At first glance it may appear that there is no difference between these two concepts. On closer investigation however, we find that there is a vast difference between the two concepts.
Management Information refers to the processing of information through computers and other means to manage and support managerial decisions within an organization.
The concept include systems that are referred to as transaction processing system, decision support system, expert system, or executive information system.
The term is often used in the academic study of businesses and has connections with other areas, such as information systems, information technology, informatics, e-commerce and computer science and as a result the term is used interchangeably with some of these areas.
Management Information Systems (plural) as an academic discipline studies people, technology, organizations, and the relationships among them.
This definition relates specifically to "MIS" as a course of study in business schools. Many business schools (or colleges of business administration within universities) have an MIS department, alongside departments of accounting, finance, management, marketing, and may award degrees (at undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels) in Management Information Systems.
MIS professionals are in big demand to help organizations to maximize the benefit from investments in personnel, equipment, and business processes.
The actions that are taken to create an information system that solves an organizational problem is called system development. These include system analysis, system design, computer programming/implementation, testing, conversion, production and finally maintenance.
Conversion is the process of changing or converting the old system into the new. This can be done in three basic ways:
1. Direct cut – The new system replaces the old at an appointed time.
2. Parallel implementation - both old and new systems run at the same time until developers are certain the new system is operating correctly.
3. Pilot study - Introducing the new system to a small portion of the operation to see how it fares. If results are good then the new system expands to the rest of the company.
Information management on the other hand deals with the scientific management of the masses of information out there that may be needed or even required by organisations to perform their functions aimed at their organisational success and strategy.
Information Management (IM) actually comprises a cycle of organizational activities:
a. the acquisition of information from one or more sources,
b. the custodianship and the distribution of that information to those who need it, and
c. its ultimate disposition through archiving or deletion.
This cycle of organisational involvement with information involves a variety of stakeholders.
For example there are those who are responsible for the quality, accessibility and utility of the acquired information, those who are responsible for its safe storage and disposal, and those who need it for decision making.
Stakeholders might have rights to originate, change, distribute or delete information according to organizational information management policies.
Information management embraces all the generic concepts of management, including:
planning, organising, structuring, processing, controlling, evaluation and reporting of information activities, all of which is needed in order to meet the needs of those with organisational roles or functions that depend on information. These generic concepts allow the information to be presented to the audience or the correct group of people.
After individuals are able to put that information to use it then gains more value.
Information management is closely related to, and overlaps with, the management of data, systems, technology, processes and – where the availability of information is critical to organisational success and strategy.
This broad view of the realm of information management contrasts with the earlier, more traditional view, that the life cycle of managing information is an operational matter that requires specific procedures, organisational capabilities and standards that deal with information as a product or a service.
It is commonly believed that good information management is crucial to the smooth working of organisations, and although there is no commonly accepted theory of information management per se, behavioural and organisational theories help.
Most of what goes on in modern organizations is actually information handling and decision making.
One crucial factor in information handling and decision making is an individual's ability to process information and to make decisions under limitations that might derive from the context: a person's age, the situational complexity, or a lack of requisite quality in the information that is at hand – all of which is exacerbated by the rapid advance of technology and the new kinds of system that it enables, especially as the social web emerges as a phenomenon that business cannot ignore.
And yet, well before there was any general recognition of the importance of information management in organisations, academics in the field of management argued that organizations have to be considered as cooperative systems, with a high level of information processing and a vast need for decision making at various levels.
Additionally modern day academics propose a notion of ‘satisfactory information’ which entails searching through all the available alternatives until an acceptability threshold is met.
In addition to the organisational factors there are other issues that stem from economic and environmental dynamics.
There is the cost of collecting and evaluating the information needed to take a decision, including the time and effort required.
The transaction cost associated with information processes can be high. In particular, established organizational rules and procedures can prevent the taking of the most appropriate decision, leading to sub-optimum outcomes.
This is an issue that has been presented as a major problem with bureaucratic organizations that lose the economies of strategic change because of entrenched attitudes.
There are many ways to see a business, and the information management viewpoint is only one such way.
It is important to remember that other areas of business activity will also contribute to strategy – it is not only good information management that moves a business forwards.
Corporate governance, product development, human resource management, and marketing will all have an important role to play in strategic ways, and we must not see one domain of activity alone as the sole source of strategic success.
On the other hand, corporate governance, human resource management, product development and marketing are all dependent on effective information management, and so in the final analysis our competency to manage information well, must be predominant.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND THE EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF INFORMATION
Where an organisation has invented a new product, provide a unique service or provide information that the organisation has developed, it better make sure that they protect their intellectual property, so that other unscrupulous parties do not make profits off their hard work.
Intellectual property is basically any creation of the human mind, such as an invention, a specific brand name, books, etc. which have both a moral and a commercial value.
IP protection encourages the publication, distribution and disclosure of the creation to the public, rather than keeping it secret while at the same time encouraging commercial enterprises to select creative works for exploitation.
Intellectual property rights, which include patents, trademarks and designs, are the legal framework that protects the creators of these works.
Intellectual Property protection is intended to stimulate the creativity of the human mind for the benefit of all by ensuring that the advantages derived from exploiting a creation benefit the creator.
For this reason control over the intangible asset (IPR) connotes control of the product and markets.
Proper and effective management of information is for all intents and purpose the only way to encourage creative within the organisation and allowing investors a safe and fair return on their investment.