MA901DA Computer Spectrum(CIS) â€“ Assignment 1
1) What is the difference between information technology and information systems? Describe some of the functions of information systems. In your answer include two examples of information technologies and two examples of information systems. Information Technology is a term that encompasses a variety of areas linked to computing. This includes design, software, hardware and programming. An example of Information Technology is the world wide web. Invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee i, â€œThe World Wide Web was designed to bolster the sharing and availability of informationâ€?ii Another example of Information Technology is a Word Processor e.g. 'Open Office.org Writer' This is used for the formatting, editing and production of piece of text. Information systems are of great benefit to any company/organisation that want to make there business more efficient. They are used to help organize, process and store data. A good example of this is the lexical database program called Wordnet. Designed at Princeton University under the direction of George A. Milleriii. This program is primarily used to support automatic text analysis and be a more user friendly version of thesaurus/dictionary. Another example of an Information System is the 'Oyster Card' ticket system used in London to travel on public transport. This makes use of a contactless smartcard to give users the ability to 'top up' their oyster card with money and use it to travel around London while collecting data on where the user has been on their travels. The difference between Information Systems and Information Technology is that Information Systems are more based around a network of humans and computers working together to make the overall processing of data more efficient. Where as Information Technology is more technology based. It's strictly the use of computers and software to make data more efficient.
2) You are a marketing manager for a national movie theatre chain. Give an example of three pieces of data that your department could use for creating meaningful information. What type of information could that data produce? There are numerous things you need to think about when marketing a national movie theatre chain. You need to know certain information about your customers, the locations of your movie theatres, what type are movies are popular a certain time. A useful piece of data for a marketing manager could be the number of customers/ the age of customers going to the the chain of movie theatres. This data could be used to group the customers into age groups and give a percentage of what age groups the movie theatres are popular with. Another useful piece of data is the films being shown and a list of film genres, this could be used to group the films into genres, so they can be marketed to the right audience.
3) You work at the business headquarters for a chain of movie theatres. Describe this firm's information business value chain. Provide an example of each stage in the value chain. The information business value chain for a movie theatre would involve Research & Development this would handle the issues of improving the chain of movie theatres for maximum customer experience of visiting the movie theatre. Marketing & Sales, this would handle the way the movie theatres are marketed towards the customers and what films would be shown at each movie theatre. Customer Service, an example of this stage would be the company thinking of ways to make there movie theatres pleasing enough to there customers that they would return again and attract new customers with their excellent customer service. Design of services would also be part of the firms information business value chain as it would be used to make sure the movie theatres are of adequate design to attract the customers and give them a pleasant experience.
MA901DA Computer Spectrum(CIS) – Assignment 1
4) Provide three examples of how a company's use of information systems affects it's corporate strategies? Information systems can be of great use to a company. There are many ways they can affect a company's corporate strategy. One example can be seen with Vue entertainments introduction of the “Vista cinema systemiv”. Before the use of this system Vue had different cinema management systems installed across their different cinema groups. They now have on cinema management system rolled out across all there cinemas. “The benefits Vue has seen from the installation of Vista in their cinema sites is an increase in concessions spend per patron, decreased labour costs, and a more efficiently managed operation” v. Another way corporate strategies can be changed is just by the implementation of information systems, using them makes things more efficient across your company leaving time to focus on other areas. The 'Balanced scorecard approach' is another way that the use of information systems can affect a company's corporate strategy. This approach uses a “strategic planning and management systemvi” to monitor “the performance of all or part of an organisation, towards (usually) strategic goals. It uses financial and nonfinancial performance measures (normally less than 25, spread across two or more ‘perspectives’) to highlight areas where the organisation is failing to do what is required or was expected. vii” Allowing a company to continuously alter the company strategy according to what's doing well within their company.
5) Explain the importance of understanding how to use and interpret an organisations business processes. Provide three examples of key business processes used in hospitals. Understanding, interpreting and using a business processes is essential to the running of any organisation. Having one put in place is important so everyone involved in the organisation knows exactly what there role is and it is key to having an efficient business. Hospitals are places that need to be well organized and key business processes that are used are trying to increase the productivity of staff. Without this patients could be left without adequate care. Increasing the care provided to patients is also a key business process used in hospitals. Another example of a key business process used in hospitals is improving internal communication between staff. So all staff know exactly what their role is to improve the efficiency of the hospital.
6) Identify and discuss four major types of information systems that serve the main management groups within a business. What are the relationships among these systems? Four major types of information systems that serve the main management groups within a business are Executive support systems, these help management make strategic decisions. “It gathers, analyses and summarises the key internal and external information used in the business viii”. Knowledge management systems that are put in place to aid business share information. Office automation systems which serve the purpose of processing data and information and Decision support systems which aid management in dealing with difficult decisions. The relationship between these are that together they all work as one unit to help serve the task of managing a group of employees in a company.
