Information system management consists in organizing and managing the evolution of the IS within a company. Find out everything you need to know about it: what it’s for, what the different stages are, or the role of the CIO (Chief Information Officer) and the training courses that give access to this profession.
More and more data is available to companies and is becoming more and more important within companies. However, in order to be useful, this information must be properly organised and easily accessible. In addition, ever stricter data protection regulations, such as the DPSR which enters into force on 25 May 2018 in the European Union, are forcing businesses to better manage their data and ensure its security.
In this context, the information system (a set of resources that enable data to be collected, stored and processed) must be organized and protected. This is the whole point of information system management.. This discipline brings together the knowledge, techniques and tools for organising and controlling the information system in order to optimise the company’s performance.
What is the purpose of Information System Management?
To be useful to the company, an information system must be organised and coherent. The data it collects must be of good quality, up-to-date and non-redundant. In addition, the information system must also be agile in order to adapt quickly to technological innovations and business needs. In addition, the IS must also be highly secure, and guarantee continuity in the event of a disaster. The aim of Information System Management is to guarantee these essential characteristics.
In addition, this discipline also aims to respond to social and ethical issues of the Information System. The protection of employee privacy, intellectual property and customer personal data must be ensured in accordance with the regulations in place. Finally, the MSI enables compliance with legal and tax constraints relating to information systems, in particular by making the requested information available to representatives of the tax authorities.
Information System Management: what is the role of the CIO (Chief Information Officer)?
The CIO or Director of Information Systems is the person who has the technical skills to manage the information system. He is therefore responsible for the Management of the Information System.
It must guarantee the organization, coherence, agility, legal compliance, ethics and security of the Information System. For example, in the event of a disaster, it is the responsibility of the ISD to ensure that human and technical standards are met for the sake of continuity. It must also enable organizational management to respond to IT problems quickly and efficiently.
To address ethical and social issues, the CIO to set up an organizational policy within the IS to protect data and information flows. This manager is also responsible for ensuring the security and integrity of the IS. However, it is possible that he may delegate this mission to the CISO (information security officer) when there is one in the company.
The Director of Information Systems is also in charge of technology watch aimed at keeping the IS at the cutting edge of technology. In addition to monitoring the market, it must observe competition to ensure that it does not get ahead of the game. In some companies, the ISD is also responsible for controlling the budget and human resources.
However, its main role remains to ensure that the information system is aligned with the various business objectives of the company. Responsible, leader, negotiator, pivotal element… because of its importance within the organization, it often takes its place on the management committees.
What are the training courses to become a CIO?
The CIO generally has a Bac+5 in computer science, or a Master’s degree in Information Systems Management. In France, we distinguish several different types of teaching to become CIO. Today, it is possible to enter this profession after a degree in computer science delivered by an engineering school, a university or an IUT.
It is also possible to access it with a specialized training in information systems or information systems management. These Master’s level courses (Bac+5) are generally delivered by business schools or IAE. Finally, there are also schools entirely devoted to information systems management.
The core professional skills of the CIO are rigour, patience, perseverance, and responsiveness as well as a good knowledge of new information technologies. However, he must also possess human qualities such as sociability, listening skills, and open-mindedness.
What are the different stages of information systems management?
The first step in the management of the information system is of course the preparation of the project. The CIO and his team must carefully anticipate the project’s progress. If they do not, problems may arise during the course of the project.
This preparation includes an audit of the information system, aimed at highlight possible functional hazards and risks. In addition to the technical aspect of the IS, this audit must cover the functional and organizational aspects. This audit is based on the CobiT methodology, considered as the international control reference for information systems, which brings together control standards and good practices for anticipating hazards.
Many companies make the mistake of focus only on the technical aspect information systems management. In reality, the CIO must also take into account the human aspect, i.e. the consequences on employees of the changes made to the information system.
These changes are leading to changes in work habits, particularly with regard to access to information. These habits are often entrenched and may be difficult for employees to break. As a manager, the CIO must also take this phenomenon into account and anticipate it from the outset. For example, it is possible to train employees in the new tools, or to involve them directly in the evolution of the system.
The advantages of a good information management in the company
Establishing a good IS is often one of the first things recommended by organizational consulting agencies. Indeed, it meets two needs within today’s companies: the increase in the volume of data to be processed and the multiplication of exchanges.
Therefore, if it is well done, the management of the information system improves productivity of each employee by providing computer assistance. In addition, the automation of recurring tasks reduces unnecessary expenses. Finally, it facilitates collaboration with other companies through computerization of data. Finding a strategic partnership to improve your organization is therefore easier.
From a different point of view, he fosters innovation and the rapid marketing of new services or products of the company. In addition to the savings due to the optimization of the production process, the IS makes it possible to identify the items that bring only a reduced added value to the turnover. Thus, managers can more effectively decide which tasks to outsource.
For the client, the good circulation of information within the company gives it a coherent image of the latter. Indeed, the IS makes it possible to standardize all behaviour in the sales channels through which the potential buyer accesses the company’s products.
It is therefore understandable that information system management has been so successful in recent years within companies, becoming essential in the digital age.