Decision-making is a fundamental process within any organisation that wants to realise success. Therefore, most businesses strive to use the best strategies in making decisions. The strategies involve the use of modern technologies, which offer many choices that are beneficial to the organisation. Thus, the use of information systems and their resources in organisational management is mandatory. Ultimately, the information systems have an impact on the decision-making processes through the features that they exhibit.
Information system refers to a combination of elements such as hardware and software for the purposes of decision-making in business organisations. Therefore, an information system is a unit of elements that work together to achieve a set goal. The information system contains resources that facilitate the activities taking place within the system. The resources enhance effective planning and coordination of functions taking place within the system. Primarily, information systems refer to those elements with the capability to support computer applications (Oz, 2009).
The internet service providers use the operation support system to manage networks. In addition, the system performs such functions as managing inventories and offering configuration services. The support system also manages faults and ensures the provision of services to the users. The system works as a complete unit in the execution of its duties. It contains various divisions that work together in an integrated manner. The primary task of the support system is service delivery. In addition, it offers service assurance and management of the available networks. The operating system support works together with the management support system (Oz, 2009). Therefore, it is suitable in ensuring that there is effective decision-making within an organisation.
The management support system is a subdivision of the management information systems. It offers information retrieval capabilities to the final stakeholders. Therefore, it enhances the performance of functions pertaining to analysis through scenarios such as the “what if” cases. The functions are useful in making searches within various databases, thus enhancing the fast retrieval of information. The early retrieval of information enhances quick decision-making. The management support system has a direct working link with the system support, which enhances good working relationships within the functional system (Oz, 2009).
An information system refers to a combination of relevant technological elements to enhance harmonious working. The goal of the processes is the attainment of a common objective. The interested parties concentrate on certain processes and are the relevant system users. Therefore, they utilise the available system resources information. Such resources include the system hardware and software. The system resources are effective in ensuring the achievement of viable decisions. Their resources enhance the processing of raw information into a useful form. Therefore, the first system resource is data.
Data are the figures that a user feeds into the system for processing purposes. The initial state of data is not useful to the user. The data becomes useful if subjected to some form of manipulation. The manipulation enhances the achievement of a given purpose for any set of data. Through processing and analysis, one can draw effective conclusions from the data that are useful in making decisions. The system contains elements that enhance the entering of the information and the eventual analysis of the information (O’Brien, 2003). The second resource under review is the hardware component.
Hardware entails system elements that are tangible in nature. Therefore, the physical characteristic means that a person can touch the elements and manipulate the way they function. The hardware devices can be either internal or external. In addition, there are peripherals that include such devices as keyboards. The primary task of the peripherals is communicating with the internal elements of the system. Communication is possible through the software installations in the system (Oz, 2009). The following paragraph describes the term software as a system resource.
Software systems are the intangible elements of a computer. They are the authoritative programs that govern how the computer system functions. The software concerns all the programs that enhance the effective operations of a computer to achieve its functions. The software system has guidelines that enable it to accomplish the selected tasks. Therefore, the computer hardware and software systems work harmoniously in order to achieve the required functions (O’Brien, 2003). The networks are also part of the information systems.
Networks are installations that enhance the exchange of information through computers, using network computation devices. The devices communicate through data connections. The networks consist of links that determine whether the network communication is via cable or wireless links. An example of a vast network communication platform is the internet. Both people and organisations across the continents make use of the platform. The networks contain nodes that are responsible for enabling and disabling connections. The nodes are the main hosts that include devices such as mobile phones (O’Brien, 2003).
When a single device is in a position to enhance and exchange the information with another gadget, then the two of them have a network link. The linkage happens despite the existence of a direct network link within the devices. The computer networks can ensure that various applications gain access to the web. Computer networks have differences in the way of transmitting the information. All the transmissions rely on the network topologies and protocols for the organisation to receive the network traffic.
Lastly, the information system resource includes people who are active contributors to the system. The people are the users of the systems. Therefore, they are the final resources that operate the computer systems. Without the users, the systems cannot work in order to achieve the intended functions. People manipulate the systems effectively in order to achieve the required results. For instance, people are responsible for entering information into a computer system. Being the users, they can manipulate the facts in order to bring out results that one can use to make viable inferences. The following paragraphs highlight some useful information about the decision-making concept.
Each organisation anticipates success in its line of production or dealings. Therefore, to ensure success, the organisations have to undertake a decision-making procedure as part of the management process. The decisions that the management makes are to enhance the success of that organisation. Therefore, the main function of the decisions is to pave way for opportunities. The decision may be in any sector within the organisation such as managerial, human resource, and decisions to seek strategic positions. The decision-making procedure is a complex issue that calls for the involvement of different personalities. To ensure the success of any decision in a business situation, people should have adequate experience to enhance a correct formulation of policies or strategies that can work properly (Shapira, 2002).
There are tools whose function is to work and ensure that organisations realise viable decisions. The tools include discussions and consultations during the decision-making process. A discussion enables the brainstorming of ideas that enhance the setting of goals, which enhance the realisation of the final decision. On the other hand, consultations enable the committee to deliberate on a decision to find out solutions from other organisations that have undertaken a similar course of action in the past. The consultation gives insight into the decision making-process, viable solutions, and can pioneer a long-lasting solution to the question under review.
