Executive SummaryThis paper addresses the use of Computer-based information systems (CBIS) in Box Hill College of Kuwait and confirms that in its current status, the system is more of a drain that a benefit to the institution. The paper notes that the current information system does not serve most of the critical information needs presented by students, faculty and the administrative staff. As such, the paper recommends that the college needs to design and implement a ‘new’ CBIS, but first, it needs to identify the information needs presented by its students, faculty and administrators.
Additionally, the paper notes that the college needs to follow a strategy in its design and implementation of the ‘new’ information system. Notably, the strategy needs to fit within the college’s aims and objectives, and must therefore be perceived as an ideal way of helping the institution advance its cause. In a case study from Makerere University in Uganda, the paper observes that in addition to addressing the information needs in a specific user community, a computer-based information system must be accepted by the targeted users, and must also be supported by the management.
Without support from the two, the real value of information systems cannot be realised. The paper ends by noting that Box Hill College can resolve the problems its experiencing with its current information system by first identifying the real problems with the current system; identifying the information needs in its user community; and designing and implementing a CBIS that address the aforementioned (i. e. inadequacies of the current system in meeting the information needs of the user community). IntroductionComputer based information systems (CBIS) have become a critical component of contemporary organisations.
This paper will look at how the Box Hill College of Kuwait (BHCK) - a learning institution has embraced CBIS, and will gauge whether the systems have been drain or beneficial to the institution. Based on the analysis, the writer will then make recommendations for either BHCK and/or other institutions of learning that have embraced CBIS. The main aim of this paper is to identify how learning institutions can get value from the implementation of CBIS. The paper’s aim is informed by the realisation that learning institutions can use CBIS to manage and increase academic productivity for students, the tutors, and the non-teaching staff.
However, that can only happen if CBIS is recognised as an important ‘resource that is key to good decision making in a competitive and ever dynamic environment’ as suggested by Nyandiere (2007, p. 26). Most of the discussion about CBIS in literature relates to corporations (i. e. business enterprises). Addressing the value of CBIS in corporate organisations for example, Stair, Reynolds and Reynolds (2009, p. 3) indicate that the value of CBIS is contained in its ability to ‘provide the right information to the right people. ..at the right time’ regardless of the physical distance separating the information consumers.
Notably, learning institutions are not always perceived as business enterprises (i. e. when viewed from the students’ perspective); from the investor’s viewpoint however, learning institutions can qualify as business enterprises and hence the need to implement effective CBIS. Moreover, even if not for attracting students to an institution, learning facilities sold consider the use of effective CBIS solutions for purposes of enhancing the education management process.
As such, it is arguable that learning institutions can borrow some lessons from the above statement quoted statement by Stair et al. (2009, p. 3). For example, they can benefit from CBIS systems that provide the “right” information to users as and when it is needed. The term “right” as used in the preceding sentence is relative to different users since the informational needs in the learning institution set up differs among students and their tutors, and even among the supporting staff (e. g. accountants).