Agile systems are incremental and iterative, helping organizations adapt, respond faster and stay ahead of the competition. Agile is all about embracing change and for successfully adopting Agile, organizations need to have an infrastructure that is flexible and supports growth. This, called the MIS or Management Information Systems, should help to reduce costs, enhance growth, improve productivity and enhance bottom line margins. Which characteristics support an Agile MIS Infrastructure? Let’s understand in this blog.
An Agile MIS infrastructure shares data and resources among the users within an organization. It is a combination of an organization’s hardware, software and other equipment such as telecommunication systems. These individual components work together as a system to support the business goals of the organization. This is the lifeline of an organization, and an enterprise is fully dependent on its MIS infrastructure to deliver the goods and services to the customers.
The MIS must be scalable in order to meet the growing needs of an organization. If the organization’s demand for resources grows, the system must be able to handle the demand without going into distress or affecting the overall business and functionality of the organization.
We are in a state of constant flux and organizations must scale their operations to meet growing market demands. An MIS infrastructure must have these seven main abilities to ensure that it can perform even under adverse and unplanned conditions.
An MIS infrastructure has seven main abilities:
This defines the accessibility that a user has of the system and what they can access, view, or perform when using the system. The users’ accessibility of the system depends on their permission levels, and it is important that the system be accessible to all users depending on their permission levels.
This characteristic defines the availability of the system. Depending on the type of service they support, systems need to be always available or not.
Businesses like the E-commerce industry are operational at all hours, on all days of the year. Such businesses require the system to be always available and operational. Such systems that are needed to be operational always are called as ‘high availability’ systems and are used by services such as internet service providers. When it is not operational it is termed as being ‘unavailable.’
Markets rapidly change, as do customer needs and environments. The need of the hour is to have systems and operations that can respond fast to these changes while still being efficient and high performing. This third characteristic defines the maintainability of a system, or how fast it can change to adapt to changing business conditions. Systems need to be flexible and accommodate and support business change without breaking down.
For example, many businesses had to go digital to meet the needs of customers during the COVID pandemic. Their systems needed to go beyond just being offline operations to include online processes and businesses. Flexible systems may have handled this transition well without breaking down.
Our lives are now split between our multiple devices. From personal computers and laptops and tabs to phones, we have a variety of devices at our disposal, and we want all our applications to be accessible across these devices. There are also a vast number of software platforms and operating systems now available including Windows, Mac, Mac, Linux etc. The system should be portable enough to be available across devices and operating systems.
We seek reliability and accuracy in all the things we do and for most users of an application or system, reliability is the most important consideration. The reliability feature of a system defines its accuracy or its ability to function correctly and provide accurate information.
Businesses today are growing at unprecedented rates. And a major part of their success is dependent on their systems which must also scale to meet the demands of the growing business and accommodate more users, processes, and transactions. This characteristic of the system defines its ability to scale, adapt and manage growing business needs. A business cannot grow if it is constrained by a system that cannot scale or has limited resources. For example, a retail e-business must be scalable to add new products, take on new orders and support the addition of increased customers without hampering their shopping experience or breaking down.
Being user friendly and providing an unparalleled customer experience should be the main goal of every system. This characteristic, called usability of a system defines its user friendliness or the ease with which it can be learnt, used and mastered by users. Systems should also be efficient and interesting to work with. For example, if we consider operating systems, Windows operating systems are thought to be more user friendly and easy to use than Mac iOS.
Post pandemic, businesses have changed. And to adapt and survive in these competitive markets, businesses need to have systems that offer complete solutions and most importantly are scalable to meet growing demands, even while supporting goals and objectives. Agile MIS infrastructures particularly need to have these abilities to align too the agile values of adaptability, flexibility, customer centricity and scalability. A MIS infrastructure having the above mentioned seven characteristics can ensure that the business thrives and challenges the competition.