Saturday, July 28, 2012

The computer

Posted by Kumara sampath 6:20 PM, under , | 1 comment

The computer

A computer is a device which accepts input data, processes it according to programmed rules, calculates results and then store and or output those results.

Types of computers
Computers can be classified as follows.
                1 supercomputers
                2 Mainframe computers
                3 Minicomputers
                4 Microcomputers now we called it as PCs

A supercomputer is used to process very large amounts of data very quickly. They are particularly useful for occasions where high volumes of calculations need to be performed, for example in meteorological or astronomical applications.

A mainframe computer system uses a powerful central computer, linked by cable or telecommunications to terminals. A mainframe has many times more processing power than a PC and offers extensive data storage facilities.

Mainframes are used by organizations such as banks that have very large volumes of processing to perform and have special security needs, many organizations have now replaced their ol mainframes with networked “client server’ systems of midrange computers and PCs because this approach is thought to be more flexibility.

A minicomputer is a computer whose size, speed and capabilities lie somewhere between those of a mainframe and a PC, the term was originally used before PCs were developed, to describe computers which were cheaper but less well equipped than mainframe computers.

With the advent of PCs and of mainframes that are much smaller than in the past, the definition of a minicomputer has become rather vague. There is really no definition which distinguishes adequately between a PC and a minicomputer.

PCs are now the norm for small to medium sized business computing and for home computing, and most larger business now use them for day to day needs such as word processing, often they are linked together in a network to enable sharing of information between users.

Manual system VS computerized systems

Posted by Kumara sampath 8:08 AM, under | 1 comment

In many situations manual systems are inferior to computerized systems. Some disadvantages of manual systems are outlined in the following table.


Productivity is usually lower, particularly in routine or operational situations such as transaction processing

Processing is slower where large volumes of data need to be dealt with.
Slower processing means that some information that could be provided  if computerized systems were used, will not be provided at all, because there is not time

Risk of errors
The risk of errors is greater, especially in repetitive work like payroll calculation.

Less accessible
Information is generally less accessible. Access to information is often restricted to one user at a time, paper files can easily be mislead or buried in in-trays, in which case the information they contain is not available t all  

It is difficult to make corrections. If a manual documents contains errors or need updating it is often necessary to recreate the whole documents from scratch, rather than just a new version with the relevant details changed.

Quality of output
Quality of output is less consistent and often not well-designed. At worst, hand written records may be illegible and so completely useless. Poorly presented information may fail to communicate key points.

Paper based systems are generally very bulky both to handle and to store, and office space is expensive.

The impact of information technology

Posted by Kumara sampath 6:40 AM, under | No comments

Manual systems

Many tasks (and people) are still better suited to manual methods of working, for example a single quick calculation may best be done mentally or by using a pocket calculator.

Many people also prefer communicating face to face with their colleagues, rather than using tools such as e-mail. People may prefer to interact both to fulfill social needs and become they find this form of communication more effective. Example use of body language, tone of voice etc

The use of poorly designed, computer systems, or using “good systems” with inadequately trained users, will result in inefficiencies that negate the benefits computerized processing should bring.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Information and competitive advantage

Posted by Kumara sampath 12:29 PM, under | No comments

It is now recognized that information can be used as a source of competitive advantage. This has led to formal management strategies and plain for information.

A strategy is needed for arrears in which decisions have to potential to have a major impact on an organization. Many organizations have recognized the importance of information and developed an information strategy, covering both IS and IT.

Information system should be tied in some way to business objectives.

(a)    The corporate strategy is used to plan functional business plains which provide guidelines for information based activities,

(b)    On year by year basis, the annual plan would try to tie in business plains with information systems projects for particular applications, perhaps through the functioning of a steering committee.

Vision and Reality

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A company that has vision of its own future, and some idea of how information technology can be used to turn that vision in to reality, may be able to use new technologies for strategic advantage.

One approach to create a vision is to adopt a familiar three step approach involving answering three questions about the organization.
                1 where are we in ?
                2 Where do we want to be ?
                3 How we will get there ?

The first question can be answered using standard techniques such as a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) Analysis. This approach ensures that both internal and external factors are considered. We cover SWOT analysis in the context of information system development.

Answering the sickened question requires vision. This does not have to be a contribution in the organizations current direction. It must be challenging, attainable and communicated to those who will implement it.

Once this has been done, the strategy (Answer to the 3rd question) can be defined.

