Issues and Challenges of Information Systems Management

Information technology (IT) is the backbone of today’s business operations.  All of IT is about using information systems to tap the power of information, – the information of business, finance, human resources, marketing, sales, buyers and suppliers, and research and development.  As stated in Xu (2013), Efficient and strategic use of information holds the key to enhanced competitiveness, increased efficiency, better resource allocation, and improved effectiveness. Because of the dynamics and complicity of IT, companies face various issues and challenges in information systems management. It is every critical for executive managers to understand the issues and problem in IT to achieve effective IT management and business success. According to a recent study conducted by the Society of Information Management (SIM) in 2011, IT systems and applications are increasingly developed and deployed in the business environments in the following areas:

(1) Business intelligence (BI);
(2) Cloud computing;
(3) Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP);
(4) Mobile and wireless applications;
(5) Customer relationship management systems (CRM);
(6) Software as a service (SaaS);
(7) Virtualization;
(8) Collaborative and workflow tools;
(9) Enterprise application integration/management; and
(10) Data mining and data warehousing.

The same study by Society of Information Management (SIM) identified the 10 top IT management concerns within organizations:

  1. Alignment between business and technology;
  2. Business agility and speed to market;
  3. Business process re-engineering;
  4. Business productivity and cost reduction;
  5. IT/IS strategic planning;
  6. IT/IS reliability and efficiency;
  7. Enterprise architecture;
  8. Security and privacy;
  9. Revenue-generating IT innovations; and
  10.  IT/IS cost reduction.

The differences in size, industrial sectors, and business operations can bring in different issues and concerns in IT management.  For example, different problems can arise from the differences in types of companies, industries, governments & regulations, IS/IT infrastructures, levels of sophistication, countries of business, and cultures.  On the other hand, in spite of the organizational differences, there are some common factors that are basic to all businesses.  The following factors are commonly concerned in IS/IT management:

(1) focusing on customers;
(2) building and enhancing relationships with business partners and suppliers;
(3) fostering collaboration among people and teams across the organization; and
(4) improving operational efficiency and effectiveness;
(5) enhancing business performance;
(6) managing, developing and evaluating information systems;
(7) protecting information resources;
(8) using information systems ethically; and
(9) managing information systems organization.

According to recent global survey and scholarly studies, organizations face the following challenges for the success of digital technologies:

  • Inadequate organizational structure that hinders the deployment of digital technologies
  • Lack of information systems and technology
  • Lack of quality data
  • Lack of internal leadership
  • Inappropriate business processes to take advantages of opportunities created by digital technologies
  • Insufficient senior management support
  • Difficulty in finding technical and functional talent


Xu, J. (2013). Managing Information Systems: Ten Essential Topics. Paris, France: Atlantis Press.


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