Due to the enormous changes suffered by the market in recent years with the incorporation of computer technologies that facilitate data management, in order to offer improvements in managerial decision-making, today all companies, even SMEs , require the implementation of an information system that collaborates with business management processes.
In order to improve the productivity and performance of a competitive organization, it is essential to evaluate current techniques and available technology to develop systems that provide efficient and effective management of relevant information.
The implementation of information systems in a company offers the possibility of obtaining great advantages, increasing the organizational capacity of the company , and thus turning the processes to a true competitiveness.
For this, an effective system is necessary that offers multiple possibilities , allowing access to the relevant data in a frequent and timely manner.
For this reason, those who wish to turn their business into a truly competitive company inserted in the current market, must analyze in detail the necessary implementation of accurate information systems.
This concept has invaded the offices of company managers in recent years , since a couple of decades ago information was not considered such a useful asset in production processes and decision-making.
However, as a result of changes in the world economy and globalization , data related to the entire production process of a company has become one of the fundamental elements to achieve commercial success.
In this way, over the years, advances in computer technology have been incorporated to provide the necessary tools in the creation of reliable and effective information systems.
However, today there are still companies that are suspicious of the possible implementation of information systems in their processes , because they imply a huge change in the organizational and institutional structures of the companies.
That is why information systems can often fail, not due to technological errors originated in the computer aspect , but due to cultural views opposed to the incorporation of this type of tools.
The importance of information systems in the company
Today information systems offer a large number of underlying advantages , beyond the revenue it means for decision-making and production processes.
An adequate information system also offers significant and notable satisfaction to the users who operate it, due to its ease of use and constant access , which can result in employees achieving the objectives set by the company.
Therefore, it is important to highlight that the implementation of an information system implies an organizational change, since it not only affects the administration of the company , but also its employees and skills, in order to create a platform according to the responsibilities that must be had in front of this type of system.
On the other hand, it is vitally important to use appropriate information and communication technologies for the processing and transmission of the data that will be managed in the information system.
What are business management systems?
The concept of Business Management Systems, translated from English Management Information System, refers to the set of applications that are used in companies to perform each of the steps of its administration, from production, through logistics, until the delivery of the product at the point of sale .
This type of system is based on the premise that states that each link in the production chain can be carried out in the most efficient way with a system that integrates workers with the machines.
For this, a series of specialized software has been developed , which allows managing databases, planning, procedures, decision-making, and each of the functions of a company and its employees .
In order to achieve effective productivity, and due to the importance of information management in companies , the tools of business management systems are used, which allow to control, plan, organize and direct each of the links of the productive chain.
Due to the relevance of real and timely information in companies, both large companies and SMEs, one of the fundamental aspects on which business management systems are based is precisely on said information , which must respond to a series of four basic points so that it can be useful in the development of the productivity of each organization.
In principle, the data used must be completely true, and offer a true reflection of reality, which is why it is essential to have quality information .
If we talk about quality, it is also necessary to talk about quantity, since the personnel who are in charge of a company need to obtain all the necessary information to be able to make a decision , so the more information available, the better the result.
However, it should be noted that only information of real relevance is useful , since irrelevant data is not only unnecessary but can also lead to a bad decision.
Therefore, the third characteristic that the information obtained by business management systems must contain responds to the relevance of the data.
Finally, the fourth aspect responds to the premise of opportunity , that is to say that in order for the answers to the needs raised to arrive at the right time, thereby achieving a truly effective control of production, accurate information must be obtained in real time. . This fact allows adequate decision-making, even when it is necessary to modify previous plans.
On the other hand, the information used is grouped by means of a pyramidal structure that identifies the importance of the data, so that they are used in the corresponding place in the production chain.
In this pyramidal structure, the data referring to the processing of transactions must first be analyzed , that is, the status of the transactions must be thoroughly known.
Then the evaluation of the data continues to know the information resources , which will allow to execute and control the daily operations of the company.
In the third level of the pyramid are all the resources that the information system has, which will ultimately be the ones that will offer the necessary data to achieve planning and decision-making in the administrative field .
Finally, there are the information resources that will allow the corresponding strategic planning to be carried out, together with the possibility of correctly defining the policies that will be implemented in the highest administrative statements.
