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Articles of Interest

PC Touch Services, Inc.

Information Systems and Small Business

 June 21, 2006


Author:      Wilson Louis-Elias, MS-CIS

Company:  PC Touch Services, Inc.

Contact:     P.O. Box 14202

                   Hauppauge NY 11788

                   Tel: 631-676-2282

Title:          Information Systems and Small Business

Type:         Article

Date:         June 21, 2006




Whenever the expertise is not available to efficiently achieve a specific task, enterprise may choose to contract the task out. The same is true for information systems (IS) design and building. When needs arise for an IS, medium and large organization usually issue a request for proposal (RFP) to invite other organization with the capital intelligence to complete the project. Smaller organizations may not even have the necessary knowledge of technology to draft a RFP at all. This article was intended to assist such organizations in gathering the basics understanding about building an IS. The article will discuss available economic resources, the business purpose of IS, using single user versus middleware type applications. This article will not make an expert out of a less technology-oriented person, but it should help one getting an upper hand on how well an information system can serve your organization, your employees, and your customers.


Economic Resources Availability

Organizations place a lot of emphasis on economic resources availability for more reasons than the resources availability itself. The main reason has always been the issue of return on investment (ROI). The latter cannot explicitly expressed in number such as the amount of additional revenues the cost of an IS will bring to the company. One definitely knows how much one’s inventory will bring by computing the markup applied to it. However, it is difficult to tell by how much one repeater or a router installed within two pieces of cables will increase sales. It is certain, though, the absence of the repeater will prevent two nodes from communicating with each other. It is clear that a router creates an additional layer on the system. Even with these examples and many more, management tends to underestimate the value of risking valuable economic resources on the information systems.


Another basis for avoiding the expense of introducing an IS is the lack of economic resources. One can only spend accessible money whether it is cash or indebtedness. This statement brings us back to the above discussion. Difficulties to determine the ROI of an IS delay the process of spending on it.


A more technology-aware business person will certainly take a better approach to consider designing, building, and hiring network services company to design and build the proper IS for his or her own enterprise. In fact, management understands the needs to reach clients through the Internet, the benefits of reducing equipment and software costs, the result of increasing users’ performance, the business impact of improving customer relationship management, the importance of protecting customers’ personal information, simplistic benefits of giving users access to a single database, and uniformity value of creating a single logical organization. All of the above listed benefits can be realized through a well-designed information system. They are all integral part of determining the business purpose of an IS.


Reaching Clients on the Internet

The Internet has become the center of information for everyone in the business world and almost every individual’s personal life. Information has never been so easily accessible before the Internet. As a result, people who need information about a company naturally go to the center of information to access that information. A company with an Internet presence always wins whether the presence is through a simple informational website or one that provides information to clients, customers, and employees. The most beneficial website has to be a virtual store where visitor buy and make payments in a secure environment by using credit and debit cards, and direct debits from checking accounts. The latest means of payment, invoice emailing, is becoming popular as well. The latter assists organization in sending email to client. It must be mentioned that the title to this section is misleading because companies don’t reach clients on the Internet. Instead, they reach companies.


Reducing Equipments and Software Costs

The simplest way of explaining the effect of networking on equipments cost reduction relates to the acquisitions of a lot more resources or personal computer (PC) peripherals than necessary to run business operations. Such resources cost money and end up being wasted. Let’s say, for instance, one small company acquired four (4) desktops and four printers for four users. Coincidentally, the small company was a fast growing mortgage company. Needs to hire additional mortgage brokers will rise and the urge to buy additional equipments will follow. Since a lesser number of brokers need workstations at all time to do his or her job, it would be beneficial to buy one limited capacity server with two (2) PC and one (1) printer to serve a larger number of users. The network must be scalable enough to allow easy addition by simply joining additional nodes (PC and other devices) to the network. The addition can be done in minutes or just a few hours. While operations expand addition to the network will cost the company at a slower rate than if each workstation was standalone.


Until Microsoft published its Windows Server 2003 Small Business Edition server used to cost a lot more money than it currently cost. Nowadays, a lot of small business companies can afford to acquire a server with the lower operating cost of the Windows Server 2003 Small Business Edition. In addition, middleware installed on the server increases the advantage of avoiding installation of one application on every single workstation. Once again, Microsoft Office is one package no small organization would want to use as a single user application due to cost effect.


Increasing Performance and Customer Relationship

With standalone workstations, employees found it difficult to exchange files, share or take over others’ tasks, efficiently serve customers and therefore keep good relationship with the latter. Preventing employees from having such currently available common technologies can lower their level of satisfactions. Lower level of satisfaction can also greatly impact productions or performance. Obviously, an IS or a network infrastructure with a myriad of nodes attached to it promotes employees’ level of satisfaction, leads them to keep excellent relationship with customers, and also leads them to optimize productions or performance.


Protect Customers Information

You probably read in the newspaper, heard on the radios and other media that no IS could be secure enough to prevent hackers from penetrating it. That will be true for a long period of time for 5% of the hackers. However, the remaining 90% are aspired hacker that any reasonable network designer or builder can stop with proper configurations.


Single Database and Logical Organization

Through specific configurations, database and other files accesses can be granted to users according to functions by segregating duties within the virtual environment to protect customers’ personal information. Information Technology (IT) grants such access to a single point (the database or other files) to employees or users on behalf of management regardless of company’s number of branches and geographic locations. All employees have access to the same data and can generate the same information.



We have expected that this article would demonstrate how an information system (IS) can lead your organization through this technological era. An information system can be as simple as a single desktop at one’s home. In fact, the phraseology is used for an extension of the very system a single user uses at home. A network infrastructure at the physical layer causes all connected nodes to work seamlessly as one system namely the IS. We discussed the effect of economic resources availability, reaching clients on the Internet, how to reduce equipments and software costs, how to increasing performance and customer relationship and personal information. At last, we have seen how enterprise locations can seamlessly be one through its IS. We hope you learn enough to understand the need for networking workstation and create an information system.

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Wilson & John

Wilson Louis-Elias, EA
John Thomas, CPA - right

Two former government tax auditors who, jointly, bring decades of experiences, skills and knowledge to you. Do not delay to contact them about all of your personal and business tax matters. Your tax problem cannot wait because the consequences can be too devastating...


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