Management Information Systems (MIS) is determined as the study of people relationships within an organization and the ways to improve those through the use of technology. The following research highlights the key problem TPMT group faces when making business arrangements and demonstrates how an information system can assist with solving an occurring issue. Naturally, to successfully implement a mentioned method the company specialists need to consider such factors as other corporations’ experience, the cost of the project, and an overall organization budget. The research shows that to fight the problem of insufficient knowledge transfer between both customers and the company’s employees a serious improvement of working assets is required, which is achieved through the use of a Web 2.0 potential.
Considering the fact TPM Tools Ltd. is a small group of only six full-time workers, attempting to conquer the Africa markets, the key business problem they currently face is the lack of staff and, thus, poor knowledge transfer between agents and company employees. Eventually, acting measures need to be taken to improve the situation, since a lack of information leads to incorrect ideas implementation and forms a suitable background for shadow operations. Also, it creates premises for workers’ low competence and the company’s lower marketability. In its turn, it accounts for additional expands and significant incomes reduction. To stabilize the situation one needs to refer to technological means of business organization because businesses should use those at all operational levels to collect, process, and store data properly (What is MIS? Management Information Systems 2014). It will provide ease in communication and will allow for more efficient monitoring of all business processes.
Web 2.0 is the second generation of web content, which is primarily focused on interoperability and multi-user kind of activity. The introduction of web 2.0, or social technologies, has seriously contributed to the matter of business organization. Today, it is much easier to establish communication, data exchange, and supervision of processes using interactive technologies (blogs, podcasts, social networks, document editing, videoconferencing, etc.). One of the reports states that “using the interactive, you can track the performance of each technology through the years or customize the view to compare particular technologies side by side” (Business and Web 2.0: an interactive feature 2013, para. 3). Moreover, Web applications, combining several sources of data exchange into a single platform, have recently become even more compelling due to the need of sharing larger amounts of information. Also, the fact, these technologies allow for “overcoming the burden of reduced public budgets and resources” automatically solves possible financial issues (Sivarajah, Irani & Weerakkody 2015, p. 473).
Another beneficial aspect of using Web 2.0 is that “this interactive archive will evolve from year to year” and, thus, will be forming a background for future business development (Business and Web 2.0: an interactive feature 2013, para. 4). Expectedly, visible business progress leads to the need for its further integration and expansion of working assets. In its turn, this fact creates premises for providing more efficient management of information systems and the need to apply for more advanced means of data exchange. With regards to this fact, Web 2.0 technologies are primarily designed to follow all the occurring business trends and adapt to environments.
Regarding the matter of insufficient knowledge transfer, the advantages of using Web 2.0 are, in fact, hard to underestimate. As Sivarajah, Irani, and Weerakkody (2015, p. 474) point out, referring to Web 2.0 content often leads to significant improvement of information accessibility/transparency, more accurate data accountability, and much easier process monitoring. The experience of larger companies and local governments, same as intra-organizational studies held by the researchers, prove that the three benefits are equally achievable for both large corporations and smaller groups like TPM Tools Ltd. (Sivarajah, Irani & Weerakkody 2015, p. 474). Web 2.0 applications contribute to establishing much closer relationships with customers, because of feedback the latter leave and quick and informative answers they receive. Data transparency plays one of the key roles, in this case, letting clients have a more objective view of the products and services and allowing companies to demonstrate their responsible approach to building mutually beneficial cooperation relationships.
As to data accountability, the process flows faster and with a higher accuracy rate when done with the use of the most recent information technologies. Online databases allow for storing greater amounts of corporate information and doing all the amendments in online mode. Eventually, referring to cloud services, either free or prepaid, can cause an overall positive impact on the accountancy and provide a user with a simply unprecedented level of data accessibility. The same refers to process monitoring, which turns more efficient through the use of clouds and social media, where employees and local agents are to leave their feedback. The international practice shows that managers can stay in the know this way and focus attention on the most problematic branches (Sivarajah, Irani & Weerakkody 2015, p. 479).
Using Web 2.0 applications, however, forces companies to face several challenges that need to be considered for successful technology implementation. The first and the major one is data security. The data that should remain corporate and confidential may become disclosed, which, in the end, would lead to dire consequences both financially and technically. The researchers state that “providing the right level of security for knowledge management is key” (10 knowledge management challenges managers face today 2013, para. 3). Therefore, sensitive information has to be granted restricted access and be only available to persons with proper credentials. By the example of the majority of companies and corporations throughout the world, access is given to the company’s heads and upper managing staff. As to the rest, information is shielded from their access.
One more challenge to pay attention to when sharing corporate knowledge is keeping data in order. Valuable data, retrieved from a group of company workers, quite often require validation before being distributed (10 knowledge management challenges managers face today 2013). Close attention is often required to correct occurring mistakes and take irrelevant ideas/information off the list. The same approach is taken for solving the third challenge a company might deal with – wrong data interpretation. This occurrence could either be conditioned by one’s insufficient knowledge of technology/software applications or someone’s the wrong comprehension of acquired data. Dantas (2015) stresses that people need to be educated on how these applications work, otherwise, a business might be harmed. Thus, when inviting new employees, a company has to rely on all the international experience and set a probation period for candidates to let them learn how to work with information.
Considering the relevance of the previously mentioned data, a management consultant cannot neglect the fact that Web 2.0 technologies create a solid background for communicational tasks improvement and stimulate businesses for constant and steady growth. The concept makes particular sense when it comes to operating a minimal budget, since a part of applications grants free access to all users, although, providing a set limit on the volume of information stored/shared. Eventually, using them turns to be a matter of time and funds saving; funds that could normally be spent on hiring additional agents or full-time company representatives. Moreover, using Web 2.0 for knowledge transfer positively influences corporate operations, as the speed of their processing increases noticeably. According to Sivarajah, Irani, and Weerakkody (2015, p. 473), “Web 2.0 technologies are a simple and effective second generation of web services that provide a social and participatory virtual platform for organizations to collaborate, network and interact with stakeholders”. Thus, their implementation makes economic sense for a small-size company.
In the case of the TPMT group, the integration of web-based tools into information systems and knowledge management could be performed with minimal inconsistency. The fact knowledge sharing is one of the most important tactical practices of KM drives to the conclusion these tools would just be “helping them to do a better job” (Sivarajah, Irani & Weerakkody 2015, p. 474). Using social media and document storage services allows for immediate reaction to any change in a workflow. Considering the above-stated researchers’ opinion and international experience, using Web 2.0 applications for business arrangement turns to be a matter of operations’ improvement and overall growth of income. Therefore, it is recommended to make them an integral part of business processes.
Summarizing all the aspects and the data on research, there is a suitable and economically sound solution for the TPMT group to fight the problem of poor knowledge transfer – it is using Web 2.0 content. The available applications not only come as quick and efficient means of data transfer, but they also allow for a significant economy, more accurate planning of digital marketing budget, and using funds for hiring extra employees. The stated benefits represent high-level usability for all the small- and medium-sized companies, having an insufficient staff of workers. Therefore, applying for Web 2.0 type of content turns to be the only reasonable decision when one operates with a strictly limited budget.
10 knowledge management challenges managers face today 2013. Web.
Dantas, A 2015, Challenges of Web 2.0 and real people. Web.
Sivarajah, U, Irani, Z, Weerakkody, V 2015, ‘Evaluating the use and impact of Web 2.0 technologies in local government’, Government Information Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 473-487. Web.