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Challenges of Information Age, Design and Implementation of Information System


The challenges of managing in an information age

The challenges of managing in an information age involved the following:

1.      Appropriate information and systems requirements need to be carefully identified and agreed and established as the drive of systems development, in harmony with a business strategy.  Different organizations require different information systems so clear business strategy is critical to identify the system requirements.

2.      Information system developers need to work closely with users, user management and business management at all times.  From a business perspective, an information system is an organisational and management solution, based on information technology, to a challenge posed by the environment (Laudon et al, 1998).  It emphasizes that the power of the partnership of three constituencies (IT management, user management and general management) are essential to provide solutions to challenges and problems

3.      A modular and evolutionary approach of information system development proves much more natural and manageable.  However, this will require good planning and control.  This also involves how to develop an information infrastructure that supports the business goals.

4.      The need to recognise the importance of information and data as a resource, and the importance of management information verse information management.  If information is a critical resource, it is important to consider information systems as an integral part of business planning and put the technology in place to enable information to be delivered throughout the organization.

5.      Technological development has been huge in the period of time under discussion, and has enabled more suitable information technology configurations.  It implies that technical change moves much faster than humans and organisations are changing.  How to reap the benefits of integrating updated information is a major challenge to senior management.

6.      The need for a broader view of business and management than a rational mechanistic model.  This involves another challenge how can organizations determine the business value of information systems.

7.      Systems development needs to be a disciplined process.  This implies the responsibility and control challenge.  How can organizations design systems that people can control and understand?  How can organizations ensure that their information systems are used in an ethically and socially responsible manner?

The challenge of the characteristics of design required and the implementation process

The life cycle helps to understand the challenge of the characteristics of design required and the implementation process.

Problems often happen in the actual design of the system fails to capture essential business requirements or improve organizational performance.  During the design stage, functions and relevant technologies need to be defined for detailed system design.  This includes the identification of users, initial tasks, and long-run service and support.  An analysis of the feasibility of the project and its costs/benefits is also required.  Substantive collaborate work by a team of users is necessary to develop working approach and set of specifications for the system design.  The attributes of information required should be identified in terms of its content, form and security for different levels. 

An information system will be judged as failure if its design is not compatible with the structure, culture, and goals of the organization as a whole.  Hence, implementation is the entire process of organizational change surrounding the introduction of a new information system (Laudon et al, 1998).  During the implementation process, how to train users and motivate use, redesign processes and reorganize pose another challenge to management.  The interactions between users, developers and management involvement are essential to the success of process.  Finally, the more problematic are the requisite changes in organizational structure, individual roles and responsibilities, power distribution and relationship management during this process.


References

Applegate, Lynda M; McFarlan, F Warren and McKenney, James L (1999), Corporate Information Systems Management, 5th Edition, Irwin McGraw-Hill, MA

Laudon, Kenneth C and Laudon, Jane P (1998), Management Information Systems: New Approaches to Organization & Technology, 5th edition, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey

Warwick IMS Study Notes (2002), University of Warwick.


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