A second approach takes the view that insiders are too tied to the way we do things now. And recommends the involvement of outsiders. An authority may be able to more readily anticipate dramatic shifts which might occur in the future. Additionally, an outsider does not have the insider’s investment in maintaining the status quo.

Traditional view over strategy

Posted by Kumara sampath 6:54 AM, under | No comments

 An important role of both the finance and information technology functions is to help ensure the agreed strategy is proceeding according to the plain. The table below (devised by the US institute of Management Accounts) outlines the rationale behind this view.
Traditional View
Strategic implication

The finance and information technology functions can be relatively expensive.
Shared services and outsourcing could be used to capture cost savings
IT has traditionally been transaction based
IT/IS should be integrated with business strategy.
The finance and IT functions do not add value
Redesign the functions
Accountants and IT managers’ are seen as scorekeepers and administrators rather than as a business partner during the strategic planning process.
Change from cost oriented to market oriented. This is development of more effective strategic planning systems.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Information systems and business stratergy

Posted by Kumara sampath 10:41 AM, under | No comments

It is widely accepted that an organisation's information system should support corporate and business strategy. in some circumstances an information system may have a grater influenced and actually help determine strategy 

(A) IS/IT may provide a possible source of competitive advantage, this could involve new teleology not yet available to other or simply using existing teleology in a different way.

(B) The information system may help in formulation business strategy by providing information from internal and external sources.

(C) Development in IT may provide new channels for distributing and collecting information, and / or for conducting transactions example the internet

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Functional /operational strategies / information system strategy

Posted by Kumara sampath 11:48 AM, under | No comments

Information system strategy is an example of a functional / operational strategy (although in some cases it may have strategic implications), functional / operational strategies. Deal with specified arrears of activity.

Information systems  :-- A firms information systems are becoming increasingly important, as an item    of expenditure, as administrative support and as a tool for competitive strength.

Marketing           :-- Devising products and services, pricing, promoting and distributing them, in          order to satisfy customer needs and profits.                      

Production                    : -- Factory location, Manufacturing techniques, outsourcing etc

Finance                         : --Ensuring that the firm has enough financial resources to fund its other strategies

Human resources        : -- Secure personnel of the right skills in the right quantity at the real time.

R & D                          : -- New products and techniques.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Qualities of Good information

Posted by Kumara sampath 11:43 AM, under | 1 comment

Good information is information that adds to the understanding of a situation. the qualities of better information are outlined in the following table.

Accurate           : Figures should add up, the degree of rounding should be appropriate. there should be no typos,    items should be allocated to the correct category, assumptions should be stated for uncertain information 

Complete          : Information should include every thing that is need to include, for example external data  if relevant, or comparative information

Cost Beneficial  : It should not cost more to obtain the information then the benefit derived from having it.

User targeted  : The need of the user should be borne in mind, for instance senior managers need summaries, junior ones need detail.

Relevent            : Information that is not needed for decision should be omitted, no matter how 'interesting may be.

Outhoritative     : The source of the information should be reliable.

Timely                : The information should be available when it is needed.

Easy to use       : The information should be clearly presented, not excessively long, and sent using the right medium and communication channel

Strategy related definitions

Posted by Kumara sampath 10:28 AM, under | No comments

Strategy :- Strategy can be defined as 'a course of action, including the specification of resources required, to achieve a specific outcome.

Strategic Planning :- Strategic Planning is the formulation, evaluation and selection of strategies for the purpose of preparing a long-term plan of action to attain objectives.

Strategic information :- Strategic information is used to plan the objectives of the organisation, and the asses whether to objectives are being met in practice.

Strategic information is:
01. Derived from both internal and external sources.
02. Summarized at a high level.
03. Relevant to the long term.
04. Concerned with the whole organisation.
05. Often Prepared on 'ad hoc' Basis
06. Both quantitative and qualitative.
07. Uncertain, requiring assumptions to be made regarding the future.

Tactical information is:

01. Primarily generated  internally and external sources.
02. Summarized at a relatively low level.
03. Relevant to the shot and medium term.
04. Concerned with the activities or departments.
05. Prepared on routinely and regularly
06. Based on the quantitative and measures.

Operational information is:

01. Derived from internal sources.
02. Detailed, being the processing of row data.
03. Relevant to the shot and immediate term.
04. Task-specific.
05. Prepared very frequently
06. largely quantitative.