All businesses need to process the flow of information they face. And this, in a strategic way to make good decisions. The information must therefore be of high quality, relevant, reliable and precise. It is therefore essential to set up an information system that makes it possible to centralize and dematerialize the various data of the company. Here is everything there is to know about the information system: definition, role, types and functions.
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What is an information system?
The information system (IS) allows the various information to circulate within the company thanks to a set of material, human and software resources. Its objective is to optimize the management of information, allowing it to be delivered to the right person, at the right time, in the right format.
It is therefore a system with a fundamental role in the operation of the company. The information can be of various origins: commercial, managerial, accounting, financial, fiscal.
The different types of information systems
There are many information systems. Among the most used are:
- The human resources information system (HRIS): this is a set of software aimed at improving the management of a company’s human resources. It allows to manage payroll, work organization, human capital.
- The accounting information system (SIC): it includes the tools dedicated to processing, organizing and controlling financial, accounting, tax and social information.
- The commercial information system (SIC): it aims to simplify the distribution of commercial information in the company, by collecting it, storing it, analyzing it and distributing it to the actors concerned. It is an essential tool on which managers rely to benefit from reliable, complete, up-to-date and relevant information in order to make operational decisions.
What is the role of an information system?
The IS plays two roles within a company. First of all, it has a functional purpose, because it is a communication tool between the different departments. It thus ensures cohesion and plays both a strategic and operational role.
Secondly, it has a social function, because it consolidates the integration of employees, but also of actors outside the company by advocating a corporate culture and promoting social life through the dissemination of information. .
An information system is essential to the proper functioning of a company. Indeed, it brings them many benefits such as the optimization of the process at all levels, whether collection, processing, storage or distribution. It takes care of all the data: statistics, material, technology.
It also saves time, because many low value-added tasks are automated. All the information is grouped in one place, which makes it easier to sort and consult. Employees no longer waste time typing, they can focus on tasks with higher added value, which increases productivity. This automation also reduces the risk of errors.
In addition, the IS also contributes to improving the customer relationship and to having better communication.
What are the 4 functions of an information system?
The information system makes it possible to collect, store, transform and disseminate information.
In a company, the collection of information is essential, because it ensures the sustainability of the company. Indeed, they help in decision-making, make it possible to better manage the activity and create value. But it is often a costly operation for the company, because it requires human intervention. With an IS, data is entered only once compared to manual entry which requires multiple entries.
It should also be noted that the information may be of internal origin. These include, for example, data generated by company departments relating to the organization, its operation or informal data. But they can have an external source when it comes to information generated by stakeholders external to the company. These data are important for anticipating changes and adaptation of the IS.
Once entered and collected, the information is stored in a secure, durable and stable manner. They can thus be used later to be consulted if necessary or to meet a legal obligation.
Data storage is organized using technical and organizational means. These may be archiving methods, backup techniques, methods to protect against the risk of hacking or to prevent the destruction of information. It is therefore very important that the IS is perfectly secure.
Storage also makes it possible to organize information in databases, which are themselves saved on:
- hard disks of the company’s information system servers: in this case, the data is accessible only from these servers.
- in the cloud: it is possible to access it from anywhere.
- in the company’s storage areas: they can be consulted from the components of the information system but only within the company.
Then there is the treatment phase. That is, to create new information from existing information. This process is carried out from computer programs or manual operations.
Data can be processed in 4 different ways. It is possible to :
- Consult the information: this is the simplest treatment. This involves accessing information as it was recorded,
- Organize the information: the information is structured according to specific criteria,
- Update the information: the information is taken over to be updated,
- Generate new information: new data is created from existing information.
And finally, the information is distributed to the right recipients, at the right time and in the right form.
To go further, download this free e-book and discover how to build a data management strategy privacy-first.