Information, in a broad sense, is structured, processed and organised data. It gives context to data and allows rational decision making about what actions to take. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a restaurant is data this becomes data when the business can identify which is the least or most popular dish. With information systems, organisations are able to process the information that surrounds them and make informed decisions about what actions to take.
Information is not just for making business decisions. It informs about people, places, things and processes. For instance, if you go to a business website, you can find information on company information, past achievements, industry information and so on. This is very useful for development of product portfolios or marketing campaigns.
Organizations that do not process information are like a ship without a rudder. They cannot decide where to go or what direction to take. They simply drift from one crisis to another. Information systems give organisations a framework within which they can make informed decisions, thus enabling them to become stronger and more profitable.
Decision making is not always an easy task. In fact it can become extremely stressful. However, with information systems the stress associated with decision making is eliminated. No longer do you need to spend hours sorting through information or spending time trying to pry information out of others. With information, you can process it immediately and get back to doing the work that you were intended to be doing. Making a decision can become easier by using information.
There are many ways to use information systems effectively. For instance, some businesses have started using email for internal purposes. In other instances, they use the information to contact customers, suppliers and staff. By using email, internal and external communication is simplified. It also reduces the number of physical files that need to be kept in storage, reducing the cost of storage and using electronic storage versus hard copies.
Using information technology for business, therefore, enables the organisation to become much more efficient. By using information systems, the organisation can save money and reduce its operational costs. It can also provide greater flexibility by allowing information to be shared and accessed across different departments and units within the organisation. This results in a reduction in redundant duplication of work. In addition to all of this, information systems allow information to be processed much faster and efficiently.