Amongst the wealth of an organization, including human resources, financial capital, machines, and equipment, information is the most valuable of them because all the physical and environmental options are justified through it. Information is possible to be strategically used or changes the competition fields between the organizations providing them significant privileges. An organization must be able to contribute an information system that is capable of fulfilling the information needs inside the organization.
Now, what matters here is the better utilization of this information for better management. And one of the oldest systems for the cooperation of the managers in this field is the management information systems.
A system is an orderly set of interrelated components that interact with each other for getting into common objectives. In a systematic approach, an organization can be regarded as a system which through receiving financial, materials, and human resources, etc., while taking care of different but associated processes, tracks certain goals.
Managers, at various organizational levels such as chief manager, middle manager, and executive manager, seek out to promote the performance of the organization by playing different information and the interactive role and through accurate exploitation of the information. Information systems support all the employees of the organization comprising the managers and executives in playing their role competently by taking the proper advantage of existing data, information, and knowledge. Some benefits of such systems are as follows:
- Set up effective communication between organizational departments
- Enhancing accuracy, speed, and the ability of performance
- Promoting effectiveness and efficacy (the productivity of the organization)
- Utilization for managerial and non-managerial implementation
Effective programming necessitates predictability of problems (threats) as well as opportunities in an intricate environment and also being capable of expanding the strategies and policies according to information technologies that are rapidly changing.
An information system deals with three main activities, it firstly receives some information as inputs from intra-organizational or extra-organizational resources. Then, it operates the received information to generate the system's intended information, and finally, it presents the generated information for the desired user.
By a short glance at successful organizations and companies which have more reputation, we find that all of them are heavily reliant on information systems in their everyday activities. In fact, information systems have played a key role in their prosperity. Basically, nowadays, the need for information systems is touchable in all features of the business, and the use of such systems is not limited to prominent and famous companies, but also covers successful organizations and small companies. Today, information systems are swiftly altering the pattern of life, management, business, and other human life's areas. By using information systems, organizations have been able to make significant changes in their actions. Amongst these changes, we can refer to the reduction of costs, reducing production time, increase in productivity, and structural changes, all of which, along with the various information technology tools including databases, email, and other communication instruments, help the executive managers to obtain a full perspective about the status of their job and occupation.
The information systems have so extensively grown that even the most traditional and oldest production and service systems can employ them to realize more prominent productivity. In this respect, the objective of the organizations' management is the practical application of these systems to attain the overall goals of the organization. The progress and headway of the organization in information systems can lead to achieving the opportunities that best attend the interests of the organization's stakeholders. The expansion and employment of information plus management in organizations should rely on some sort of system. According to a systemic outlook, information systems are the foundation of any organization. They are the beating heart as well as the driving force of the organization.
There are numerous definitions of the information system. Generally, management information systems deal with the study of information systems within the organization. An information system is consisting of a network of communication channels adopted in an organization. The components of the information system do the collection and manipulation of data and information. These components comprise hardware, software, individuals, telecommunications systems, and data. The actions that occur in this area are:
- Entering data
- Processing data
- Saving data and information and creating outputs such as managerial reports
It doesn't involve the domain of information system studies like computer science which includes the theories related to the engineering discourses. In business, the information systems support the processes and operations, decision support system strategies, and competition support. A management information system is an integrated system consisting of user and machine to contribute information for supporting operations, management, and decision-making within the organization. The system benefits from computer software and hardware, guidelines and instructions, analytical models, programming, control plus decision making, and a database. Information processing, which is usually known as decision-based data processing, gives information to managers who must decide in a critical situation. By providing information, this system supports the decisions, but only on the occasions where the required information can be gathered and presented in advance. The intentions of management information systems can be categorized into various principal sections:
- The compilation, classification, saving, and retrieval of information
- Facilitating data transfer processes - Providing the required information to assess the indices of the organizational performance
- Analysis of indices to report the performance of separate systems
- Enabling the possibility of having control over the performance of organizational departments and taking restorative actions
- Generating essential information for decision making inside every section of the organization
- Suggesting accurate and on-time information to decision-makers
- Reacting to management inquiries to gain information
Alongside the realization of these goals, there are features for information systems that can also be counted. Although few management information systems can be found in organizations that have all the beneficial characteristics, this does not signify that a good system cannot be designed. A good system depends on an extensive assortment of factors, including the type of utilization, equipment, technical capabilities of the human workforce, the support of the organization's top management, and past practical experience. However, the subsequent aptitudes can be deemed as more desirable features of information systems acquired by users of management information systems:
Management information systems should present the correct information to decision-makers on time. Timeliness of information is the matter that must be designated by the user. If certain information is not granted when required, its usefulness might get lost or becomes less. Although such a point is possible to seem obvious and clear, it is often neglected. Therefore, presenting the information accurately and on-time is one of the objectives of any information system.
