Management Information Systems Trends
The management information systems (MIS) landscape is constantly changing as new technologies are introduced and existing technologies evolve, making it critical for MIS professionals to stay on top of current trends and continue to develop their technological savvy. Some of the biggest management information systems trends affecting business today are big data analytics, cloud computing, mobile computing and smart machines.
The digitalization of business has led to the rise of big data analytics. Big data analytics refers to the collection, organization and analysis of large sets of data. Two areas of big data analytics that MIS professionals may be involved with at a business are raw data maintenance and data mining.
Raw data maintenance involves maintaining a business' raw data, usually in the form of databases. A database is like a library of information (customer data, vendor data, etc.) that is stored in an organized, easily accessible format. Database maintenance is especially important for businesses because in many cases, employees are adding, removing, moving and changing entries at will. This can lead to disorganization—and even database malfunction—if not addressed, and that's where database maintenance comes in.
MIS professionals are responsible for keeping a business' databases organized and streamlined in order to keep everything functioning smoothly. Oftentimes, database maintenance can also involve performing regular data backups. This helps protect the business from data loss due to technical problems, security breaches and other problems.1A company's data is one of its most valuable assets, which makes data maintenance a top priority for many businesses.
Data mining is another aspect of big data analytics that MIS professionals may be responsible for. Businesses use data mining to turn large sets of raw data into useful information.2 In essence, data mining refers to using technology to automatically comb through large amounts of data in order to identify patterns and trends that provide useful insights. MIS professionals may help with a business' data mining efforts by building data mining models that use algorithms to review and analyze data in order to turn it into manageable pieces of useful information.3 This information can help businesses learn more about their customers, competitors, industry and more, making data mining an important part of many MIS professionals' responsibilities.
Cloud computing utilizes shared computing resources rather than local servers and personal computers.4 In other words, cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and applications using the Internet rather than your computer's hard drive.5 Cloud computing has become essential to modern business. According to the CompTIA (the IT industry trade association) report, "5th Annual Trends in Cloud Computing," more than 90 percent of businesses are now using the cloud to some degree.6
Such wide-scale adoption is no surprise, as cloud computing provides innumerable benefits to a business. For example, cloud computing facilitates collaboration, provides better access to analytics, reduces costs, increases productivity, and allows for quick development of new products and services.7 Cloud computing has the power to transform business, making it one MIS trend savvy professionals can't afford to ignore.
Mobile computing has forever changed the way we do business. Combined, smart phone and tablet usage in America is up 2,115 percent since 2010,8 with no end to the growth in sight. Mobile traffic is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent over the next several years, meaning there will be an estimated 10 times more total mobile traffic by 2019.9
The mobile revolution has not only changed consumer behavior—the way consumers find and purchase products, interact with brands, utilize customer reviews, and so on—but business practices as well. In addition to creating a great mobile experience for consumers (a responsive mobile website, mobile payment options, mobile apps, etc.), businesses also need to adopt mobile policies for employees that allow them to take advantage of the benefits of mobile computing without sacrificing security. As mobile computing continues to play an ever-growing role in business, it's critical for MIS professionals to stay abreast of mobile computing trends.
It wasn't very long ago that concepts like artificial intelligence, machine learning and self-driving cars seemed like science fiction. Today, however, smart machines are a fact of life, and according to IT research firm Gartner, "Smart machines will have widespread and deep business impact…through 2020."10 Smart machines are capable of learning, making decisions and solving problems without human involvement, and many businesses are embracing their use to increase both productivity and efficiency.11
As smart machines become more and more prevalent in business, it has become increasingly important for MIS professionals to stay on the cutting edge of this technology. MIS professionals need to be able to both work with smart machines (implementation, troubleshooting, integration, etc.) and also perform job duties that smart machines can't automate.12
1. "What is Database Maintenance?" WiseGeek.org. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-database-maintenance.htm
2. "Data Mining." Investopedia.com. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/datamining.asp
3. "Data Mining Concepts." Oracle.com. http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B28359_01/datamine.111/b28129/process.htm
4. "Cloud Computing (The Cloud)." Webopedia.com. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/cloud_computing.html
5. Griffith, Eric. "What Is Cloud Computing?" 17 April 2015. PCMag.com. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372163,00.asp
6. Ward, Keith. "CompTIA: More than 90 Percent of Businesses Using Cloud." VirtualizationReview.com. 10 Nov. 1014. https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2014/11/10/90-percent-of-companies-using-cloud.aspx
7. "Cloud Computing: United States Businesses Will Spend $13 Billion On It." Forbes.com. 29 Jan. 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2014/01/29/cloud-computing-united-states-businesses-will-spend-13-billion-on-it/
8. Dreyer, Kate. "Mobile Internet Usage Skyrockets in Past 4 Years to Overtake Desktop as Most Used Digital Platform." comScore.com. 13 April 2015. https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Mobile-Internet-Usage-Skyrockets-in-Past-4-Years-to-Overtake-Desktop-as-Most-Used-Digital-Platform
9. Honigman, Brian. "10 Mobile Marketing Statistics to Help Justify Your Budget." AdKnowledge.com. 17 April 2014. http://www.adknowledge.com/blog/statistics-to-justify-budget/
10. "Gartner Says Smart Machines Will Have Widespread and Deep Business Impact Through 2020." Gartner.com. 10 Oct. 2013. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2605015
11. Rouse, Margaret. "Smart Machines Definition." TechTarget.com. April 2014. http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/smart-machines
12. Walker, Jeffrey. "How smart machines will change the future of business." Monitor.us. 7 Nov. 2014. http://blog.monitor.us/2014/11/how-smart-machines-will-change-the-future-of-business/