Information Systems

Before taking an initiative in an organization it is very important to consider the role of information systems in managing industrial knowledge. In most of the organizations many different information systems are used for knowledge management. The importance of knowledge management is considered very late in most of the organizations. So there is the need to find out different information systems which may help to mange the organizational knowledge. But the past history shows to us that the information systems play a vital role to manage organization knowledge. In most of the industries the most valuable thing is knowledge which is considered most important than all other aspects. For example the financial assets are being considered as an important knowledge for all the organizations. Organizations have to take different steps and adopt different rules and regulations for managing the industrial assets in the form of knowledge. As knowledge management helps to clarify the rules using different information systems. So it would be beneficial for the organizations to take initiatives on solid grounds and organizations will invest in a way for gaining their utmost profits. The different aspects for knowledge management will help the executives to find out the strengths and weaknesses which are prevailing in the whole system and on the basis of this data the management can take good decisions in running the industry. So the knowledge management adds revenue in the overall capital of the industry. There are many different aspects which are taken into account for the overall improvement of organization in the form of asset management. These factors are organizational infrastructure, the competency level of employees, the processes which are being adopted by the organization, the information systems or IT infrastructure, customer relationship management system which is currently prevailing in the organization as a part and parcel of the overall system, the brand which they are introducing and the overall repute of the organization (Sveiby, 1997). There are some organizations which have developed the methods or techniques to audit the knowledge and they have to generate “an intellectual balance sheet” (Uwe M. Borghoff and Remo Pareschi, 1997).

There are two types of knowledge i.e. explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge and the humans have got the idea that how to differentiate the two types of knowledge (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995). There is the need to understand the two the explicit knowledge is the documented knowledge which one can see in the form of files, reports or in some other way. While on the other hand the tacit knowledge is based on the personal experiences of the people who are working in an organization and the communication of this knowledge is very easy and is direct (Uwe M. Borghoff and Remo Pareschi, 1997). So in the case when the knowledge is tacit one must adopt a way to communicate it that the other will be able to understand the whole scenario in an easy way. So the knowledge management can be referred as a process “for acquiring, organizing and communicating both tacit and explicit knowledge of employees” in an organization (Maryam Alavi and Dorothy Leidner, 1999).

There are certain benefits which are associated with knowledge management systems first of all the management systems would help to improve the overall management processes. “The process improvements involved shortening the proposal time for client engagements, saving time, improving project management, increasing staff participation, enhancing communication, making the opinions of plant staff more visible, reducing problem solving time, better serving the clients, and providing better measurement and accountability” (Maryam Alavi and Dorothy Leidner, 1999). The adoption of different knowledge management systems is based on certain organizational benefits which are associated with industry progress e.g. the financial benefits in terms of Return On Investment (ROI), the factor of marketing and many other folds of the industry.

The organizational knowledge is considered as an important asset for competitive advantage. Different models are being presented by researchers who work well for obtaining market gain. Levy et al (1998) has presented a model called “focus-dominance” which tells the ways that how an organization can gain potential using Information Systems’ features. The model forces on the adoption IT/IS in the existing business model and better relationship with customer. As in present times the integration of IT/IS is inevitable because there are two important factors which are associated with it i.e. the reduction in the overall operational costs of an organization and the second one is the addition of value in terms of revenue which is generated and it is gained due to the competitive advantage after integrating IT/IS with existing system. The information systems play a vital role in enhancing the efficiency of the whole system for managing the organizational knowledge. The adoption of IS in an organization enhances the level of cooperation among business partners and firm sort of relationships are created with customers.

Knowledge management systems actually is collection of information systems which are used to manage the organizational data or knowledge in the form of reports, datasheets etc. The basic purpose of these information systems is to refine the overall organizational setup in which the knowledge is created, stored, transferred and applied (Maryam Alavi and Dorothy Leidner, 2001; Takeishi 2001; Teece 1997). In certain organizations some people don’t emphasize the adoption and implementation of Information Systems because they are of the view that all Information Systems are not applicable in solving all the issues of knowledge management (Davenport and Prusak, 1998). There are three common applications which are being used for knowledge management i.e. “(1) the coding and sharing of best practices, (2) the creation of corporate knowledge directories, and (3) the creation of knowledge networks” (Maryam Alavi and Dorothy Leidner, 2001).

There are different types of Information Systems like Content Management System, Production Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Customer Support Systems, Sales Information Systems and Project Management Systems. With the advent of Information Technology the changes in the global business are evident. The major role of Information Systems is to focus the issues of “organizational effectiveness, interorganizational deployment and competitive advantage” (Varun Grover, Thomas H. Davenport, 2001). IT also plays a vital role in the information flow in an organization. Most of the organizations are generally focusing upon implementation of IT for management of tacit and explicit knowledge but most of the experts are warning about too much adoption of information systems as stated earlier. The too much adoption of Information Systems is actually converts the knowledge into an information which is not dynamic one rather the value of tacit knowledge also becomes very less. But on the other hand it is evident that the organizations are creating very strong relations with their business partners and customers using such innovative technologies. The data stored by a system is actually considered as a valuable asset of that organization in terms of management practices. So due to all these benefits, which are associated with Information Systems, the organizations are ultimately moving towards the adoption of such systems which help to maintain the intellectual capital of a company. It is very important to analyze the extent of IT which will be beneficial for an organization so there is the need of proper planning before the implementation of Information Systems. Simply the aware with the limitations of innovative technologies is also required for running a good business.

