December 22, 2015

MB0047 [MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS] Set2 Q5

Q5. Read the following case and answer the question.
You have 10 messages on voice mail, six faxes in your in-basket, three people standing outside of your office waiting either for you to get off of the phone or finish speaking with the guy sitting in your office (whichever comes first). Your computer just beeped to inform you, again, that an e-mail message has just been added to your stockpile of unread messages gathering electronic dust. You make a mental note to change the notification sound to an evil laugh. Your reading pile is teetering, threatening to put out of misery the plant you haven't watered in three weeks. You wonder who the strange people are in the picture on your desk. ... Oh yeah, it's your spouse and kids.

Your boss strides into your office, throws a letter under your nose, and says, "Read this. We just got a project that requires us to `collaborate over the Internet'-whatever that means-and since you're the computer guru around here, you have to get a handle on it and teach us all what to do by next Thursday." As he leaves, you make a few e-comments about what he can e-do with his e-letter. Welcome to e-hell. Most professionals know by now that eventually they will have to deal with e-business. It's too early to tell if e-collaboration will resolve the communications overload engineers are facing today or just clutter the available bandwidth even more. Look around you. Did PCs lead to a paperless office? Waiting for the e-collaboration to stabilize or shake out, however, might be counterproductive. You might find yourself in a situation like the one described above where you'll have to "e-collaborate" in a pinch. If this happens, here are a few survival tips: read about e-collaboration to get a general impression of what it is and how it works and then visit some Websites where some of the more popular products exist and try them out. Visit the HPAC Engineering Interactive Website at www.hpac.com and, under Heavy Duty Content, choose the Information Technology (IT) Tips area. Read the columns on extranets that were published by Dr. Joel Orr in April and May 2000 and the August column by Digital Media Editor Lynne Brakeman on collaboration software exhibited during the A/E/C Systems show earlier this year. These three columns introduce you to collaboration software and point you to some products that are tailored to our industry.

I'd also recommend visiting Orr's Website (www.extranets.cc) for a comprehensive list of sites. Some of these sites allow you to download "demo" versions. Trying out the software demo will help you decide which method is right for you and possibly your whole company. Call some of the vendors and ask if they provide training either online or at a nearby facility. Depending on the stock market, some might be desperate enough to come to your office.

If your firm is being required to e-collaborate, as the story goes above, try and find the people who are leading the e-collaboration effort and ask them what method they're using. If they have not made a decision on which product to use, you may be able to sway them toward a decision that benefits you and your company. If you need to teach others in your company how to use e-collaboration tools or make a corporate-wide procurement/standardization decision, I recommend that you do further research and get others in your company involved. To learn more about introducing new information technologies gradually into a company, read the IT Tips column "Strategic Planning for Information Technology" in the December 1996 issue. This e-business is a tough nut to crack. It represents a pivotal time in our industry. The best way to deal with it is proactively.

Question: Which particular concept of MIS is being dealt here in this particular case? List out all the issues related to MIS mentioned in the above case. List out all the advantages and disadvantages what you feel is appropriate in this case.

Answer:
In the above Case presentation – the Question has 3 parts:
Concept of MIS being spoken about in the case
Issues related to MIS in the above case
Advantages and disadvantages, which we feel, are appropriate in the case.

1) To begin with, in the above Case presentation, the initial paragraph is on the typical work scenario faced by a Manager in most of the service sector organization. The amount of pressure he is in during his daily routines work. Here he seems to be senior most and most computer literate among others in the office. Hence his boss comes to him and hands over a letter to him, which mentions about Collaboration over Internet. The manager is supposed to go through the contents and brief everyone by Thursday. The matter is related to E-Collaboration and E Business. Further there is information on how to get more information on E-Collaboration. There are references of various Internet sites given to gather more inputs on E-Enterprise, E Business and E Collaboration.

E business systems lay foundation of other Enterprise applications, namely E-commerce, E communication and E collaboration.

To understand and discuss about the above terms we need to know that MIS has been evolving in different forms under different levels of management. Some of the developments are recent and some are still in the development stage. The research continues.