Thanks to the information generated based on these parameters, the management sector of a company will be able to make the correct decisions in the future, which will help to improve the development of the company and the entire production chain .
For this reason, at present, due to the great influence that business management systems have on decision-making in companies , in the field they are also known by the name Business Intelligent , which in Spanish means Business Intelligence.
Centralized information management
Within the organizational structure of a company, undoubtedly one of the main values lies in information , since this element is crucial for correct and effective decision-making . That is why both in large companies and in small and medium-sized companies, one of the objectives should be to be able to have a centralized management of said information.
In this way, although the hierarchy or chain of command that exists in companies is always fully respected, the truth is that access to information in a centralized way allows data to be available for each of the areas in a synchronized, updated and truthful , and thus being under a centralized administration of said data , that precious information makes it possible to make the right decisions at the right times .
It should be noted that within the structure that corresponds to centralized information management systems , although the data is available in each of the links that make up the company, the truth is that since it is an administration whose organization is centralized, important and strategic decisions are part of the work of area managers.
For this, what are called corporate offices are formed , in which the managers of each of the company’s departments converge and operate . Even these hierarchies can be given by territory, that is to say that each region of a country in which the company has a presence is in charge of decision-making by the person in charge of that area , in the figure known as the regional manager .
This type of organization allows the use of an information management system that must be centralized , in which of course communication must be constant , and where in reality it is observed that the flow of information starts from the highest hierarchical positions to be able to reach lower-level employees in a timely manner . A clear example of this is what happens in most companies in the sales area, where an effective centralized organization of information and communication is essential to achieve the objectives of the company .
What should an information system be like?
When information technology is incorporated into companies, in order to obtain the best results it is important that the greatest human-machine compatibility is developed, that is, in addition to investing in technology, personnel must be trained.
We bear in mind that in order to achieve 100% intelligent decision-making, the use of information systems with state-of-the-art computer technology is necessary , that is, the software used must have all the essential characteristics for its usefulness in our environment to be optimal.
Information systems must be:
- Flexible : an adequate information system must be malleable and offer a large number of options for data management and evaluation.
- Specific : The system must be able to adapt to each situation and sector of the company.
- Updatable : The system must not only cope with business changes arising from market demands, but also offer the possibility of changes as staff are trained.
- Powerful : It must provide the appropriate tools to carry out analytical evaluations of the opportunities and possible results of the same in the practice of future business.
Let us bear in mind that the role of information systems will not be to make decisions, but to collaborate in the process, being of great help for everything related to business management.
One of the tools most used today by a large number of SMEs that have decided to include information technology in their production chain is the information system called Data Warehousing.
It is a database created based on the needs of providing response and collaborating in the resolution of situations that the end user may encounter.
Data Warehousing offers interactive access to information , both current and historical, in order to provide quick responses and appropriate evaluation results for each situation.
Due to its characteristics, in most companies that use Data Warehousing, this type of system is not only used in managerial sectors, but is also often used in specific technical areas where daily decision-making is necessary.
It should be noted that if the Data Warehousing system is only used in the managerial field for strategic decision-making, and is not implemented in other areas, it will not be nourished with the necessary information, and because the data is incomplete it may get to report errors at the time of a correct evaluation of them because we bear in mind that the main functionality of this system is to serve as an information base.
The Data Warehousing system provides an adequate platform for companies to achieve an excellent quality of service , being reliable, efficient and competent, three fundamental pillars that must be met to remain in the current market.
ICT implementation for information systems
As we have seen so far, it is currently necessary to incorporate an effective information system, which allows significant changes in the productivity and administration of a company to be achieved , for which the use of information and communication technologies that provide the possibility of combining data storage, processing and transmission functionalities.
Basically, ICT, acronym for information and communication technologies, are a group of techniques, developments and state-of-the-art devices, which allow the integration of different functionalities related to storage, subsequent processing and finally the transmission of data. data.
Therefore, when designing an effective information system, the incorporation of ICTs is necessary, which will make it possible to start up the system that has been developed based on the data requirements in the various areas of the business.
What do we achieve by having them?
ICTs facilitate the process of transmission and exchange of information, which will then be evaluated in the system under certain criteria that include the reliability, quality and timeliness provided by the information obtained and managed.
