Information Systems and Organisations

Information, in a broad sense, is structured, processed and organised information. It gives context to other data and allows effective decision making in any situation. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a restaurant is detailed data this becomes valuable information if the company is able to accurately identify the top or lowest priced dish. Similarly, information architecture aids the creation and management of information systems, data-sharing applications and information products.

The benefits of information systems and information use have been realised by businesses and organisations over recent years and it is now embedded into their culture. In order for a business to be competitive and thrive, the procedures that they use to make decisions are now very critical. No business can do well without decision makers who take decisions on a regular basis. At the same time, employees need access to information as part of the job. So a company can no longer afford to have an employee take the information home in a file. They need somewhere to store it so that it is readily available when it is required.

The challenge therefore becomes for businesses to create an information system and ensure that it is sufficiently robust to deal with the expected consequences of using it in any given circumstance. A good formalism of information use is an essential component of this process. E.g. a business must ensure that all employees take an hour of their time every week for ‘due diligence’ on a particular project, e.g., determining whether or not a change of procedure will benefit the overall process.