The term selecting and acquiring an information system simply means buying or developing a system in order to have it in place.
The first step in selecting and acquiring an information system is to determine the organizational information requirements (Blackmer, 2003). This requires the business to establish its critical areas of decision making. According to Walsham (1993), once the business has established its main decision making areas, it is able to identify the crucial information that goes along when making those decisions.
The business must define its short-, medium- and long-term information requirements. The CIO can then establish the data needed in order to produce the given information (Bensaou & Venkatraman, 1996). The business will also know the processes it should undergo in converting the data into information as well as the kind of data it will need to meet its future needs. The second phase in the process of selecting and acquiring an information system is to identify the software needed to accomplish the system requirements (Blackmer, 2003). To ascertain the actual software needs, the business might require the services of a systems analyst. The bottom line is that the system must follow the information requirements of the business (Bensaou & Venkatraman, 1996). The business should, therefore, not rely so much on the advice of the expert since it is the company itself that knows its information needs. Thirdly, the business identifies the hardware requirements needed to run the definite software.
At this point, the business must focus on hardware capacity (Blackmer, 2003). The hardware should be reliable and efficient. The business must only settle on the hardware it reasonably considers the best for its system requirements. Following these three steps, the business will go a long way in ensuring of implementing a good information system.
How the organization’s goals drive the selection of an information system
The effective selection of an information system is crucial to organization’s success. The organizational goals drive the select of an information system in various ways (Axelsson & Easton, 1992). First, the business must determine the total cost it is willing to incur towards implementing the new system. Depending on the cost, the business might opt to outsource the information system; alternatively, the business can adopt in-house technicians to implement the new technology (Whitley, 1991).
Bensaou & Venkatraman (1996) stated that the business goals provide the guidelines to the needed outcomes for the new information system to be adopted. These objectives include the individual goals of the employees, the goals of the front office operations as well as those of back office operations. At the end of these all, the business will seek to achieve the satisfaction of all the stakeholders in its selection of an information system (Cavaye & Cragg, 1995; Jones, 1995). Since organizations differ in their business operations and size, some companies have more information needs than others (Bensaou & Venkatraman, 1996). Others have a higher number of stakeholders than the others. It is upon the business to decide on the information system users (Jones, 1995) as well as the information the users will need in order to achieve its goals (Cavaye & Cragg, 1995). The organizational objectives will influence the manner in which the employees will be trained, the overall training costs and the capacity of the employees to adapt to the new information system.
The roles each of the organization’s stakeholders play in the selection and acquisition process
Jones (1995) argued that the parties to an information system include both the participants and the stakeholders. While a participant is anyone involved in system development process, a stakeholder is any person whose actions influence or are influenced by the selection and implementation of an information system (Whitley, 1991; Jones, 1995). Senior organizational leader, such as Chief Finance Officer or the Chief Operating Officer, plays the crucial role in determining the costs of acquiring and putting in place the new system. Because the system provider is a crucial component of health information technology, its input and demand must be considered during the early stages of selecting an information system (Pouloudi & Whitley, 1997). The needs must be understood and the system should be customized in order to embrace their interests.
The nurses, who are the main parties involved in clinical systems, must be consulted in order to identify crucial areas that would determine the successful operation of the new system. The nurses can provide good insights into the ways by which information can be quickly accessed, better recorded and stored (Pouloudi & Whitley, 1997). The nurses can also provide reliable information regarding the organizational processes and changes that might occur in future. The clinical officers, being the overseers of daily clinical procedures, can provide insights into the areas to which quality improvement efforts can be directed. They also play a crucial role in planning and implementing the system.
According to Pouloudi & Whitley (1997), the accounting and the clerical personnel play the major role during the implementation of the system. The users must be engaged in identifying their requirements and choosing the suppliers. The essence of this is to ensure that the implemented system accommodates the needs of all the users. The medical records personnel should be consulted to provide information concerning their needs and the potential changes that might occur in work flows. They can also provide some insights into the best ways to comply with regulations.
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