Information Systems and Collaboration in Organizations

Definition fo ‘Data’, ‘Information’, and ‘Knowledge’. Challenges in Managing Information Systems

Management Information System aims at collecting, processing, storing, managing, and distributing various types of information in different decision-making activities (Knowledge Flow 2014). Information systems could vary considerably, and it is important to understand the definition of each word in the system to convert all crucial data into specific information and build the required portion of knowledge. In MIS, there are three main terms. Data, information, and knowledge cannot be confused or misunderstood. Data includes unprocessed and uncovered facts and figures that cannot be interpreted or analyzed as soon as they are discovered.

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It has a static nature and can be introduced in the form of disconnected facts. Data is used to describe something. Information is the data that could be interpreted because of the present meaning and purpose. The peculiar feature of information is its possibility to expand human understanding regardless of the facts given. Finally, knowledge is a successful combination of data, information, and personal experience that could lead to a certain benefit. Knowledge determines the way of how people comprehend an issue, even, etc. It is usually based on such processes as learning, thinking, analyzing, and understanding.

The challenges in managing information systems include the necessity to recognize data from information and knowledge, provide raw data and up-to-date information, make appropriate decisions, and consider the changes that could occur in the environment.

Definitions of ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Cardinality’ as They Pertain to Entity-Relationship Diagrams

Entity-relationship diagrams are used to demonstrate the relations of the entity sets that could be stored in a certain database and explain the existed logical structure of the chosen database. The first diagram was developed by Peter Chen in 1976 (SmartDraw 2016). The main components of any ERD include entities that are all possible objects to store information about, attributes which are all unique characteristics of objects and relationships which are all actions during which information in a database is shared. Each component has its characteristics and values. ERDs help to clarify the nature of relations that could be developed. In terms of ERDs, the relationships could be classified regarding the level of their connectivity and cardinality. Therefore, it is important to comprehend the difference between these two terms.

Connectivity is the way of how associated entity instances are mapped in a relationship. Connectivity shows how the attributes of entities are connected in a diagram. In its turn, cardinality is the existing number of all related occurrences for each entity in the chosen relationship. It specifies the possible maximum of the relations in one particular diagram. The opposite side of cardinality is ordinality that introduces the minimum number of relationships in the same diagram. All these issues are interconnected and cannot be neglected to introduce the effective results of the diagram development.

Use of an SIS to Change the Scope of Competition for an Organization

Nowadays, many systems could be used to promote organizational prosperity and survival. These systems are introduced in the forms of powerful tools with the help of which companies could be ahead of all competitions. As a rule, such systems are identified as strategic information systems (SIS). SIS is created as a kind of response to some corporate business initiatives. Therefore, the main goal of such a system is to promote a competitive advantage for an organization (Buhl et al. 2012). It is possible to use SIS to change goals, improve operations, develop products and services, and establish the required environmental relations. Still, not many people comprehend how exactly SIS could be used to change the scope of competition.

SIS may be used at different organizational levels and gain different forms. For example, inward systems could be used to increase employee productivity and enhance teamwork in organizations. Competitive advantage could be changed when strategic goals are developed. Performance is increased with the help of such systems because managers or other promoters evaluate the current situation, comprehend the needs of an organization and each member, and introduce the steps that could be effective for the achievement of positive results.

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The scope of competitions could be changed considerably as soon as SIS is applied to the organization and its people in the right way. If necessary, much time should be spent to comprehend the essence of this process.

IT Support of Communication and Collaboration

Today, people pay much attention to such questions as a successful organization of work, effective management, and the choice of appropriate tools for organizations and their people. Communication and collaboration are crucial to each organization. Collaboration is a significant investment for organizations the people of which search for new productivity sources and innovations. Communication is the way of how people could exchange information, share their opinions, and ask for or offer help. Information technology includes all possible applications used via computers and with the help of the Internet.

Collaboration and communication may be considerably improved with the help of IT. For example, companies could create corporative e-mails to exchange information in a short period or official websites where companies could describe their services, inform customers, and discuss organizational culture or other organizational values. IT in collaboration and communication is a chance to use technologies to share documents and other types of data from different parts of the world. Nowadays, distance does not matter, and companies may collaborate from anywhere. Communication systems are integrated into all working processes (Crameri, Christa & Andreas 2013). People facilitate their work and have enough time to discuss other questions, solve new problems, and think about the improvements that could be offered.

IT Architecture Differences from an Information Vision

IT management and MIS are significant fields that are developed to help organizations demonstrate their best abilities and achievements. It is not enough to know the basics of management. It is necessary to comprehend the meaning of each term, compare different thoughts, and make appropriate conclusions. For example, in modern worlds, there are many models and guides which are based on IT applications and specification. IT architecture is the process that helps to develop all those specifications and create a system with several properly defined policies and principles. IT architecture also introduces services and solutions that could help organizations to understand the technological aspects and meet the missions and goals established. Its architecture aims at guiding the process of planning and modifying available IT sources. It helps to maintain the opportunities and elaborate on the ideas in the most effective ways. In other words, IT architecture is the process that helps to control activities in an organization.

An information vision is not a process but a statement with the help of which the information base is identified and used for the achievement of strategic goals. In comparison to IT architecture, information vision focuses on the outcomes that have to be recognized. An information vision helps to comprehend the essence of the company, and IT architecture helps to identify the possibilities of the company. An information vision discovers appropriate alignments of IT projects, and IT architecture shows the steps taken which leads to the possibility of alignments.

