Information technology management
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What is Information technology management?
The definition of Information Technology Management, derived from the definition of Technology Management is as follows:
Information Technology Management is concerned with exploring and understanding Information Technology as a corporate resource that determines both the strategic and operational capabilities of the firm in designing and developing products and services for maximum customer satisfaction, corporate productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
IT Management is a different subject from Management Information Systems. Management Information Systems refer to information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making. IT Management, as stated in the above definition, refers to the IT related management activities in organizations. MIS as it is referred to is focus mainly on the business aspect with a strong input into the technology phase of the business / organization.
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Management information system
A management information system (MIS) is a subset of the overall internal controls of a business covering the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures by management accountants to solve business problems such as costing a product, service or a business-wide strategy. Management information systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems.
It has been described as, "MIS 'lives' in the space that intersects technology and business. MIS combines tech with business to get people the information they need to do their jobs better/faster/smarter. Information is the lifeblood of all organizations - now more than ever. MIS professionals work as systems analysts, project managers, systems administrators, etc., communicating directly with staff and management across the organization."
Technology Management is set of management discipline that allows organizations to manage its technological fundamentals to create competitive advantage. Typical concepts used in technology management are technology strategy (a logic or role of technology in organization), technology mapping (identification of possible relevant technologies for the organization), technology road mapping (a limited set of technologies suitable for business), technology project portfolio (a set of projects under development) and technology portfolio (a set of technologies in use).
The role of the technology management function in an organization understands the value of certain technology for the organization. Continuous development of technology is valuable as long as there is a value for the customer and therefore the technology management function in an organization should be able to argue when to invest on technology development and when to withdraw.
Technology Management can also be defined as the integrated planning, design, optimization, operation and control of technological products, processes and services, a better definition would be the management of the use of technology for human advantage.
Perhaps the most authoritative input to our understanding of technology is the diffusion of innovations theory developed in the first half of the twentieth century. It suggests that all innovations follow a similar diffusion pattern - best known today in the form of an "s" curve though originally based upon the concept of a standard distribution of adopters. In broad terms the "s" curve suggests four phases of a technology life cycle - emerging, growth, mature and aging.
These four phases are coupled to increasing levels of acceptance of an innovation or, in our case a new technology. In recent times for many technologies an inverse curve - which corresponds to a declining cost per unit - has been postulated. This may not prove to be universally true though for information technology where much of the cost is in the initial phase it has been a reasonable expectation.
The second major contribution to this area is the Carnegie Mellon Capability Maturity Model. This model proposes that a series of progressive capabilities can be quantified through a set of threshold tests. These tests determine repeatability, definition, management and optimization. The model suggests that any organization has to master one level before being able to proceed to the next.
The third significant contribution comes from Gartner - the research service, it is the hype cycle, this suggests that our modern approach to marketing technology results in the technology being over hyped in the early stages of growth.
Taken together these concepts provide a foundation for formalizing the approach to managing technology.
Overview of MIS
At the start, in businesses and other organizations, internal reporting was made manually and only periodically, as a by-product of the accounting system and with some additional statistics, and gave limited and delayed information on management performance.
In their infancy, business computers were used for the practical business of computing the payroll and keeping track of accounts payable and accounts receivable. As applications were developed that provided managers with information about sales, inventories, and other data that would help in managing the enterprise, the term "MIS" arose to describe these kinds of applications. Today, the term is used broadly in a number of contexts and includes (but is not limited to): decision support systems, resource and people management applications, project management and database retrieval application.
Definition of MIS
An 'MIS' is a planned system of the collecting, processing, storing and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the functions of management. In a way it is a documented report of the activities those were planned and executed.
The terms MIS and information system are often confused. Information systems include systems that are not intended for decision making. The area of study called MIS is sometimes referred to, in a restrictive sense, as information technology management. That area of study should not be confused with computer science. IT service management is a practitioner-focused discipline. MIS has also some differences with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as ERP incorporates elements that are not necessarily focused on decision support.
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