Information Management Systems vs. Information Technology: Understanding the Difference

Management Information Systems: MIS vs. Information Technology: IT – Overview

The management information system (MIS) refers to a large infrastructure used by a business or corporation, while information technology (IT) is a component of that infrastructure that is used to collect and transmit data.

A management information system helps a company make decisions and coordinate and analyze information. Information technology supports and facilitates the use of this system.

For example, IT could be a particular interface that helps users enter data in a corporate MIS operation. However, that is not to say that the scope of IT is limited. In some ways, IT is a broader field than MIS. The particular goals of a particular IT application can fit neatly into a broader MIS framework; however, the reverse is not necessarily true.

Management Information System

In terms of business decision making, an information system (IS) is a set of data, computing devices, and management methods that support the routine operations of the business. A management information system (MIS) is a specific subset of IS.

A management information system, as used by a business or institution, can be a computerized system consisting of hardware and software that serves as the information backbone for the business. Specifically, the computerized database can house all the financial information of the company and organize it in such a way that it can be accessed to generate reports on the operations at different levels of the company.

An analysis of the MIS data could reveal how best to use internal and external information. It could help a company better implement a new social media strategy or better organize employee benefits. Instead, it could highlight that a company’s use of IT is outdated or misapplied.

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Like IT professionals, MIS specialists tend to spend a lot of time troubleshooting, tweaking software, or supporting less-tech-savvy associates.

Information technology

By definition, information technology (IT) is technology that involves the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for data processing and distribution.

Put more simply, the broadest interpretation of information technology would be anything related to computers or information technology. Computer technology includes interactions of hardware, software, networks, and the Internet.

A company with an excellent IT framework or one that employs excellent IT technicians finds it easier to build, adjust, and implement a management information system.

Although IT can (and should) be directed toward specific purposes, its general scope is not focused outside of IT processes. Rather, MIS begins with a focused purpose; addresses the needs of business management. IT supports and informs the methods to achieve the objectives of MIS.

Key takeaways

  • A management information system (MIS) is a large structure that exists to support management and help it make informed and strategic decisions.
  • Information technology (IT) is a component of that infrastructure that is used to collect and transmit data.
  • IT is often related to computers or computer technology.
  • IT supports and informs the methods to achieve the goals and objectives of MIS.

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Mark Holland

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