With the emergence of Internet, business organization has undergone structural, cultural, and qualitatitive change and a new organization structure has emerged which is known as E business enterprise. In this Enterprise business operations are performed through E Communication and E Collaboration initiatives. Therefore, E business enterprise has a global market, reach, source and global competition.

E business enterprise is more process driven, technology – enabled and uses its own information and knowledge to perform.  It has no geographic boundaries as it can extend its operations where Internet works.

About E Collaboration
Every business has a number of work scenarios where group of people work together to complete the tasks and to achieve a common objective. The groups could be teams or virtual teams with different member strength. They come together to perform a task to achieve some results. The process is called collaboration. The collaboration now is possible with e-technologies, which put these teams in network with Internet support for communication, access to different databases and servers. These capabilities help to create collaborative work systems and allow members to work together cooperatively on projects and assignments.

The biggest advantage of E-collaboration is that it taps the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience of the members. The collaboration team or group could be within the organisation and between the organisations as well. Since, E-collaboration works on an Internet platform and uses web technology, work group / team need not be at one physical location. They can be at different locations and form a virtual team to work on project or assignment.

E-collaboration uses E-communication capabilities to perform collaborative tasks, or project assignment. Its effectiveness is increased by software 'GroupWare' that enables the members of the group to share information, invoke an application and work together to create documents and share them and so on. GroupWare is collaboration software.

E-collaboration helps work effectively on applications like calendaring and scheduling tasks, event, project management, workflow applications, work group applications, document creation and sharing, and knowledge management.

E-collaboration system components are Internet, Intranet, Extranet and LAN, WAN networks for communication through GroupWare tools, browsers. Application packages are software suit, which help process customer requirements. It is supported by databases present on various servers like mail server, material database, knowledge server, document server and so on.
 
2) MIS for E-business is different compared to conventional MIS design of an organisation. The role of MIS in E-business organization is to deal with changes in global market and enterprises. MIS produces more knowledge-based products. Knowledge management system is formally recognized as a part of MIS. It is effectively used for strategic planning for survival and growth, increase in profit and productivity and so on.

To achieve the said benefits of E-business organisation, it is necessary to redesign the organisation to realize the benefits of digital firm.
1) The organisation structure should be lean and flat.
2) Get rid of rigid established infrastructure such as branch office or zonal office.
3) Allow people to work from anywhere.
4) Automate processes after reengineering the process to cut down process cycle time.

Make use of groupware technology on Internet platform for faster response processing.

3) Advantages and Challenges: 
Internet and networking technology has thrown challenge to enlarge the scope of organisation where customers and vendors become part of the organisation. This technology offers a solution to communicate, co ordinate and collaborate with customers, vendors and business partners.

E-business enterprise is open twenty-four hours, and being independent, managers, vendors; customers transact business anytime from anywhere.

It has no geographic boundaries as it can extend its operations where Internet works. All this is possible due to Internet and web moving traditional paper driven organisation to information driven Internet enabled E-business enterprise.

MIS in E-organisation deviates from traditional report formats to automated intelligent knowledge driven system. It enforces manager to act quickly to response displayed on the screen. Most of the decisions of middle and operational management are delegated to IT-enabled information and knowledge driven systems. They are supported by the rule-based transaction processing system, decision support systems, expert systems, artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and data warehouse and mining systems.

MIS in E-organisation deviates from the conventional model of 'Capture Compute Process ­ Analyse Report ­Think and Act' to 'Point Click­ Respond Act.

Challenges:
One challenge is to convert domestic process design to work for international process, where integration of multinational information systems using different communication standards, country specific accounting practices, and laws of security are to be adhered strictly.

This is just not a technical change in business operations but a cultural change in the mindset of managers and workers to look beyond the conventional organisation. It means changing the organization behaviour to take competitive advantage of the E-business technology.

The last but not the least important is the challenge to organise and implement information architecture and information technology platforms, considering multiple locations and multiple information needs arising due to global operations of the business into a comprehensive MIS.

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