ne of the major responsibilities of the CIO is to establish the credibility of the systems organization. The systems department should not only focus on providing better service to the various lines of business but also help businesses operate better. If the CIO wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do what other executives do and have his own business metrics and performance measurements, so that he can effectively measure his internal business performance. Other business departments have them, but CIOs generally do not because IT has always been viewed as a cost center. Measurements in IT tend to be vague and lacking in context. For example, 'I had 14 projects last year, and I did them well.' But there is no real business measurement there. How many projects should the manager have had? Did he really have the capacity to handle 14 projects? A CIO should explore running their area more like a service operation rather than a cost center, and develop metrics that track the performance of the information systems staff, as well as the equipment comprising the applications, infrastructure, and networks under the CIO's control. The first step, they say, is to implement service level agreements (SLAs) with business units. It sets the expectation on the technical areas of the CIO's operations. At a minimum, they should set up what is expected and what levels of service the equipment will provide. The underlying SLAs should be some sort of a chargeback system with business units, particularly when it comes to apportioning staff time. If information systems are now providing a service, the staff needs to understand where the service is being used to be properly remunerated or to demonstrate where the value is.
MB0047-Management Information System
Case Study: Information system in a restaurant.
A waiter takes an order at a table, and then enters it online via one of the six terminals located in the restaurant dining room. The order is routed to a printer in the appropriate preparation area: the cold item printer if it is a salad, the hot-item printer if it is a hot sandwich or the bar printer if it is a drink. A customer’s meal check-listing (bill) the items ordered and the respective prices are automatically generated. This ordering system eliminates the old three-carbon-copy guest check system as well as any problems caused by a waiter’s handwriting. When the kitchen runs out of a food item, the cooks send out an ‘out of stock’ message, which will be displayed on the dining room terminals when waiters try to order that item. This gives the waiters faster feedback, enabling them to give better service to the customers. Other system features aid management in the planning and control of their restaurant business. The system provides up-to-the-minute information on the food items ordered and breaks out percentages showing sales of each item versus total sales. This helps management plan menus according to customers’ tastes. The system also compares the weekly sales totals versus food costs, allowing planning for tighter cost controls. In addition, whenever an order is voided, the reasons for the void are keyed in. This may help later in management decisions, especially if the voids consistently related to food or service. Acceptance of the system by the users is exceptionally high since the waiters and waitresses were involved in the selection and design process. All potential users were asked to give their impressions and ideas about the various systems available before one was chosen.
Questions to be analysed:
1. In the light of the system, describe the decisions to be made in the area of strategic planning, managerial control and operational control? What information would you require to make such decisions?
2. What would make the system a more complete MIS rather than just doing transaction processing?
3. Explain the probable effects that making the system more formal would have on...
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