Sunday, 24 August 2014

Role of information systems in business decision making

information systems in business
Access to information
Information systems offer access to information that is needed for decision making. Businesses collect a lot of information about their environment, customers, and competitors among others. This information is meant to guide the decision making process of the business. Information systems will organize this data in order to simplify and provide for quick access to this information.
Collection of Data
Information systems offer an opportunity to collect, store and process information important in decision making.
Interpretation of information
Information systems offer decision an opportunity to recognize trends and patterns. This information helps to guide them in making the right decisions.
Coordination and collaboration
Information systems enable members in the decision making process to collaborate in the process by providing them with access to information from different locations. This fosters team work which is essential in effective decision making.
Information dissemination and presentation
An information system helps in better presentation of information to decision makers and this enables them to make the appropriate given the interpretation of the information. For example bar graphs and pie charts created by Microsoft excel
Before decisions are made information needs to be shared within the process of decision making and it is through information systems that this can be achieved efficiently and effectively
·         Difference between structured, semi-structured and unstructured decisions
Structured decisions
Can be described as a decision whereby all sections of a decision (data, process and evaluation) are determined. This requires that this type of decision be routine, repetitive making the process of dealing with it defined and specific. They are decisions made in clear circumstances.
Unstructured decisions
Although similar to the structured decisions in terms of sections of the decision used there is less agreement on which data and process to be used. The evaluation aspect of the decision is also left to qualified individuals within the organization. This type of decision leaves no room for premeditation of the procedures to be followed and thus they are made in situations which are unclear and one-shot.
Semi structured decisions

The main difference with the other types of decisions is that this types leaves room for human judgment in the decision making process. This type of decision also maintains some level of agreement between the 3 sections of decision making (data, process and evaluation)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Market positioning in the Kenya telecommunication consumer markets

The Kenyan telecommunication industry which features several firms like Safaricom, Airtel and Orange offer a variety of products and services to their target market. Among some of the services offered include mobile communication, fixed line communication, data and mobile money services. The firms have continued to compete by positioning themselves within the market through changes in the marketing mix elements price, place, product and promotion. The telecommunication firms seek to offer competitive prices of their products and services, superior products, stronger networks in terms of distribution and effective promotion to reach their customer market. This can be best explained through the following cases of the firms as they interact with their market and changes they make to ensure they develop and maintain a competitive edge.
Price: Airtel moves to increase its tariffs
In a recent twist of events Airtel Kenya announced an increase in their prices which will place them slightly higher than that of the industry leader Safaricom. Although Airtel has not confirmed a change in strategy this move signifies an attempt to stop the price war. The move to increase tariffs on its major tariffs (Klub 254 and Vuka) is likely a result of the need for the firm to invest and improve the quality of its data products. But the company still maintains the low pricing strategy on its (Tosha) tariff for competitive advantage on cost leadership within the customer market.
Product: Safaricom Product innovation M-PESA/ M-SHWARI
Safaricom through introduction of its M-PESA Product placed Kenya on the world map as the first country in the world to use the service. M-PESA allows its subscribers to use their mobile phones to access banking services where the user can send and receive money on their mobile phones. M-SHWARI which is a complementary product offers the ability to save and earn interest for their users.  This shows a commitment by telecommunication firms to improve their products to attract more customers.
Place: $293m investment by Safaricom to improve its network coverage
Safaricom recently invested $293 million to improve its network and make it the best in the country. In a statement by its CEO Bob Collymore, the company has increased its sites to 2,905, 1,604 of these are 3G enabled and this has improved the distribution of their products and services to reach more customers in the market.
Promotion: Digital promotion
Firms within the telecommunication are increasing the use of digital platforms for promotion. All the companies have an online presence through their websites and social media profiles. They use these platforms to engage with their customers who prefer interactive channels of promotion instead of the traditional static methods. Digital platforms have offered the firms an opportunity to interact in real-time with their customers.


Thiong’o, P. (2013). Will Airtel kenya’s move to raise call rates end price wars among telcos?. The East African.
Institute of Developing Economies- Japan External Trade Organizations. (n.d.). Safaricom Limited

Sato, N. (2013). Safaricom in $293m investment to have “best network in Kenya”. Human IPO.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Business strategy in relation to organizations

A strategy is a game plan used by an organization to achieve its desired objectives within a specified period of time. Strategy is about shaping the future. It is actually the human attempt to get to desirable ends with available means (McKeown, 2011). It is the overall scope and direction of a corporation and the way in which its various business operations work together to achieve particular goals. According to Porter (1996), “strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities”. The word creation in his statement infers that a strategy involves making choices after evaluating a set of available actions.
Strategy may be looked at from two perspectives;
1.      A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
2.      The art and science of planning and marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use.
Tactics are employed in decision making process, to make an accurate forecast of the future of the business (Masanell & Ricart, 2009). It highlights the core purpose and objectives of the organization and what exactly needs to be done in order to realize those goals. Resources necessary are allocated. Tactics are employed to ensure that the strategy objectives and goals are met.
Values: are the fundamental beliefs of an entity. They are the principles we use to define that which is right, good and just. Values provide guidance as we determine the right versus the wrong, the good versus the bad. They would refer to acceptable standards within the workspace which govern the behavior of the individuals within the organization (Putnam, 2011). These values must be within the organization’s purpose, mission and vision. Ethical considerations that act as a guide to the behavior and morals of all the stakeholders in the organization an organization’s values are largely set in its culture and traditions. Organizations values are the foundation of the organization and are determined by what customers expect in their day to day interactions with the organization. Examples include:
·         Customer centered care
·         Empathy
·         Development
·         Enthusiasm
·         Partnership
-An organization's values should be clearly outlined in their mission statement as a way to build commitment in its adoption within the fabric of the organization.
Values ensure the health and wellbeing of the firm in the long run.

Concept value of firms expands beyond economic value to include other forms of value such as employee value, customer value, supplier value, channel partner value, alliance partner value, managerial value and societal value.