Information systems allow businesses to improve the execution and overall quality of their processes. A business process is defined as a unique way in which organizations coordinate and organize work activities, information, and knowledge to produce a product or service. They are important because they determine how well the organization can execute its business and they may also be a foundation of strategic advantage. Information systems improve business processes by allowing automation on processes that were once performed manually. This improvement gives businesses the ability to achieve greater efficiency, innovation, and customer service.
Because of the different interests, specialties, and levels in a business, different types of information systems are needed to support them. One area where information systems is needed to support is the decision-making or management group. Systems included are the transaction processing system, the management information system, the decision-support system, and systems for business intelligence.
Enterprise applications are implemented in order to allow all systems to work together in a company. They help businesses to become more flexible and productive by coordinating their business processes more closely and integrating groups of processes so they focus on efficient management of resources and customer service. The four major enterprise applications are enterprise systems, supply chain management systems, customer relationship management systems, and knowledge management systems.
Businesses are able to pull all of these systems and information together, work towards common goals, and coordinate plans and actions through collaboration. It takes place within a business or between businesses, it can be short or long term, and it can be one-to-one or many-to-many. In order for collaboration to be successful one will need a supportive business firm culture, the right business processes, and a strong investment in collaborative technologies. Benefits of collaboration include productivity, quality, innovation, customer service, and financial performance. The capability to collaborate along with implementing appropriate technology will enhance the overall performance of the firm.
The information systems department is responsible for making sure the hardware, software, and other technologies used by the information systems are running properly and are up to date. This departments consists of specialists including programmers, systems analysts, project leaders, and information systems managers. Once the information systems department makes sure everything is in proper working condition, end users are the ones who these applications are made for.