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COIT20274 Information Systems for Business Professionals Assignment
The Case: Springfield Animal Hospital
Case study questions and answers:
1. In order to help SAH management, define what information systems are and briefly explain how information systems are important to future operations at SAH
Information system can be explained as a computer oriented system involving human subjects and extensive computing with an objective to interpret the information assimilated. Referring to the case situation it is justified to mention that information system accommodate many benefits. To being with it act as a potential communication system involved in assimilation and distribution of the information. Therefore obtaining information through this automated process the managers of SAH can strengthen their communication platform result to faster business operations. As the patient data can be stored in this particular system it enables the concerned organization to execute its business operations in a better manner (O'Brien and Marakas, 2011). Hence SAH can efficiently streamline it business operations. Information system is also useful in keeping and maintaining the patient’s records and also contributes immensely in the business decision making activities. Therefore embedding information system it is possible for SAH to estimate the key indicators of business like patient’s number, number of treatments done, online booking etc.
Important to highlight that there are five major variants of information system namely:
Transaction processing system
Management information system
Decision support system
Expert systems and neutral networks
Information system in organizations
2. Identify and list the specific business and system problems faced by SAH and list these problems in order of priority.
Referring to the information given in this particular case situation a number of problems in relation to system and business is evident. Therefore below is enlisted the number of problem faced by SAH in this respect:
1. Lack of proper database for management of the records of the treated animals
2. Absence of safety and security of the data resulting to greater susceptibility of occurrence of data corruptions or data theft.
3. Unauthorised access to the database
4. Unwanted task of data duplication
5. Inefficiency in payroll processing to be absence of proper information system
6. Emergence of resources related issue due to absence of a proper communication platform
7. Absence of online treatment booking option that further consumed significant time of both the pet owners and the hospital staffs
8. Not possible to understand the business performance issues due to absence of owners feedback system
9. Ineffective employee feedback system adversely affecting the organizational performance level
Hence the above mentioned problem can be considered as the key business challenged for SAH to defend. The concerned organization can easily encounter the above listed problematic issues by embedding an information system as an important part of its business operations. Significant amount of time is also saved by implementing information system within SAH (VALACICH, 2017).
3. What are the key information requirements of SAH? For each information requirement you have identified, discuss how this information would enhance or improve SAH’s competitive position.
In order SAH to prosper as a private veterinary hospital it is to embed information system. Below is given the key information required by the concerned organization:
Information related to the Patient’s (pet animal) data or pet records are essential to be stored in a database so that it may aid in easy retrieval of the information reducing the burden of paper work and unnecessary duplication.
The information with respect to staff files, staff timesheets are also important to be assimilated and stored online subsequently lowering the burden of manual work and the staffs can be engaged in some other important works.
Information is also required regarding the consumables that should be ordered. The incorporation of an information system shall enable ordering of the consumable automated and faster. In this way the accountants are relieved from bearing the unnecessary hassles of rushing to the required supplies to the hospital staffs.
Another important aspect to be considered in this respect that the management board of SAH should also acquired information gathered from the pet owners, feedback and ratings for the staffs. (Galliers et al., 2014).
It is to be remembered that the information system that the owner of SAH intend to embed should enable its user to exchange the information.
4. Which specific information system(s) can help SAH in managing their business problems, making business decisions and fulfilling the information requirements identified in the previous question?
As already mentioned in the previous section that SAH is in urgent need of embedding an information system that shall be helpful for the concerned organization bringing operational efficacy and shall also enable the it to expand further. Hence referring to the set of key information required for SAH, it shall be a wise decision for SAH to embed a transactional processing system, management information system and decision support system. Incorporation of a transactional processing system is crucial for SAH as this shall enable the organization in handling the transactions made and also in payroll processing. The significance of incorporation of management information system by SAH is to assimilate the data collected by the transactional processing system and further can be used by the managers of SAH to plan important business strategies. SAH should embed a decision support system in order to replace the decisions given by a manager with an aim to bring certain improvement at an organizational level (O'Brien and Marakas, 2011). Furthermore the concerned private hospital also requires the incorporation of information system in organizations aiding SAH to assimilate data from the patient’s party (pet owners) and process subsequently. This is how SAH can handle the challenging situations.
