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Information Systems for Managers (ISM)

Assignment 2
1. Identify and discuss the major types of information systems that serve the main management
groups within a business. What are the relationships among these systems?
The four major categories of information systems are:
1. Transaction processing systems, such as payroll or order processing, track the flow of the daily
routine transactions that are necessary to conduct business.
2. Management Information Systems (MIS) provide the management control level with reports
and access to the organization's current performance and historical records. Most MIS reports
condense information from TPS and are not highly analytical.
3. Decision-Support Systems (DSS) support management decisions when these decisions are
unique, rapidly changing, and not specified easily in advance. They have more advanced
analytical models and data analysis capabilities than MIS and often draw on information from
external as well as internal sources.
4. Executive Support Systems (ESS) support senior management by providing data of greatest
importance to senior management decision makers, often in the form of graphs and charts
delivered via portals.
They have limited analytical capabilities but can draw on sophisticated graphics software and
many sources of internal and external information. The various types of systems in the
organization exchange data with one another. TPS are a major source of data for other systems,
especially MIS and DSS. ESSs primarily receive data from lower-level systems.
2. a. Describe at least three benefits of using enterprise systems.
Enterprise systems integrate the key business processes of an organization into a single central
data repository. This makes it possible for information that was previously fragmented in
different systems to be shared across the firm and for different parts of the business to work more
closely together.
Business benefits include:

Information flows seamlessly throughout an organization, improving coordination,

and decision making.
Gives companies the flexibility to respond rapidly to customer requests while producing
stocking only that inventory necessary to fulfill existing orders.
Increases customer satisfaction by improving product shipments, minimizing costs, and
improving a firms performance.

Improves decision making by improving the quality of information for all levels of
management. That leads to better analyses of overall business performance, more
sales and production forecasts, and higher profitability.

b. 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 helpful for the project, in your opinion, and why?
Six collaboration tools that are available to help the team work together are internet-based
collaboration environments, e-mail and instant messaging, cell phones and smart phones,
social networking, wikis and virtual worlds. I believe that the most helpful tool for this
project would be virtual worlds. I say this because the 10 salespeople will be from different
branches of a national business, which means you will be unable to meet face to face as
people will need to travel long distances, this will be very costly. Virtual worlds allow its
users to almost have face-to-face meetings; you will be able to interact with other members
as if you were there. It allows a crucial action to take place, which is not possible in any of
the other tools, which is the ability to interrupt someone and ask questions. Presentations can
be presented, as well as sharing ideas in real time.
3. a. Define and describe a business ecosystem?
The network of organizations including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors,
government agencies and so on involved in the delivery of a specific product or service
through both competition and cooperation. The idea is that each business in the "ecosystem"
affects and is affected by the others, creating a constantly evolving relationship in which each
business must be flexible and adaptable in order to survive, as in a biological ecosystem.
Console makers such as Sony or Nintendo work with independent game developers to
develop an ecosystem around the games/ software. Some games/ software can only be played
on their consoles. For example, the virtual painting and drawing software "Art Academy" can
only be used on the Nintendo DS range (handheld consoles).
Building such an ecosystem around a core product increases its value to the user as such
complements increase the scope of usage of the basic product. In the case of Sony or
Nintendo, game consoles without the ancillary software have little or no value to the user.
Ecosystems also create strong barriers to entry for new competition, as potential entrants not
only have to duplicate or better the core product, that is the console, but they also have to
complete against the entire system of independent complementors and suppliers that form the
b. Value chain analysis is useful at the business level to highlight specific activities in the
business where information systems are most likely to have a strategic impact. Discuss this
model, identify the activities, and describe how the model can be applied to the concept of
information technology.

The value chain model identifies specific, critical leverage points where a firm can use
information technology most effectively to enhance its competitive positions. Exactly where can
it obtain the greatest benefit from strategic information systems what specific activities can be
used to create new products and services, enhance market penetration, lock in customers and
suppliers, and lower operational costs? This model views the firm as a series or chain of basic
activities that add a margin of value to a firms products or services. These activities can be
categorized as either primary activities or support activities.
a) Primary activities are most directly related to the production and distribution of the firms
products and services that create value for the customer. Primary activities include inbound
logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and marketing, and service.
b) Support activities make the delivery of the primary activities possible and consist of
organization infrastructure (administration and management), human resources (employee
recruiting, hiring, and training, technology (improving products and the production process), and
procurement (purchasing input).
4. Discuss the issue of security challenges on the Internet as that issue applies to a global
enterprise. List at least 5 Internet security challenges.
Large public networks, including the Internet, are more vulnerable because they are virtually
open to anyone and because they are so huge that when abuses do occur, they can have an
enormously widespread impact. When the Internet becomes part of the corporate network, the
organizations information systems can be vulnerable to actions from outsiders. Computers that
are constantly connected to the Internet via cable modem or DSL line are more open to
penetration by outsiders because they use a fixed Internet address where they can be more easily
identified. The fixed Internet address creates the target for hackers. To benefit from electronic
commerce, supply chain management, and other digital business processes, companies need to
be open to outsiders such as customers, suppliers, and trading partners. Corporate systems must
be extended outside the organization so that employees working with wireless and other mobile
computing devices can access them. This requires a new security culture and infrastructure,
allowing corporations to extend their security policies to include procedures for suppliers and
other business partners.
Some of the challenges to Internet security are computer viruses, line taps, loss of the machine
itself, tapping, sniffing, message alteration, theft and fraud, hacking, computer viruses,
vandalism, denial of service attacks, copying of data, and alteration of data