Information systems may be excellently comprehended through their approach from both the business and technology standpoints. Technologically, an information system may be identified as a set of interconnected elements that gather, process, keep, distribute and retrieve data to facilitate decision making and management in an organisation. Over and above the enhancement of operations, coordination, and control, information systems might also assist organisational executives and employees in evaluating problems, envisioning intricate subjects, and generating new products.
They hold data regarding the community surrounding a company, individuals, locations, things and processes that are vital for the organisation. The data acts as raw facts characterising occurrences in the organisation and its physical environment in an unorganised and unarranged form that other people may fail to understand or utilise (Mithas and Rust 7). Organizational data is translated to information with the help of Information Technology (IT) support tools and stored in a manner that is beneficial for the continued operation and success of the business.
Significance of Information Technology Systems and Tools in Business Situations and Analysis
IT systems and tools assist in the application of data and information in business operations. For example, they assist supermarket counters in linking up millions or thousands of pieces of data in terms of items on shelves and in the store using product recognition numbers held in computerised databases, and the price of each entry (Stover 17). The pieces may be toted up to assist in analysis and provision of significant information, for instance, the total number of packets of maize flour in a given store and identification of the brand of flour that is highly purchased at the supermarket or in the region.
There are three stages in the application of information systems that help in producing the details required by the business to make considerable decisions, manage operations, assess challenges and introduce new services and items. The three steps include input, processing and output. While input holds raw data from the organisation or surrounding environment, processing assists in converting the entries into a consequential form and output transmits processed details to individuals who will utilise them or to other courses for which it was undertaken. To enhance their effectiveness, information systems necessitate feedback, which is the response provided to suitable members or leaders in the organisation to enable them assess and rectify the input stage.
As information systems tools, Office 365 Network Performance Tools, depend on the mode of operation of different structures. They enable the identification of network connectivity problems and offer guidance regarding required improvements. Whether positive or negative, the information generated by such tools can be critical in diagnostic tasks by managers and supervisors. IT systems and tools are crucial for the life and success of a company or business.
Formal information systems may be manual or computerised. In manual systems, paper-and-pencil processes are applied. Such systems serve fundamental needs of organisations for their enhanced success and growth but are continually being overtaken by technology. On the contrary, computerised information systems depend on computer hardware, as well as software technology, in their processing and dissemination of data. Even though computerised information systems employ computer expertise in their conversion of raw data to useful knowledge, some studies have established differences between such programs and information systems.
Computers offer necessary equipment for the processing and storage of information (Wu et al. 515). Software, or computerised programs, involve the combination of operating guidelines that steer and manage computer processes. The knowledge of computers and computerised programs and how they operate is crucial in devising solutions to organisational challenges while the equipment, computers themselves, only act as a part of information systems.
A house is a suitable analogy toward the understanding of IT and entailed systems. Mansions are constructed using nails, hammers, iron sheets, metal bars and wood, but any of these items cannot be called a house by itself. The structural design, plan, landscaping, surroundings and all decisions that result in the formation of intended features are a section of a house and are critical in resolving challenges such as having a suitably supported roof or proper drainage system.
Similarly, computers and associated programs function as nails, bars and hammers of IT systems, and alone cannot process data to fulfil the needs of the organisation. Effective comprehension of information systems entails understanding challenges they are meant to resolve, their architecture, structural design, components, and organisational undertakings that result in different solutions.
How UPS Competes Internationally With Information Technology
United Parcel Service (UPS), the leading air and ground package-delivery corporation across the globe, began its operations in 1907 in a toilet-size basement workplace. Two adolescents, Claude Ryan and Jim Casey, with two bicycles and a single phone promised provision of the most excellent services at the least possible charges. The company has since embarked on the approach effectively for over a century, which has enabled it to become the best globally in their line of operation.
Currently, UPS engages in the delivery of more than thirteen million documents and parcels every day in the US and over 200 other nations. The corporation has sustained excellence in delivering small packages in spite of aggressive rivalry from other companies such as Airborne Express and FedEx. The success of UPS may be highly attributed to the development of IT. In the previous decade, the corporation has spent billions of dollars in enhancement of its IT systems for the improvement of customer service and maintenance of minimal charges while ensuring to streamline its general operations.
With the help of a handheld device referred to as the Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD), UPS drivers mechanically capture clients’ signatures alongside the time-card details and posting and delivery location. Drivers position the DIAD in their car adapters, which has an information-transmission gadget that is linked to the cellphone network. Package tracking details are transferred to the corporation’s computerised system for storage, in addition to processing. After that, the information stored is available across the globe to offer evidence of delivery to clients, prospective users and for the provision of feedback to questions from customers.
