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Ford Information System

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Autor:   •  March 10, 2011  •  2,399 Words (10 Pages)  •  904 Views

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An information system consists of input, processing, output, and feedback. With these activates the information system helps to produce the information that associations need to get better decision-making, problem solving, controlling operations, and creating new products or services.

The information systems can assist a business in that they contain important information about an exacting client, place, or event that get place in the organization or the environment nearby it. Information systems are not as important for smaller stores as it is for the larger corporations.

A Management Information system (MIS) can be distinct as an organized assembly of resources and procedures required to collect and process data and deal out information for use in decision-making. It serves the management echelon of the organization, providing managers with reports and, in some cases, with on-line access to the organization's current performance and historical records. Generally, a MIS is dependent on fundamental transaction processing or operational systems for their data. It is important to differentiate between information and an operational system. MIS as an information system will gather and collate data and distribute information from the current operational systems like the depot systems. Management information is a tool to be used and will never replace common sense. (Chappell, 2005) It is supplemented by other management tools and not used in separation. A single management report from a MIS is never used to make a policy decision. A number of reports over a period are used to establish a propensity and that is used as a basis for investigation.

Problem Identification of The Management Information Systems of Ford

Advances in information technology and perceived dissatisfaction with MIS performance is leading users to take over their own systems development work. This does not mean an end to the MIS department, but a staff rather than line responsibility will be required as users become the dominant developer of information systems. For a successful transition, HRD will be expected to operate as a change agent helping both groups adjusts to their new roles.

The introduction of microcomputers into the workplace during the 1980's ushered in a new era which is having a profound effect on organizations. (Chappell, 2005) More specifically, users are taking greater control for systems development in their organization. This change requires user departments to prepare for new responsibilities and the Management Information Systems (MIS) department to adapt to a new role and purpose within the organization. Furthermore, the Human Resource Department (HRD) needs to help manage the conversion from an MIS dominated to a user controlled environment. (Allen, 1987)

Technology Factors

Expensive computers, and the need to have a FORD employee program the computer, centralized computing in one department where the mainframe was the centerpiece of the operation. In the 1970s the development of smaller computer systems (e.g. minicomputers) made it possible for user departments, which had specialized functions such as research or development, to acquire some of their own computer equipment. In fact mid sized and small computers are often referred to as departmental computers to signify their use by user departments rather than CMIS. Nonetheless, in terms of the total volume of computing being conducted, FORD easily remained the major information systems organization during the 1970s.

One of the obvious changes that end user independence precipitates is a decentralization of the information system function. In addition to the affordable price of hardware, which places computers within the reach of many user departments, the efficiency of PC's relative to mainframes is an important consideration for a cost conscience government. This economic consideration also favors acceleration in user departments justifying their own hardware.

States are also anticipating further technological and managerial changes which are indicative of a strong user's orientation - greater use of powerful small computer systems, growth in user computing and an increase in computer networking and data sharing. (Bennis, 1967)

Organizational Factors

The primary issue is the performance of FORD as perceived by users. A survey by The Partnership for Research in Information Systems Management or PRISM illustrates the type of disenchantment users experience with FORD. The survey found that 75% of users, who had acquired their own systems, cite unsatisfactory performance by FORD as the most important factor in wanting their own system. These users also justify their independent systems on the grounds that they can produce systems more quickly and better tailored to their needs than FORD. Furthermore, functional managers perceive FORD as unresponsive to their needs. Adding to the Duties of User Departments

The most pronounced change for user departments is the opportunity to develop their own information systems. As Allen observes, users are in a better position to evaluate and acquire their own information systems than CMIS. Specific information systems functions will fall to departmental staff with more specialized training in the discipline - tasks familiar to FORD such as planning strategic departmental information systems, determining information needs, obtaining hardware and software within guidelines established by CMIS, assessing whether systems are in conformity with regulations and policies, and evaluating the exposure of risk from information systems failure. Restructuring the Role of FORD, a change in FORD duties appears inevitable. (Gauch, 1992)

Planning and Standards Development

FORD is the most reasonable place to locate the information planning and control responsibility for the organization as a whole.

Technical Leadership

The background and experience of the professional FORD staff is particularly well suited to perform the technology tracking function within organizations.

User Support

The change in user department FORD roles places a greater responsibility on FORD in the area of user support. The establishment and maintenance of local area networks represents another area for user support.

Computer Operations

A viable data center operating the mainframe and ancillary equipment will remain an integral part of FORD. It is noted that there is a controversy over the future of the mainframe


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