7) You have been hired to work with 10 salespeople from different branches of a national business in creating an online training site for new Sales employees. Identify six collaboration tools that are available to help the team work together. Which single tool would be the most
MA901DA Computer Spectrum(CIS) – Assignment 1
helpful for the project, in your opinion, and why? Six collaboration tools that could be used to help the team work together are Wyew, this is a website with a free online meeting service facility. This would be useful to get everyone in one place to discuss ideas without having to worry about travel costs. Solodox, which is used to create projects that can be accessed easily in one place. Blue tie where you can keep tabs on the “training projects” the new sales employees will be undertaking. Contacts Online so there's a secure and easily accessible backup of all employees contact details. Two other collaboration tools that could be used are Google Docs and Web Office. I believe Wyew would be the most helpful for the project because as a new company start up, there will be a lot of meetings needed to make sure everything in all parts of the company are running smoothly and as this is a nationwide business the costs of travelling around the country to different branches will take a big part of the expenses. Having a free online place to do the meetings will save money on overheads thus giving the company money to spend on other parts of the business.
8) The retail home improvement chain you work for, DIY Discount, has noticed that one of its brands of faucets is not selling nearly as well as anticipated. What information systems of the business will you use to determine the reason for the poor sales? Discuss what information you will retrieve from which system. Which of the information systems will be most important for your analysis? Which of the systems will be least important? To solve this problem the Information systems that would be used to determine the reason for the poor sales is a customer tracking system that shows what customers buy at a certain period. A system that shows the overall sales of faucets on a monthly basis would also be used, you could also make use of a system that shows how many faucets are in stock compared to what is sold on a yearly basis. The information that could be be retrieved from these systems would show when faucets are at the peak potential of being sold and if they are popular at a certain time of the year. This could determine the reason why there is poor sales. The information system I think is most important out of the ones I have mentioned is the overall sales of faucets on a monthly basis as this can show if there is a trend to when customers by faucets. The information system I feel is the least important out of the ones I have mentioned is the customer tracking system that shows what customers buy at a certain period. I feel it is important to know this information but as a tool to determine why faucets are selling poorly it's not specific enough to determine the reason.
9) Provide three examples of how a good CRM system increase profits for a company. Having good customer relations is good for any company. According to DMC software systems “CRM software is the most effective way to manage clients, suppliers and prospects ix”. A good CRM system is essential to help improve profits for a company an example of this is the Acquiring stage of a CRM system by attracting new customers and making them feel valued you send out a positive opinion to other potential new customers, adding more customers to your business and increasing revenue. Another good example is prospect relationship management by doing this your nurturing from initial contact with to the final sale while keeping track of their behavioural patterns, by doing this your making sure your getting the customer to your company. Using software like Profit CRM can also greatly increase profits for your company, described as being able to “help increase your profits by smoothing the lines of communication between your customers, your potential customers, your bookkeeper and your employees x” This CRM system offers easy contact management. Making your company more efficient in the way sales are made, improving profits.
10) List three organizational factors that can prevent a firm in fully realizing the benefits of a new information system, and provide examples for each. There are many reasons why a firm could be prevented from realizing the benefits of a new information system. The firm could be set in it's own values and be unwilling to change, for example a company that has
MA901DA Computer Spectrum(CIS) â€“ Assignment 1
be running for 25 years with a core team of staff who are competent with the work and feel no need to introduce a computer to help them out. Selfish human reasons could also be the case, a boss could feel his job would be made redundant if an information system which does exactly what he does but more efficient was introduced. Simple misinformation of an Information system could also stop a firm from taking on a new information system.
W3 Organisation, 2010. Information Management: A Proposal. London. Available from: http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html [Accessed 12 November 2010]. ii Web History Center, 2006. Introducing the Web History Center. California. Available from: http://webhistory.org/ [Accessed 12 November 2010]. iii Princeton University, 2010. About Wordnet. Princeton: Princeton University. Available from: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/wordnet/ [Accessed 12 November 2010]. iv Vista Entertainment Solutions, 2010. Vista Cinema. Auckland. Available from: http://www.vista.co.nz/index.php? page=Sol_VC [Accessed 12 November 2010]. v Vista Entertainment Solutions, 2010. Vue Entertainment. Auckland. Available from: http://www.vista.co.nz/index.php?page=OC_CS_VEX [Accessed 12 November 2010]. vi Balanced Scorecard Institute, 1998. Balanced Scorecard Basics. Cary. Available from: http://www.balancedscorecard.org/BSCResources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/55/Default.aspx [Accessed 12 November 2010]. vii 2GC Limited ,2009. 2GC Balanced Scorecard Usage Survey 2009. Available from: http://v6dev.2gc.org/pdf/2GCFAQ01-090216.pdf [Accessed 12 November 2010]. viii Tutor2u, 2010. Types of information system. Boston Spa. Available from: http://tutor2u.net/business/ict/intro_information_system_types.htm [Accessed 14 November 2010] ix DMC Software Solutions, 2010. Customer Relationship Manager Software(CRM). Peterborough. Available from: http://www.dmcsoftware.co.uk/CRM/CRM-software-overview.aspx [Accessed 12 November 2010] x Prophet, 2004. The advantages of Prophet/Profit CRM. Redmond. Available from: http://www.avidian.com/customer-relationship-management/profit-crm.aspx [Accessed 12 November 2010]