Most importantly, the purpose of a management information system is not solely the production of information, but to convey the concepts and information according to which the managers take action to make the optimal decision that is the ultimate goal of management.
The advantages of MIS:
It uses closer communication, more accurate control and more stable data collection, faster data processing, and converting them into managerial information from management information systems in programming, organizing, leading, motivating, reporting, and controlling and practices this management action with the utmost accuracy and productivity in a much shorter time inside the organization. Now, for doing these works, management must have an interface called the management information system of the manager to perform better management services.
Over this period, it was observed that the managers are the main obstacles in the practice of management information systems. As a group, managers did not know enough about computers. They were aware of their job and about how to solve problems, but they did not contemplate adequately on the role of information in solving problems. As a result, it was difficult for managers to state what they wanted from the management information system. This situation was unbearable for the information experts due to the lack of enough knowledge about the management. They didn't know what line of inquiry they had to ask, however, by the passage of time, managers have learned and experienced the performable processes of problem-solving, and information experts also acquired the basics of management.
Management information systems were restored and improved to conform to the needs of managers better. Ultimately, the position of the management information system was confirmed as a major field of computer application. The management information system presents information authorization throughout the organization, besides, it helps to distinguish and recognize the problem. The light shining from the management information system has the symptoms of the problems or their possibility for the managers.
In organizations and institutions of the country, the perfect success of the establishment and efficient application of desegregated management information systems requires to concentrate on planning, defining work strategy, avoiding from spending too much attention to the design of operations and software selection, the centrality of the system suppliers, the concurrence of the software with the environmental conditions and national accounting standards in founding integrated management information systems.
Despite the significance of implementing all the activities of the design and establishment of these systems, still, this importance has not yet been seriously paid attention to in the country and the correct understanding, as well as evaluation of its impacts, are not served, hence, organizations and institutions that are in another way concerning this stage of integrated management information systems, necessitate swift and outstanding results from this stage, which itself, is a blunder in the implementation of these systems. Because the composition of integrated management information systems and the way they work is vastly different from the method of traditional information systems or ready-made computer software; moreover, transitioning from the previous situation to the new one and creating efficacious operational processes based on integrated management information systems and systematic thought is not an effortless job.
In 1390, inside Kaveh Steel Company, Management information systems started cooperating and implementing the IS-SUITE systems of IRISA company and practically, in early 1391 by lunching the regenerative production system, these systems entered into the operation phase. And during the past years, the range of production systems including steelmaking production systems, regenerative production, laboratories, production planning, shutdowns, and the area of supply such as managing commodities and purchase, has been exploited. From the middle of Esfand 1396, information systems were transferred from the platform of Oracle 10g to the technology platform of Oracle 11g, and the product quality control systems of ingot, sale, programming, and product transportation control operationally entered into the exploitation phase. Also, since the early Farvardin 1398, the financial area systems and human resources, and from the early Aban 1398, the hardware security module of the trading commission was added to the cycle of the management information system and was implemented
Also, necessary activities to set up the connection between level 2 and 4, implementation of the communication modules with suppliers, relationships with customers, reverse engineering, localization engineering, reengineering, nutrition, sport and welfare, and central maintenance are the objectives of expanding the general and integrated information systems in Kaveh South Kish Steel Company, which is currently undertaking the stages of expertise and implementation.
Implementation of the integrated systems leads to optimizing and applying some changes, the central goal of which is to supply the long-term and strategic necessities of the organization as well as empower it in several fields of business. Changing the attitude of the company from a narrow-minded to a systemic and process-oriented perspective improves the relationships between sections; besides, increasing coordination in manufacturing products, quality service, on-time and accurate financial reporting, and increasing sales and profitability provides more value-added to the company in the long-term. The integrated management information systems approach improves the organization's capability in controlling the processes by building a uniform and effective standards; moreover, utilizing a centralized and unified database also saves time and money. Besides, it increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization's activities and managerial reporting.