Company’s MIS and recommended changes Beach Cities Health District is an active public health agency providing services to the 115,000 residents of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach, California. The services are delivered through a broad range of innovative health and wellness methods that promote healthy lifestyles, physical health and fitness, and emotional stability. In this paper we conduct an assessment of the Beach Cities Health Districts management information systems (MIS) in order to determine its effectiveness and to provide recommendations on its improvement. Evaluation is often spoken of as if it were a once-for-all episode happening close to the beginning of a project with the principal intention of comparing measurable benefits and costs in order to decide whether the project should go ahead. However, in both theory and practice the concept is much broader. Our research investigated the work and the results that were achieved by the IT department of Beach Cities Health District. Evidence about each of the set results, from the original conception through to the latest position, was collected from relevant documentation and from email communication with the people involved in the development and running of the systems.

As far as evaluation was concerned standard procedures were used in the MIS investigated. Even when a formal prescribed method was used it was frequently customized to suit the exigencies of a particular situation. The methods used in this case can be classified under the following headings. 1. Top-Down strategic: senior management believes IT is fundamental to the success. 2. Top-Down Dictat: corporate headquarters make rules on what divisions can do. 3. Incremental Change: next step is determined by technological change or obsolescence. 4. Competitive Imperative: the organization must use IT to survive. The following findings were attained in the process of this organization MIS’ evaluation: • Positive: This business is a very exciting field and it is also a good source for the tax payers’ money.

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In other words, Beach Cities Health District has initiated a number of programs, which are funded by the tax funds and which help all members of the community (especially children) to stay active and healthy. • Negative: MIS department is trying to get budget department to introduce some cost cutting procedures. At the same time, many pieces of equipment need replacement, but the budget funds are insufficient to cover these additional expenses. In addition, there can be observed slight problems with tech support. Finally, it takes too long to outsource the labor and administrative maintenance. • Recommendations: the organization should proceed with rack servers, back-ups, so it can be replaced when disk or system goes down. What is more the company should cut its outsourcing expenses by hiring more people who can do tech and administrative jobs. In other words it is essential to have the additional (back-up) system that will be activated each time the server malfunctions and to do most of the work ‘in-house’ in order to reduce costs.

If these changes are implemented, the company is likely to have three types of advantages: hard and soft benefits along with risks reduction. Hard benefits are the quantifiable positive outcomes, typically cash savings from outsourcing reduction. ‘Hard Costs’ are the measurable costs of the system’s hardware. However, this type of expenditures is not as clear-cut as it may appear. It should also include many measurable but overlooked costs such as training, restructuring, and the acquisition of employees, often with new skills. Soft benefits refers to items such as job enrichment but it also includes some elements which are the whole rationale of a strategic IS--competitive advantage, improved customer service, and so on. Risks reduction is the most complex type. Risk includes all the things that can go wrong, not just the measurable finances that could turn bad. This cell incorporates resistance to changing work practices, changing market situations, changing strategy and so on.

It also incorporates uncertainty. This might simply mean uncertainty over the level of costs and benefits streams, or their time horizon. Alternatively it might mean uncertainty over the causal factors which link the project with its impacts, for example whether the managers of the branches of a retail chain will make profitable use of the management information the new system makes available to them. Likewise there are unexpected costs and many projects go over budget. So, the task of evaluation is as much to do with discovering what the costs and benefits are as putting numerical values to them. In general, the organization should benefit from implementing the proposed changes, but a number of precautions should be employed while making these alterations. For instance, it is not certain whether new employees will be able to carry out the tech and administrative tasks as efficiently and effectively as outsourcing organizations do. Therefore truly careful and thorough analysis are needed before the final decision is made.

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