5. Explain how SAH could strategically utilise the Internet, intranet and extranet to engage with key stakeholders and fulfil communication and collaboration requirements.
Embedding internet, intranets and extranet it is possible for SAH to strengthen its presently existing business platform and thereby establishing a strong communication platform. SAH can utilize internet within its business operational activities and establish better collaboration with its business stakeholders and also provide a better support to clients (the pet owners) and the suppliers. SAH can also develop a cross-functional business application strengthening its strategic business alliances. Embedding intranet facility it shall be possible for SAH to embed better data security, sharing of information. Using an intranet browser SAH shall be able to send and receive emails, voicemails, test messages and communicate with the employees (Szuprowicz, 2010). However using the intranet Group Ware option SAH can embed a better team working attitude. Circulation of company newsletter, product or consumables requirement can be communicated as a part of in house business application. Extranet are the network links that utilize internet technology and are used to interconnect with the intranet of an organization. Embedding extranet facility SAH shall be able to establish a private secure internet link providing a better data security (Maruca, 2008). Hence through extranet SAH can link its intranet with its clients however presence of firewall security is mandatory.
6. “Change management” is an important concept to business organisations. How could SAH best manage the organisational changes that would occur with the implementation of the information systems changes you are proposing?
The concept of change management can be described as an approach or initiative to embed certain key changes at an organizational level wherein the employee of the said organization are to face the transitional phase. Change management is incident in order to re direct the use of resources, business operational activities, budget allocation and or to reshape the concerned organization. Hence citing the example of SAH it is evident that the organization is on the verge of embedding information system as a priority. It is inevitable for the working force of SAH to handle the issues that appear as a part of change management. For efficiently handling the organizational changes it is very essential for the employee of SAH to be given proper training. SAH should train its employee regarding how to work with management information system transactional processing system. The employee should be given an adequate training regarding how to access internet, intranet and extranet and work with automated system (Pollitt, 2009). However developing team working attitude is very crucial for the employee of SAH to handle the organisational changes witnessed by SAH following incorporation of information system. Participative leadership skill should be practiced by the team heads of SAH.
7. For various stakeholders at SAH, including its customers and employees, what are some of the possible security and ethical issues that may arise with the introduction of their information system? What could be done to resolve such issues?
Referring to the situation presented in the case scenario it is inevitable that incorporation of information system within SAH shall in one hand bring automation within the organization and data security shall become another concern on the other hand. Although it is possible to store huge amount of data or information related to the animals treated in this hospital through cloud computing process, the managers of SAH should also focus on strengthen the database security. Data security can be obtained by incorporating firewall and also by making the sites password protected. Free access to all the links should be limited only to the organisational heads. Embedding security information and event management system (SIEMS) can be considered as an effective step as a response to strengthen data security (Saeed, 2014). Incidents of cyber crime can be considered as a part of ethical issues with respect to information system however SAH may embed management information system (MIS) security in order to strengthen its data security aspects. Important to mention that it is inevitable for the management staffs of SAH to face ethical dilemmas at time that can be addressed by taking corrective steps to restore the essence of ethical responsibility (Basta, Zgola and Bullaboy, 2012).
Basta, A., Zgola, M. and Bullaboy, D. (2012). Database security. 1st ed. Boston, Mass.: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.
Galliers, R., Leidner, D., Leidner, D. and Galliers, R. (2014). Strategic information management. 1st ed. London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis.
Maruca, R. (2008). The way we work. 1st ed. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
O'Brien, J. and Marakas, G. (2011). Management information systems. 1st ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Pollitt, D. (2009). Change Management. 1st ed. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Saeed, K. (2014). Information processing and security systems. 1st ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Birkhauser.
Szuprowicz, B. (2010). Implementing enterprise portals. 1st ed. Charleston, SC: Computer Technology Research Corp.
VALACICH, J. (2017). INFORMATION SYSTEMS TODAY. 1st ed. [S.l.]: PRENTICE HALL.