These are systems that help organizations alter their business strategies, plans or structure. They are also used to hasten the reaction time of the environmental changes and aid the organization to achieve a competitive advantage over its competitors. They are developed in response to corporate business initiative. They are intended to give competitive advantage to the organization. They may deliver a product or service that is at a lower cost, that is
differentiated, that focuses on a particular market segment, or is innovative. Information is needed in needed in the following areas.
i. Threats of substitutes
ii. Threat of new entrants
iii. Bargaining power of customers
iv. Bargaining Power of suppliers
Characteristics of strategic information system (sis)
i. It is largely external- It looks at economic trends, markets and technological changes, political factors, performance of competitors etc.
ii. It is future oriented – It is concerned with long term future trends, focused and strategic assessment.
iii. It is both quantitative and qualitative i.e. it involves opinions, judgement, observation and insights.
iv. Boundary free – There are no boundaries and information are broad reflecting the holistic view of the organization.
v. Multi-dimensional – It takes on all embracing views of the problem and considered all departments of the organization.
vi. It is largely informal processes which are more effective, adaptive, responsive and are sensitive to the environmental disturbances, reducing the impacts of strategic thrust in an organization.
OFFICE AUTOMATED SYSTEMS
Office automation systems are computer-based information systems that collect, process, store and transmit electronic messages, documents and other forms of communications among individuals, work groups and organizations.
The term ‘office automation’ refers to a combination of computer hardware, software, and network connection, made available to simplify and automate a variety of office operations, such as inventory management, facility management, accounting, email, and word processing. It is used to digitally create, store, manipulate, and relay office information and data, needed for accomplishing basic tasks and goals.
Office Automation also has the following objectives: –
i. Merger application of technology
ii. Fixing the implementation process office work
iii. Increase productivity and effectiveness of work
iv. Provide the ability for management to be able to solve out problems with a better office.
v. Being able to provide accurate data so as to facilitate the management in making the right business decisions
vi. Increase reliability of operation
vii. To improve efficiency of operations
viii. To access more extensive data over a short period.
ix. To enhance accuracy of operations
x. To save Operation costs particularly labor costs
Features of Automated Offices
i. Networked Computers
ii. Hardware devices such as fax, telephone lines etc.
iii. Software Package Such as accounting packages, word processors etc.
iv. Terminals linked to central computers as well as directly to each other;
The Benefits of Implementing Office Automation System
1. Data Storage and Manipulation: Data storage includes important and confidential office documents and records. Office automation system includes data applications, which are used to create or edit a document, file, spreadsheet or an image. There are various types of word processing and desktop presentation packages available, which allow creating or editing textual data. Similarly, you can find dedicated applications for editing spreadsheets and images.
2. Data Management: Data management is one of the major components of office automation system that offers strategic advantages by simplifying the management of stored data and information. Large business organizations can monitor and control various projects and activities within the office through an electronic management system. Program schedules, tickler systems or reminder systems, and task management are some of the features, which empower businesses to have an eye on all business processes without any hassle.
3. Data Exchange: Exchange of stored or manipulated data and information is also an important component of an office automation system. Sending files or exchanging data or information between one or more than one member of an organization has become possible with an electronic transfer application. Through a network connection, all data and information, including text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, images, and videos can be sent in real-time within a few seconds. Illustrating the collaborative nature of an office automation system, this would allow your employees to collaborate in real-time and enhance their productivity.
4. Accuracy: Yes, it’s true! Computer systems and other machines are as effective as a human brain. Once the bugs are removed from a program or an application, it can help you in getting 100% accuracy in the day-to-day business processes. The software programs are more reliable than the human, who actually made it. Implementing an advanced business automation software reduces the probability of errors.
5. Save Time and Resources: Office automation empowers businesses to save both time and money. It simplifies and automates those complex tasks, which earlier required a dedicated resource and a great amount of time. For example, with the introduction of the latest computer technologies and network communications, businesses are now not constricted by geographical limitations. And hence, they can easily save both time and money spent on traveling. Another great example is the digital storage, which eliminates the need of preserving hard copies and hence, saving paper and nature as well.
6. Reduced Costs: Since every business process is now automated, you don’t need to invest much on hiring new resources for taking care of those tasks, which can be easily executed using an office automation system. As we know that time saved is money saved, your business enterprise can easily save huge by automating various complex business processes. With saving large on the overall expenditure and investment on other resources, your profit margins are surely going to improve.