Reasons for Organizations to Have Several Databases. The importance of Data Dictionary for a Given Database

It does not matter if there is a need or no need for multiple databases in an organization, some people try to establish as many databases as possible to have each for different purposes. For example, one database is used for backup purposes and helps the IT department to find out the answers in a short period. Numerous training databases are focused on the development of special skills and knowledge. However, several technicians and program developers underline that the presence of multiple databases in one company is not desirable because of the possible development of challenges and threats.

Still, the main reasons why organizations like to have several databases are the necessity of data backup and data integration. Besides, companies believe that multiple databases promote quick access to information and an effective division of information. In other words, control and improvements attract companies that want to establish several databases.

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However, if there is no data dictionary for a given database, certain problems could occur. A data dictionary is a list of files with data and the names of fields. As a rule, such dictionaries are not shown to ordinary users because of the possibility to destroy the content. They help to store and manage information so that it could be available to all fields in the system. Without a data dictionary, the system cannot work effectively. The information cannot be stored and traverse through the system.

The Importance of Guidelines and Governance in the Disposal of Hazardous Materials Found in Electronic Equipment

It is useless to neglect the fact that certain electric and electronic equipment may be free from hazardous materials even if the best security systems and antivirus programs are established. Electric equipment may contain harmful materials that could influence human health and the environment. Therefore, it is very important to dispose of all materials carefully regarding possible outcomes. Toxic substances may gain various forms and create compounds that cannot be recognized at once.

Regarding such unpredictability and the necessity to stay careful, guidelines, and governance in the disposal of such materials cannot be neglected. People have to comprehend the possible outcomes, have a sufficient theoretical database, and consider the current state of affairs. Only appropriate governance may help to avoid negative outcomes. Order, recognition, knowledge, and personal attention are crucial for a disposal process because of two main reasons. On the one hand, it cannot be avoided because hazardous materials should be eliminated. On the other hand, the wrong way in disposal waste could lead to the creation of another type of waste that has to be removed as well. Therefore, it is better to remove waste once and avoid unnecessary repetitions and additional threats.

Passwords and PINs as an Ineffective Authentication Technique

For a long period, people find it effective to use passwords and PINs to protect their confidential information. Passwords help to obtain platforms, and PINS promote security on different devices. In general, PINs and passwords introduce a tiered authentication approach on special devices (Jakobsson & Liu 2012). However, the effectiveness of these authentication methods remains to be under a question nowadays because people are not confident in their security. Some people do not want to use passwords and PINs because of the necessity to print long phrases or memorize the combinations of letters and numbers.

However, even those, who create passwords or PINs, are under a threat of being attacked. There are many special social engineering attack methods in the form of dictionary attacks, encrypted passwords, attacks on databases, and even simple guessing. Passwords are vulnerable regarding the existing technological systems. PINs are the combinations of numbers that can be guessed in a short period. Finally, if a person loses or forgets a password or PIN, it is hard to recover it without enough information. People have to spend much time to answer the questions and prove their rights on the information stored with the help of passwords or PINs.

Distinguishing Between Stockholder Theory, Stakeholder Theory and Social-Contract Theory

Business ethics is a serious issue for consideration in many countries. It is not enough to understand and recognize ethical principles. It is important to follow at least one of three theories of normative business ethics. They are the stockholder theory, stakeholder theory, and social contract theory (Fernando 2010). The stockholder theory explains business relations that could be developed between owners and their managers. According to this theory, there is a certain obligation the consideration of which leads to profit. Managers cannot neglect their duties but have to follow the directions of their masters under any conditions to stay ethically correct.

The stakeholder theory is based on the economic synthesis and behavioral sciences that are crucial for organizational management. According to this theory, only shareholders are important, and shareholders are anyone who could have a claim in a company (Fernando 2010). Finally, there is also a social contract theory according to which all businesses have to be ethically duty-bound to increase profits of society by considering the needs of consumers and employees based on natural justice (Fernando 2010). This theory introduces moral rules and values that could be established or broken any time a person needs this happening.

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The Main Drivers of Technological Change

Modern people cannot imagine their lives without technological change and constant development because these concepts promote inventions, growth, and innovations. People enjoy new technologies and facilities that improve their lives, help to save time, and achieve better results in different activities. Many people like the idea that technological change occurs because of different reasons. Still, there are also groups of people, who want to understand what drives technological change in the 21st century. The most evident drivers remain to be constant population growth, economic rising, increased life quality standards, environmental and social changes, and the existing energy.

Population growth should be defined not only as a driver but a serious challenge that influences the way of how sustainable economic growth may be developed. Current technological innovations cannot be ignored as well because they create a solid basis and offer several opportunities for people. People get the opportunities, understand that they have to create new conditions and promote changes, and take steps to improve the quality of their own lives. There is no time to think or analyze. Certain steps should be taken to solve demographic problems and not to turn them into serious challenges. In other words, current challenges serve as drivers for technological change.

Reference List

Buhl. U, Fridgen, G, Konig, W, Roglinger, M & Wagner, C 2012, ‘Where’s the competitive advantage in strategic information systems research? – making the case for boundary-spanning research based on the German business and information systems engineering tradition’, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 172-178.

Crameri, R, Christa, E & Andreas, A 2013, Communications and collaboration, BoD, Norderstedt.

Fernando, AC 2010, Business ethics and corporate governance, Pearson Education, New Delhi, India.

Jakobsson, M & Liu, D 2012, ‘Deriving PINs from passwords’, in M Jakobsson (ed), The death of the internet, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 271-281.

Knowledge Flow 2014, Management information system, Knowledge Flow, Web.

SmartDraw 2016, Entity relationship diagram, Web.

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