News & Views

Enabling Better Leadership with the Right IT Systems

by John Lane - Nov 23, 2017

In many ways, the ultimate success of any organisation is dictated by the ability of its leaders to make the right decision at exactly the right time. Every action that an organisation takes as a collective must be examined both in terms of its immediate effect and its role in the overall strategy that continues to play out, day after day.

Many people still fail to realise that simply having the right IT system at the heart of an organisation makes goals easier to achieve than they've ever been at any point up until now.

IT systems allow people to work "smarter, not harder" — yes. But with everything moving fast forward nowadays, working smarter to achieve the same great results seems like the right way to go.  Not only does using the right IT system help maintain the status quo and mitigate risks, it also moves the organisation forward in the best ways possible.

There are a few key IT systems worth exploring that are currently enabling better leadership in a wide range of different industries.

 

Information Systems in Organisations

 

Information systems in organisations are intended to collect, store, and even process mission-critical data in real-time. This ensures managers always have access to useful and accurate information when they need it the most. These types of informational systems can be used to look at the organisation from a bigger perspective or to break things down into finer detail — taking a closer look at the people, the machines, and other data-generating processes.

 

Expert Systems and Neutral Networks

 

Another IT system worth noting involves expert systems and neural networks. Also commonly referred to as a knowledge-based system, an expert system is designed to analyse data and produce recommendations and diagnosis in a way that is not only controlled, but helps reduce the amount of time it takes to realise certain outcomes.

A neural network takes things a step further and allows systems to process information while remembering and learning as it goes.  This means they literally get smarter the longer they're in use. It looks a lot like the larger concept of machine learning, where insights get more timely and accurate as the system draws from historical data.

 

Transaction Processing Systems

 

A Transaction processing system is another valuable IT system to be familiar with. These solutions not only collect essential (and real-time) transaction information, but they also provide a single point-of-contact in terms of processing data, storing it, modifying it or canceling transactions as quickly as possible. By allowing multiple transactions to take place simultaneously, these processing systems use technology to support the way a specific business likes to run rather than changing workflows to account for limitations in technology.

 

It is also important to note that the data commonly stored within these systems can be used to produce nearly any type of report you can think of — from wages, inventory summaries, billing and manufacturing schedules, and much, much more.

 

Management Information Systems

 

Management information systems, as the name suggests, takes data collected by the aforementioned transaction processing system and presents it in a way that enables organisational leaders to actually use it and act on it as quickly as possible. Transaction data on its own is largely meaningless when presented in the form of custom reports that contextualise data within the task at hand. However, organisational leaders are in a better position to use it for making routine business decisions in response to issues they may be facing.

These systems can create summaries, exceptions, ad hoc reports, and so much more — all in an effort to increase the efficiency by which leaders make decisions and empower their ability to do their jobs on a daily basis.

 

Decision Support Systems

 

All of these aforementioned technologies segue nicely into what is perhaps the most important IT system of all: decision support systems. These are dedicated solutions that help analyse massive volumes of data in real-time, while generating accurate statistical projections and data models to help company leadership make the right decision for any job at a given time.

But the most important takeaway is that these decision support systems are NOT intended to replace a manager's judgment — they're designed to empower it. It ensures internal and external data is quickly processed to make the most of insights that improve the quality by which managers solve problems in a more accurate and holistic way.

In truth, this is the recurring theme throughout all of these IT systems. Technology, when used properly, is a powerful tool that aids in the decision-making process; thus guaranteeing better business outcomes and long-term success across the board.

 

In the End

 

The biggest takeaway from all of this has less to do with these systems individually but points more to the benefits at play when they're all acting as parts of a much larger whole. These types of IT systems don't just make it easier to create, collect, and store data — again, data on its own is largely meaningless. Together, these systems make it easier than ever to cut right to the story happening beneath all the data — allowing insight and action to rise to the top in a meaningful way.

This brings us to the most important benefit of all. By making sure that your technology spending is aligned with your long-term goals through the use of these IT systems, you guarantee both a better return on investment and a better overall outcome — no exceptions.

If you have any additional questions about how the right IT systems can be used to enable better leadership at your organisation, or if you'd like to discuss what a managed service provider can do for you in more detail, contact Powernet today.

TAGS: it strategy, leadership, IT systems