Developing Managerial Information Systems by Andrew M. McCosh

By Andrew M. McCosh

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COMPUTERS Computer science is a rapidly growing field in its own right, so that this introduction to computers is inevitably deficient, and runs the risk of oversimplification. Furthermore, so rapid is the rate of technological change that it is diffcult to give typical specifications with confidence. So readers who wish to understand computers and computation more thoroughly should consult a more specialised text. What is clear is that we can no longer talk about a computer, for there is a spectrum of diffrent shapes and sizes, for example from micro-computer costing £500 through a mini-computer costing £5000 to mainframe computers which can cost over £3m.

The decision focus also provides a framework for information systems planning. Frequent claims have been made that MIS have had little impact on decision-making. In particular it has been suggested by McKinsey, Zani 6 and others that instead of developing systems function by function, reacting to the demands of the strongest managers, solving the latest crisis or satisfying the objectives of the technical specialists, MIS should attack the critical tasks, key result areas and vital decisions of an organisation.

London: Oxford University Press, 1965. 3 Technical Principles of Systems Design It is clear from both the research literature and from discussions with managers that the reality of management information systems has been disappointing. Often MIS fail to meet their intended objectives, especially it seems where they are computer-based. On examination of the cause, it is frequently found that the MIS has addressed a wrong or irrelevant problem, that behavioural factors have been overlooked, or that management support has been lacking.

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