Knowledge is power, and in the digital age, the best way to harness that power is by collecting and leveraging as much information as possible. Yet, gathering, storing and applying information requires an organized system — and there are many established types of information systems to choose from.
Most businesses interested in developing and maintaining an information system benefit from hiring an IT professional with a background in information systems management. Still, it might be useful to understand the basic six information systems, which include:
Management Information System
Perhaps the most well-known information system — especially by business leaders — the management information system is responsible for assisting team leads and managers. Many management information systems automate certain processes to alleviate some of the responsibilities of management. Management information systems also tend to organize information to facilitate better decision making from leadership.
Typically, management information systems are tailored to the department using them, so a management information system for HR will look and function differently from a management information system for sales. This is why having a dedicated information systems manager on IT staff can be so essential for larger organizations.
Executive Support System
Top-level executives have many diverse responsibilities that have massive effects on the success or failure of their organizations. Thus, executives benefit from reliance on executive support systems. Similar to management information systems, executive support systems provide the highest level of business leaders with a certain degree of automation as well as improved telecommunications, available data visualizations, monitoring and forecasting tools and more. All the components of an executive support system work together to make an executive’s tasks easier to achieve, contributing to greater success for the entire enterprise.
Transaction Processing System
Another widely adopted information system is the transaction processing system, which automates transaction collection, modification and retrieval. Because most businesses conduct many transactions simultaneously — to include buying and selling of products, depositing amounts in bank accounts, counting inventory, acquiring payment data about new employees and more — a transaction processing system can be an essential tool to keep transactions organized and accessible. Like other information systems used by organizations, transaction processing systems tend to improve the performance, reliability and consistency of the actions it oversees, which means that daily operations will become smoother and easier to understand.
Knowledge Work System
A knowledge work system is intended to facilitate the flow of useful information around an organization to equip workers with the news they need to perform their tasks efficiently and keep performance high. Documentation is essential within a knowledge work system; for every worker to be aligned toward shared objectives and operating on identical information, organizations must put certain knowledge into writing and ensure that writing is accessible. Knowledge work systems can also help with knowledge creation, and they often involve artificial intelligence applications and group collaboration systems to accomplish their goals.
Decision Support System
Many business leaders and professionals must make dozens of decisions every day, which can lead to a form of burnout called decision fatigue that results in indecision or poor decision-making. To reduce the strain of making decisions, some organizations employ decision support systems. Decision support systems include tools for analyzing and organizing data to help workers make better decisions faster. The decision support system can also be utilized to collect data on the results of certain decisions, which can further improve decision-making into the future.
Office Automation System
Though the transition to digital systems was supposed to alleviate much of the manual work associated with office administration, most workplaces continue to rely on a team of administrators to manage tasks like documentation, transcription and other managerial and clerical duties. Fortunately, the development of office automation systems helps to eliminate the need for human intervention in various data migration–related efforts. Even better, information systems like an office automation system can mitigate the production and reproduction of errors in data, which helps keep a workforce truly informed and properly on task.
In the digital age, almost every business benefits from the application of one or more information systems. With help from qualified information system specialists, organizations can begin transforming operations to reduce errors and improve efficiency today.