Will The Real MIS Please Stand Up?
Free (open access)
One problem for information and communication technology (ICT) is its lack of commonly agreed upon classification frameworks and definitions, due mainly to the ICT field not possessing a sound theoretical foundation. It is considered that viable classification frameworks are important. In particular this paper considers issues of how to best classify different information types comparing a ‘Yes/No’ or digital approach with an analogue approach that allows different information system types to overlap. For example, in defining ‘true’ management information systems (MISs) it is considered that these systems should have all of the following characteristics: (a) focus is on information retrieval rather than input of data; (b) use of the system is voluntary not mandatory; (c) user population is predominantly at management level across the organization; (d) data contained in the MIS repository comes from both internal sources as well as external sources; and (e) major interactions by end users with the system is for structured decision making. Other information systems types may also possess one or more of these features but not all. Finally, as a test of the analogue approach to classifying information system types comparisons are made of decision support by transaction processing systems (TPSs) and MISs. Keywords: information systems types, classifying information systems, management information systems, MIS, defining MIS, using MIS. 1 Introduction After more than 30 years of information system use by commercial, public sector, and third sector organizations we still appear to have problems in defining the types of information systems that organizations use (Leek ). One reason for this is the fact that the ICT field lacks a sound theoretical foundation, both overall as well as for some of its component parts. The lack of a theoretical foundation leads to problems which were very eloquently stated by
information systems types, classifying information systems, management information systems, MIS, defining MIS, using MIS.