The Role of Computers in Management Information System

The Role of Computers in Management Information System

Amazing progress  has been made over the past three decades since computer became commercially available.  Electronic computers were first used for a commercial processing during the early 1050’s and they are based on a technology now referred to as first generation computer.  Technology development occurred at a very fast rate and in the late 1950’s the second generation computer became available, in the early 1960’s technological development were such that a third generation computer came into existence and lastly the fourth generation computer in 1974 (Anderson 1974) p.321.

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Small in expensive desk top computer systems have been available since 1975, they provide significant computing power at relatively shower speeds as compared to typical larger computes, those small computers are called Micro processor.

The developing countries of Africa are increasingly turning to the computer to assist in processing data and statistic daily needed for social, political industrial and technological decision making.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) devoted the April/June 1987 issue of its journal “The Nigerian Accountant” to the in-depth examination of what it calls the “computer revolution” in the editorial, the journal said some of the worst aspects of under development in National term results from the lack of or the failure to properly utilize information (Eze 1987).  Business organizations manufacturing, services commercial, Agriculture, Conglomerates and constitution are increasingly computerizing their operations.  The demands of modern industrial, political and social organizations have resulted in the compounding of information unimaginably expounded the scope and depth of human knowledge and rendered the gathering collection, storage and dissemination of information far beyond the traditional human labour.  The computer with its infinite possibilities has been man’s aid in technology, was ignored by the developing countries of Africa, more out of lock of human, financial and technical infrastructure needed to support its introduction and aspect.  This, in consequences, contributed to lack of unity in national development programmes, as the immense benefits and versatility of the computer could not be applied to national development programmes such as health and educational management  population census, communications and technological development.

Happily, the situation is now changing, most big organizations are increasingly turning to the computer to assist – provision of information in the various levels of management especially in Nigeria.

2.2     INFORMATION AND ORGANIZATION

Information is essential for planning and controlling business operations both at the strategic and tactical levels of management.  Information is playing an even increasing role.  In the day to day management of business as it provides the means for assessing the business as it provides the means for assessing the results at specific courses of action.  It also supplies the facts with which to steer business operations along desired path by making tactical adjustments in order to achieve desired goals.

Information must be meaningful and understood by the recipient who must appreciate its significance and the action to be taken as a consequence of receiving it.  Information must be able to inform the receiver of a situation with which he is concerned to enable connective action to be taken, if appropriate, to modify the system to effect its desired state.  Information is the output element of a data processing system, and depending, on the need, it may be produced as soft or hard copy.  It is when displayed on the visual display unit (VDU) and it is  hard when printer system.

2.3     HUMAN AS INFORMATION PROCESSORS

The human being is the earliest and still the most prevalent form of data processor.  Despite the fantastic growth of computer applications, manual information system still out number them in number of system an information handled.

Management information system are essentially man –to-machine system.   The management information system designs tend to the decision-make very closely to the machine processing system, and clerical functions are performed in a manner dictated by the computer requirements.

A simple model of the human as an information processor consists of sensory receptors (eyes, ears, nose) that pick up signals and ends them to the processing unit (brain, with storage).  The results  of the processing are output response which may be physical, spoken, or written through effects.  The human mind acting as a control and logical unit can perform many operations on data: adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, storing resulting, repeating the operations on different sets of data comparing two outputting results in a pre-arranged manner, and revising the processing operations as a result of changed instructions.

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic

THE ROLE OF COMPUTERS IN MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

A CASE STUDY OF NATIONAL FERTILIZER COMPANY OF NIGERIA (NAFCON) ONNE)

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