the knowledge-IC systematically, for
use in strategic management of business. The knowledge over a
period gets developed in the organization and it resides in
people, information files, and databases.
• To bring knowledge as critical input in the management
process, it is necessary to have knowledge management
• The knowledge management system therefore deals with
definition, acquisition, construction, storage, delivery and
application of knowledge.
• Knowledge therefore is an essence of business management
intelligence, residing in individuals, group of individuals,
systems in the form of information set, models, processes and
databases. Use of knowledge is critical to the organization,
hence knowledge creation, storage, distribution and delivery is
very important calling for establishing formal KMS.
Knowledge Based Expert System (KBES):
• The generalized problem solving is a unique situation riddled
with uncertainty and complexity, dominated by the resource
constraints and a possibility of several goals.
• The knowledge based problem solving approach considers the
specific constraints within a domain, examines the limited
problem alternatives within a knowledge domain and selects the
one with knowledge based reasoning with reference to a goal.
• In generalized approach, all alternatives are considered and the
resolution of the problem is by trial and error, with no
assurance, whether it is the best or the optimum, while, in the
knowledge based approach, only limited alternatives are
considered and resolution is made by a logical reasoning with
the assurance of the local optimum.
• The generalized approach is dominated by a procedure or
method, while the knowledge based approach is dominated by
the reasoning process based on the knowledge.
• Since, the KBES considers knowledge as the base; the question
arises whose knowledge is to be considered as a basis. It is
generally agreed that an expert has knowledge, and therefore, he
becomes the source of knowledge.
• Knowledge in the KBES is defined as a mix of theory of the
subject, knowledge of its application, organized information and
the data of problems and its solutions, and an ability to generate
new avenues to solve the problem.
MIS and the Benefits of DSS:
• Many of the decision-making situations, at all levels of
management, are such that its occurrence is infrequent but the
methodology of decision-making is known. Some of the
methods are proven and are widely used. Such applications are
separated and are packed in the DSS.
• DSS use data from the general MIS and they are used by a
manager or a decision maker for decision support. The basic
character of the DSS is that is based on some tool, technique or
• The DSS could be an internal part of the MIS. When the
decision making need is in real time dynamic mode, all such
systems are designed to read, measure, monitor, evaluate,
analyze and act as per the decision guidance embedded in the
• The MIS could become more useful if the decision-making is
made person-independent and executed with well-designed
Unit 10. Enterprise Management System:
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System:
• The word enterprise is chosen to convey that it encompasses the
larger business community covering all the players and their
participation in the business.
• Enterprise resource planning is an enterprise-wide information
system designed to coordinate all the resources, information,
and activities needed to complete business processes. The focus
of ERP is on resource management within constraints to
maximize the return on investment.
• ERP implementation achieves the following:
o Seamless integration among different functional areas.
o Design engineering support to make the best of resource.
o Customer or vendor order tracking till its fulfillment.
o Receivable and credit management linked order execution.
o Managing inter-dependencies of complex processes.
o Accounting and measuring the progress and performance
with respect to resources planned and consumed.
• The ERP system deals with the planning and use of resources
used in the business. The resources are finance, materials,
manufacturing capacity and human resource. The ERP provides
methodology of assessing the resource needs for a given
business plan to achieve certain business objectives.
ERP Model and Modules:
• The generic ERP package represents the commonly operated
business model of the organization. It is built with the function
models like Finance, Materials, Marketing, Sales, and Personnel
and their sub-modules. These modules are then integrated to
perform ensuring data and information consistency and
• The seamless integration of the modules allows the user at any
level to take a micro and a macro view of the function and
process view of the transaction across the function.
• A typical ERP solution has the following modules:
o Business forecasting, planning and control (Business)
o Sales, distribution, invoicing (Sales)
o Production planning and control (Production)
o Material management (Materials)
o Finance and accounting (Finance)
o Personnel management (Personnel)
Benefits of the ERP:
• Better management of resources reducing the cost of operations.
• Planning at function and process level increase in the
productivity of the business.
• Customer satisfaction increase due to shorter delivery cycle.
Closer contact with the customer.
• The processes become faster due to work group technology and
application of work flow automation.
• Due to strong interface capabilities, the human resource can be
utilized better due to access to information across the databases
distributed over the organization.
• Due to faster processing technology and SQL, management can
see the information in their perspective and take different view
of the business.
ERP Product Evaluation:
Market is flooded with ERP products with wide variety of
functions, features and so also cost. ERP products are evaluated as
1. ERP fit for the business of the organization in terms of the
functions, features and processes, and so on.
2. The degree of deviation from the standard ERP products.
3. Ease of use: Easy to learn, implement and train.
4. The ability to migrate to the ERP environment from present
5. Flexible design.
6. Rating on performance, response and integration.
• The ERP implementation, generally, follows the waterfall mode
approach. Once a firm order is received, the implementation
begins with meeting between vendor and the organization. In
such meeting the organizational issues are taken care of.
• Though initially, the study has been carried out by the vendor,
more in-depth study is taken up jointly by the vendor and the
project in-charge of the organization.
• In this phase of study the users are contacted for their
requirement specifications. These requirements may be of data,
information, function, features, processes or reports. It is
necessary to understand them to evaluate the ability of the ERP
solution to satisfy these requirements.
• Since, the ERP is designed as a standard package; it often
requires changes and modifications to suit the requirements of
Supply Chain Management (SCM):
• Supply chain management is an enterprise software to manage
and integrate a network of customers, suppliers, business
partners, distributors into organizations internal supply network
involved in the ultimate provision of product and service
packages required by end customers.
• Supply chain management spans all movement and storage of
raw materials, work in process inventory, and finished goods
from point of origin to point of consumption.
• SCM system keeps track of inventory and value of material
throughout the chain and provides information to SC Manager
• Supply chain management is a cross-functional approach to
manage the movement of raw materials and components into an
organization, acting as a bridge between external network of
suppliers, customers and business partners.
Information Management in SCM:
• Information is a key driver of SCM. The participants in supply
chain need information about goods movement, order placed,
and order delivered and payables and receivables.
• All the participants are tied up in supply chain through an
integrated information system.
• Supply chain partners have their own information systems
designed to meet their MIS goals to support the achievement of
their business goals.
• A supply chain is a dynamic network of its participants and runs
with a constant flow of information; goods and funds between
• The primary purpose of SC is to satisfy customer requirements
and maximize the value of supply chain.
Customer Relationship Management (SCM):
• With rapid globalization of business and product differentiation
becoming less relevant and competitive, customer relationship
now is the key enabler for moving the business ahead.
Customer relationship has become a factor of competitive
• Customer approaches the organization for product or service
with certain expectations. If fulfillment experience of the
expectation is encouraging then customer will revisit for
service. If the experience is not encouraging then customer may
go to competition. The ability to recognize this aspect and to
actively manage the customer behavior is the basis for customer
• CRM is a comprehensive set of processes and technologies for
managing the relationships with potential and current customers
across the business functions.
• The relationship is built through managing customer initiatives
and behavior in such a way that customer experience is full of
comport, happiness and satisfaction.
• CRM is a combination of policies, processes, and strategies
implemented by an organization to unify its customer
interaction and provide a mean to track customer information.
CRM system is used to track and organize its contacts with its
current and prospective customers.
• CRM system is designed to capture customer queries, orders
and contact information and then to be shared with internal
departments for action.