Attributable to its computerised package tracking networks, UPS can oversee the entire process for guaranteed safety and quality of service. At different positions alongside the route from sending to delivery, the corporation utilises bar-code tools to scan shipping records on the label, and the information is keyed in to the main computer. Client service officials can evaluate the status of packages from any point along the network attributable to the linkage to the central computer (Annarelli and Nonino 10).
This enables them to react appropriately to questions posed by customers. The company’s clients may also access its website with the use of computers, laptops and wireless gadgets such as smartphones.
Customers who have packages for shipment may access UPS website and check available routes, estimate possible charges, establish the time it might take, and plan a pickup point. Businesses and individuals at any location use the site to organise shipment and make online payment. In the UPS Corporation, systems referred to as Campus Ship enable workers in diverse offices to process information and set packages’ shipment details from their devices as the procedure is effectively monitored by managers. UPS is consistently delivering time-receptive information from numerous positions to customers around the world. Its representatives automate delivery routes and information of the corporation’s shipment charges while itemising and detailing transport costs for every customer.
IT has facilitated the continued growth and reinvention of UPS. The corporation bases its decades of professionalism and effective administration of its international delivery network on supply chain management and control logistics, which rely on IT. One of the companies that has highly benefitted from the services offered by UPS is Birkenstock Footprint Sandals. It packs shoes in boxes, which are coded by UPS with their United States destination.
Handing over shipping tasks to UPS has made Birkenstock to reduce the period it takes to have shoes in its stores within the US by half. Bar-coded scanning of the boxes by UPS helps in keeping track of every consignment up to the moment that the receiving merchant signs it off. Moreover, UPS addresses online orders for companies such as Jockey International and installation of X-ray equipment for Philips Medical Systems in Europe among many other IT-based tasks.
The Window on Technology acts as one of the characteristic technology employed in computerised systems in the modern world. UPS has highly invested in information systems technology to ensure that its operations are run in an efficient, effective and customer-centred manner. The company employs a broad scope of IT systems and approaches that include the bar-code scanning method, wireless set of connections, large mainframe computers, the DIAD and the Internet among many pieces of software and hardware that facilitate its tracking of packages from the destination they are sent to their delivery, calculation of costs, supply chain management, maintenance of client accounts and control logistics.
Information Technology Application
IT provides numerous tools that are employed by organisational executives to deal with change. In a company, storage technology encompasses both the physical items that include the magnetic disc and software that manages arrangement of data on physical media. Communication expertise, which contains both software and physical appliances, connects different parts of hardware and transmits information from a given physical position to another. Computerised communication systems are interconnected in networks that enable sharing of video, pictures, voice, sound and data. The most extensively employed network across the globe is the Internet.
It is a global complex of networks, which are either publicly or commercially owned. The Internet interlinks millions of other networks based in over two hundred nations internationally. Additionally, about one billion people operating in education, science and private and public organisations employ the Internet in their daily exchange of data and transaction details with other companies worldwide.
Some of IT support tools used by organisations around the globe include computers, printers and software. Their application and interconnection is facilitated by the Internet. Organisations and companies improve their efficiency by embracing IT. In the era of information technology, organisations may attain competitive benefit by employing IT tools to their maximum. Attributable to its facilitation of new possibilities of conducting business, application of the Internet has created what is referred to as the World Wide Web, which has been of special interest to the conducting and management of organisational operations.
The Web has served as the basis of countless IT systems, for example, the Web-anchored package tracking method used by UPS and the system of handling client orders and managing shipments employed by CEMEX, an international building materials company. In an organisation, IT helps in driving innovation, which is vital for sustainable business success. IT has provided businesses with vital tools for enhancing customer support, resolving intricate challenges, facilitating decision making, improving marketing and ensuring effective resource management.
Information technology systems may be defined as a set of interconnected components that gather, process, hold, issue and retrieve data to facilitate decision making and administration in an organisation. Over and above the improvement of operations, management, and control, information systems may also assist organisational executives and employees in assessing problems, envisioning convoluted subjects, and generating novel products. Organizational data is converted to information with the aid of IT support tools and stored in an approach that is valuable for the continued function and success of the business. UPS has greatly invested in information systems technology to make sure that its operations are carried out in an efficient, effective and customer-focussed way.
Annarelli, Alessandro, and Fabio Nonino. “Strategic and Operational Management of Organizational Resilience: Current State of Research and Future Directions.” Omega, vol. 62, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-18.
Mithas, Sunil, and Roland Rust. “How Information Technology Strategy and Investments Influence Firm Performance: Conjecture and Empirical Evidence1.” Mis Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-10.
Stover, William. Information Technology in the Third World: Can it Lead to Humane National Development? Routledge, 2019.
Wu, Shelly, et al. “How Information Technology Governance Mechanisms and Strategic Alignment Influence Organizational Performance: Insights From a Matched Survey of Business and IT Managers.” Mis Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 2, 2015, pp. 497-518.