But not only is the inclusion of the most modern information and communication technologies necessary to achieve an effective information system, but it is also essential to carry out appropriate training for the personnel who will be in charge of handling said data.
The implementation of an information system implies an immense change at the level of the organizational structures of the company, and the renewal of the cultural criteria of those in charge of it.
It should be noted that with the advancement that Internet-based technologies have experienced in recent years, this fact has offered a series of great advantages in terms of costs and development.
Take into account that Internet-based technologies significantly reduce investment costs in applications and their subsequent maintenance, both in the area of software and hardware.
Thanks to this type of technology, it is currently possible to have databases that can be consulted by different users simultaneously, just by using a browser that is easy to access and use.
Regardless of the type of ICT used to develop an effective information system, it is important to bear in mind that although we must analyze the investment costs in infrastructure, the truth is that with this type of systems we must seek the highest possible quality of the data.
Many times, information systems can fail due to the reduced investments made in this field, acquiring low-cost technology, which are ineffective to carry out a system that provides real and relevant data, without said information being able to come to suffer manipulations and redundancies.
Let us remember that the main objective of the implementation of an information system must always be the quality of the information, for which the data has to respond to a series of established parameters.
The information needs to be relevant, accurate, easily accessible, using clearly defined terms, gathering only essential information and excluding irrelevant data.
Therefore, an information system must provide all the elements that make up the data, in a robust structure, flexible to future changes and homogeneous.
Why use GIS in SMEs?
In these times, where reliable information in real time seems to be one of the most important points in the productive chain of companies, the role of information technology in this field has become one of the most significant aspects at the time to make sound decisions to improve the performance of companies.
Although the so-called Management Information Systems (GIS) were originally exclusive to large corporations, the truth is that today it has become a vital need for any type of company, even for the smallest enterprise.
In principle, it should be noted that Management Information Systems are one of the most necessary tools for the proper functioning of company productivity, since they offer effective control, allowing adequate management of companies’ resources .
One of the aspects that must be taken into account in any company, even in SMEs, is undoubtedly the business opportunity, a fundamental point that allows to achieve effective control in an organization.
Opportunity means being able to analyze real information in a timely manner, since thanks to this evaluation it is possible to make intelligent decisions at the right time, in order to achieve the best performance of each of the links in the production chain.
This accurate information contributes to possible planning changes, making the right decisions, and even for a significant reduction in production costs.
These reasons support the use of various software intended for companies, in order to provide reliable information at the right time.
In general, small and medium-sized companies that are managed without the use of an adequate management information system suffer a series of inconveniences that could have been avoided if the company administration had obtained the necessary data to make the correct decisions.
Many times, this lack of information, or the incorrect use of technology, is reflected in the absolute lack of growth strategies of the organization, causing a deficit in the company, loss of productive resources, and eventually weakening each of them. the sectors of the company.
Unfortunately, a large part of the smallest companies, such as micro-enterprises, are often affected by the impossibility of being able to implement a management information system that improves their results.
The high costs of the structure necessary to implement the new technology makes it difficult for some small companies to be able to implement a management information system that is so useful in these times.
However, let us bear in mind that like large companies, SMEs must also respond effectively and quickly to market demands, so entrepreneurs must evaluate the importance of starting to use a system that provides them constantly reliable information for the right decision making.
The fact of investing in technological machinery and training of employees to use the tools provided by computing, will be reflected in good results, since this type of systems enable the growth of the company and make it a competent company in the face of the fierce current market.
The value of the information
After having known different aspects related to the correct management of information within a company, without a doubt we can conclude knowing that the information has an incalculable value for any company , since this information is what often allows future analysis and thus knowing the possible result that a certain decision will have even before it has been finalized.
The value of information is such that having concrete and truthful data has a fundamental role in decision-making at all levels of the organization. That is why the investment that companies must undertake in order to have a reliable information system does not represent an inappropriate expense , since the correct handling of the data will be crucial to make the correct decisions that allow the company to grow and expand. at the right time .
That is why information management becomes a true added value of the company, since the benefits it brings are multiple , not only in the immediate future, but also in terms of achieving specific long-term objectives .