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Decision support systems (D.S.S.) are a type of computer system that mostly incorporates models that represent the mathematical computations and information sources present in an organization’s decision making processes (Holsapple & Frada). The decision support systems are accessed via a user interface with the intention to generate an informed choice in a business environment.
When compared to an antiquated information system or a management information system, a decision support system also offers the user access to a sizeable informative database and also provides the user with answers to their queries, which makes an informed decision.
The decision support systems could be complemented with expert systems or artificial intelligence to make the decision support system capable (Partridge & Hussain, 1992). Also, the system will be able to provide managers with the ability to make a decision that will directly or indirectly affect both the unstructured and structured business environment. The use of decision support systems has deeply been rooted in information technology management processes.
However, information technology management has to correctly classify each decision support system for ease of identification and utilization. The various decision support systems types are driven information collected from raw data, communications, knowledge base, documents and models. The common aspects of all these kinds of decision support systems are their desire to augment decision making by supporting it rather than automating the process.
Information technology management includes specific administrative disciplines to manage their technological assets all while maintaining a competitive edge for the organization (Power D. J., 2002). The primary purpose for using technology management in any business environment is to maximize on the value of holdings about the technology used in decision support systems with the ability to react to the varying desires and desires of an organizations administration.
Facets of I.T. Management in DSS
All decision support systems are considered as technological assets that are deeply integrated into the business processes similar to how other technologies are combined (Power D. J., 2002). Information technology management is essential for the successful integration and running of a decision support system and as such information technology management disciplines are necessary. They include;
- Alignment of decision support systems with organizational goals and objectives
- Authority and control on the use of decision support systems in the organization
- Accurate configuration of the decision support system
- Sourcing of the decision support system
- Administration of the additional services rendered by the decision support systems.
- Manage finances with the use of decision support systems
Information technology managers have one primary focus that is the establishment of viable decision support systems that are accountable and answerable (Khosrowpour, 2002). The main duty of information technology management is designed to ensure the decision support systems meet the organizational baseline regarding design, planning, sourcing, integration, and utilization of emerging technologies.
With the extensive use of decision support systems governed by information technology management principles, there are likely rewards and shortcomings. Some of the advantages of the decision support systems include;
- The effectiveness has been tested as a critical benefit of implementing decision support systems for the generation of efficient decisions.
- Research has shown that a good decision support system is one that saves time by employing a short decision cycle.
- Enhanced interactive communication among the decision makers in an organization is increased to maximize their productivity with the use of a D.S.S.
- A well-implemented D.S.S. is will undoubtedly present a competitive advantage over other players.
- Decision support systems provide useful information that is used in monitoring the business performance and thus promote enhanced organizational control.
- An advantage of the continuous use of a decision support system is that the users learn new ideas and develop a better perception of the business environment.
- Investigations have shown that decision support systems bring about significant savings to the organization based on accurate business decisions and affordable technologies.
However, the use of decision support systems in an organization can also have undesirable results in certain situations. Some of these shortcomings include;
- For some of the decision support systems, there is a high cost of implementation that provides for investing in the system itself, and mobilizing assets to collect data to be used in the process of making decision.
- The improper use of decision support systems could lead to adverse outcomes. Some managers may overemphasize their need and ignore some deciding factors.
- The assumption that the decision support system is a fix all solution is an apparent misconception evident in the daily operations of many businesses which mostly leads to negative results.
- Perceived status change for a managerial stall. Some managers recognize that the decision support system could eventually replace them thus underutilize their potential.
- Decision support systems add to the problem of information load that is imposed on organization manager.
- With the notion of trust in the decision support system, decision makers may relinquish responsibility to the software.
- It has widely been perceived that the use of a D.S.S. will drastically lower the level of competency needed to accomplish business tasks.
Therefore with the use of information technology management, you can effectively gauge the benefits to be had from the implementation of a decision support system based on their known advantages and shortcomings.
- Holsapple, C. W., & Frada, B. (n.d.). Handbook on Decision Support Systems.
- Khosrowpour, M. (2002). Issues and trends of information technology management in contemporary organizations. Hershey, London: Melbourne : Idea.
- Partridge, D., & Hussain, K. M. (1992). Artificial intelligence and business management. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
- Power, D. J. (2002). Decision support systems : concepts and resources for managers. Westport, Ct: Quorum Books.
- Power, D. J. (2002). Decision Support Systems: Concepts and Resources for Managers. Westport, CT: Greenwood/Quorum Books.