There are different types of Content Management Systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management System (SCM), Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) and many others. They actually serve as the document mangement systems in which the documents like proposals, invoices and letters are created and saved and they are mostly used for the management of unstructured data. Enterprise Content Management systems provide the features to manage the above mentioned documents and ther enterprise systems of an organization. These systems are most widely used to create and store electronic and scanned documents which contain the organizational knowledge. The electronic documents are the word processors and spreadsheet documents which are used to create invoices, proposals and letters of different types. The Enterprise Content Management Systems consists of a library which is used to manage the tacit and expilict knowledge and the system also helps in sharing or transfering the knowledge across the whole organization and for it a single repositary is being used by the organization. The organizations have to adopt such tactics that they emphasize upon the sharing of expilict knowledge and this thing enhances the capabilities of the organization. This very culture enables the organizations to get prospertiy in a fast pace and the professionalism and management processes become more mature and refined. Using such a system an organization will be able to manage its tacit knowledge which is based on personal experiences and to share its explicit knowledge with the employees who are working in the organizatoin.

A Library Management System is used to manage the record of books and the users who are using the books. With the help of Library Management System it is possible to keep record of the books that how many books are issued and issued to whom. All the data to whom the book is issued is stored in a central repository including the name of the book and date when the book is issued. So Library Management System is also used by the libraries to manage their knowledge for the sake of future reference. Future reference means that to find out who has not returned the book yet and he or she will be fined by the respective librarian according to the rules and regulations. The system is time saving and reduce the costs of management operations i.e. no need to manage the record on ledgers. The Library Management Systems helps to reduce to overall access time for accessing information which is related about a particualr user or even about the staff who is working in the library. System provides proper identity of the customer or user who is using a public library with all the relative knowledge about the user i.e. his or her name, address, telephone number, profession and other related data. So the librarian can easily identify a defaulter using the knowledge

There are number of different benefits which are associated with record managemnt system espeically it would help to increase the overall efficency of the organization. A record managemnt system is very useful in perspective of managing the time i.e. the employees will take very less time in finding a record or intellectual capital of the organization. So there would not be the need to calculate the overall staff months which will be used in finding the related information. The record managemnt system provides a better sharing mechanism for information. So the information will be available readily to each and every person who is working in the organization. As the duplication of intellectual capital is very problematic for the organizations so the record management systems would help us to manage the data or knowledge of the organization in a more consistent way. Another benefit which is associated with record managemnt system is that it also helps us in deleting the unnecessay record which is no more required by the organization. When the organizational knowledge will be in the soft form then there would not be the need to save the data in the form of files in a room. So the organization would no incur the huge costs to manage the unnecessary data. The data or the knowledge which is saved usign record managemnt system becomes more secure and save in terms of legal issues. No one can change the data easily without the prior permission and the data or knowledge integrity will not be at stake. Simply record managemnt system provides the features to make a disaster plan according to the value of the data which is being stored in the database. We can easily find out which data is still an intellectual property and which one is of no worth.

Management Information System plays a vital role in the improvement of organizational processes due to the availability of the knowledge which is saved in the database of MIS. With the help of Management Information System executives can better plan the business objectives due to the knowledge which is saved in MIS and is readily available for future actions or operations. The knowledge which is being saved in the Management Information System reduces the cognitive load of managers in the form of providing the most important data in the form of a summary. The data or knowledge which is saved is very consistent and the features of Management Information System also reduce the factor of confusion i.e. which data is valid and which is not. Further with the help of Management Information System it is possible to measure the performance of each employee and it’s a sort of knowledge which is created, stored, and shared at all levels for utilization. The knowledge which is being provided at lower levels using Management Information System provides better coordination among all the members who are using and operating the system. Further using a Management Information System it is possible to control the overall ongoing activities or operations in the organination and the executives can easily manage the work activities and evaluate the overall performance. So this data serves as an intellectuall property of the organization on the basis of which the people have to take initiatives.

“A geographic information system (GIS), or geographical information system, is any system that captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that are linked to a location (Wikipedia)”. Using a geographic information system and knowledge provided by it one can easily find out the benefits which are assoicated with it. A geographic information system provides a better environement to manage the overall activities based on the geographical knowledge provided by the system. One can easily maintain the necessay information based on the geographical knowledge. The routine work is performed very efficiently i.e. the updation of record of the existing activites which are going to prevail in the organization. A geographic information system provides all the related information which is based on the geographical knowledge i.e. the activities which are going to be performed in an organizaition e.g. billing actitivies, accounts, invoices and many other activities. The system features provides better solutions for the problems which are being faced during operations in an organization. So the system better serves as a knowledge management system which provides better opportunities to run a business.

A learning management system can be defined as “an information system that administers instructor-led and e-learning courses and keeps track of student progress. Used internally by large enterprises for their employees, an LMS can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the organization’s education and training. It is also beneficial in ensuring state-and federal-mandated courses are delivered in a timely manner (Encyclopedia. PCMag.com)”. As from the defintion it is evident that the said information system is also a sort of knowledge management system in which the progress of learners is recorded. This progress of employees serves as an intellecutall asset in terms of organizational plans and decisions. Using this very knowledge an organization can use its trained employees on very calssified works or more technical jobs and responsibilities will be given to the persons who will be more trained and qualified.

So on the basis of above discussion we can conclude that in the 21st century it is not possible that to run the business without integration of information systems or infromation technology. It is time saving, more reliable, helps in cost reduction, and provides better opportunities to create good relations among business partners.