The decisions that an organisation can embrace include coming up with innovative ways of improving production. In addition, the organisation can deliberate on how to improve sales and the expansion of the organisation (Bell, Raiffa & Tversky, 1988).
There are various parties involved in the decision-making process. The parties may be internal or external depending on the nature of the decision that an organisation intends to make. Mostly, the final decision has a foundation on research and properly evaluated consultations. The managers should make critical decisions whenever there is a need. The decisions are good for the survival of the organisation. Therefore, the managers have the mandate of making decisions in conjunction with other relevant stakeholders in order to ensure that there is a positive impact on the organisation. There are various decision levels that an organisation can adopt (Bell, Raiffa & Tversky, 1988). The decisions can be structured, unstructured, and semi-structured.
Structured decision making undergoes various steps. The first step in making structured decisions is through making an explicit definition of the problem. Then, one has to ensure that there is proper identification of the persons that should be involved in making a decision and how they will have to contribute to effective decision-making. Then, the next step is the definition of various decisional objectives. In addition, during the decision-making process, alternatives that are suitable to set objectives should be in place. Next, one should make an estimate of the consequences involved in making a decision and evaluate the existing preferences. Lastly, there is the implementation and monitoring of the decision to see its impact on the organisation (Shapira, 2002).
There are many reasons that qualify a decision as unstructured. For instance, if a decision has no certain purpose, then it is unstructured. In addition, the unstructured decisions do not have formulation instances. Therefore, it implies that the decisions that one makes without any prior arrangements are unstructured. The unstructured decisions also lack clearly defined situations. Lastly, unstructured decisions are rampant in emergency cases only. On the other hand, semi-structured decisions are those that have either structured or unstructured decisions within them (Bell, Raiffa & Tversky, 1988). The decision-making process below is essential in ensuring that the organisations come up with useful decisions.
There are steps involved during decision-making. The steps ensure that the decision arrived at has the capability of solving the main problem facing the organisation. There are six primary steps that enhance effective decision-making (Bell, Raiffa & Tversky, 1988). The first step is the definition of the main problem under scrutiny. The definition of the problem offers a chance of stating goals that can enhance clarification of thoughts.
The second step is the development of alternatives since there are times when the solutions can emerge from the alternatives. Then the persons involved in the decision-making process should work towards having a detailed evaluation of the alternatives. At this point, the committee involved in the process should make a decision. Once there is a decision, immediate implementation of the solution is mandatory. Lastly, close monitoring of the solution should follow to see the progress of that solution (Shapira, 2002). A decision support system is important in enhancing decision-making.
The decision support system refers to an application that makes business information analyses in an organisation. After the analysis, the program presents the information to the human resource responsible in order to enhance decision-making through the inferences that the system creates. Therefore, the program is informational as opposed to operational. The function of the operational application is the collection of facts during the course of business dealings (Shapira, 2002). The decision support system has various components.
The first decision support element is a database. The database is a managerial system responsible for the management of the data from both inside and outside sources of the company (O’Brien, 2003). Alternatively, the model-based management system performs a study of the urbane data. The element does ensure that there are models that enhance the provision of assessment and interpretation for decision-making. On the other hand, the user interface presents the users with tools for the management of data and their respective models. The interface ensures that there is immediate feedback from the system. There are personal and group support systems.
The personal system operates in a small-scale version. The system development is for use by only one manager. The system development can also be for a small number of managers. Usually, the personal system is applicable to urgent and important tasks. It is the largest element of DSS research. Currently, the personal system is applicable by most managers in various organisations. On the other hand, the group’s system enhances digital communication using different resources that are available.
The program is effective for use with those projects that require work done in groups. The main proponents of the system are of the view that it enhances the collective participation of the involved people. In addition, the system enhances the elimination of such barriers as distance since decision-making is possible through long-distance participation processes and live video conferencing (O’Brien, 2003).
According to Shapira (2002), decision analysis refers to the current decision-making strategies. Decision analysis is applicable in businesses that require certain methodologies and tools in order to enhance the identification and assessment of different parameters. The measurement of the parameters such as risks and outcomes ensures that the businesses attain the optimum decision-making levels.
In conclusion, decision-making in any business organisation is an important undertaking. The process determines the next step for the organisation. Therefore, businesses must embrace systems that can enhance the achievement of positive results within a short time. The use of information systems enhances decision-making that is essential in any organisation. The decision-making strategies that a business employs whether intensive or extensive should have a positive impact on the organisation. Therefore, it is mandatory for businesses to put in place the relevant information systems that are effective in decision-making.
Bell, D.E., Raiffa, H., & Tversky, A., 1988, Decision-making: descriptive, normative, and prescriptive interactions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O’Brien, J.A., 2003, Introduction to Information Systems, Boston MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Oz, E., 2009, Management information systems, Boston Mass: Thomson/Course Technology.
Shapira, Z.B., 2002, Organisational decision-making, Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press.