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MB0047 : Explain the different control issues in management information systems. Control Issues in Management Information Systems.

Posted on: October 19, 2011

MB0047 : Explain the different control issues in management information systems.

Control Issues in Management Information Systems.

Answer : Control

Control is the process through which manager assures that actual activities are according to standards leading to achieving of common goals. The control process consists of measurement of progress, achieving of common goals and detects the deviations if any in time and takes corrective action before things go beyond control. Information systems operate in real world situations which are always changing and there are lots of problems. Information systems are vulnerable to various threats and abuses. Some of the points are memory, communications links, microwave signal, telephone lines etc.

Security Control

The resources of information systems like hardware, software, and data, need to be protected preferably by build in control to assure their quality and security.

Types of Security Control:

  • Administrative control
  • Information systems control
  • Procedural control
  • Physical facility control

Administrative Control

Systems analysts are actually responsible for designing and implementing but these people need the help of the top management in executing the control measure. Top executives provide leadership in setting the control policy. Without their full support, the control system cannot achieve its goal.


Information System Control

Information system control assures the accuracy, validity and proprietary of information system activities. Control must be there to ensure proper data entry processing techniques, storage methods and information output. Accordingly management information system control are designed to see or monitor and maintain quality, security of the input process, output and storage activities of an information system.

Input Control

As we know whatever we give to computer the computer processes that and returns the result to us. Because of this very fact, there is a need to control the data entry process. The types of input control are:

  • Transaction Codes: Before any transaction can be input into the system, a specific code should be assigned to it. This aids in its authorization.
  • Forms: a source document or screen forms should be used to input data and such forms must adhere to certain rules.
  • Verification: Source document prepared by one clerk can be verified by another clerk to improve accuracy.
  • Controltotals: Data entry and other system activities are frequently monitored by the use of control-total. For example, record count is a control-total that consist of counting the total number of source documents or other input records and compare them at other stage of data entry. If totals do not match, then a mistake is indicated.
  • Check digit: These are used for checking important codes such as customer number to verify the correctness.
  • Labels: It contains data such as file name, and date of creation so that a check can be made that correct file is used for processing.
  • Character and field checking: Characters are checked for proper mode – numeric, alphabetic, alphanumeric fields – to see if they are filled in properly.


Processing Control

Input and processing data are so interrelated that we can take them as first line of defense. Once data is fed into the computer, controls are embedded in various computer programs to help, detect not only input errors but also processing errors. Processing – controls are included to check arithmetic calculations and logical operations. They are also used to ensure that data are not lost or do not go unprocessed. Processing control is further divided into hardware and software control.

Output Control

These are developed to ensure that processed information is correct, complete and is transmitted to authorized user in a timely manner. The output control are mostly of same kind as input control e.g. Output documents and reports are thoroughly and visually verified by computer personnel and they are properly logged and identified with rout slips

Storage Control

Control responsibility of files of computer programs and databases is given to librarian or database administrator. They are responsible for maintaining and controlling access to the information. The databases and files are protected from unauthorized users as accidental users. This can be achieved with the help of security monitor. The method includes assigning the account code, password and other identification codes. A list of authorized users is provided to computer system with details such as type of information they are authorized to retrieve or receive from it.

Procedural Control

These methods provide maximum security to operation of the information system.  Standard procedures are developed and maintained manually and built in software help display so that every one knows what to do. It promotes uniformity and minimize the chance of error and fraud. It should be kept up-to-date so that correct processing of each activity is made possible.


Physical Facility Control

Physical facility control is methods that protect physical facilities and their contents from loss and destruction. Computer centers are prone to many hazards such as accidents, thefts, fire, natural disasters, destructions etc. Therefore physical safeguards and various control procedures are required to protect the hardware, software and vital data resources of computer using organizations.

Physical Protection Control

Many type of controlling techniques such as one in which only authorized personnel are allowed to access to the computer centre exist today. Such techniques include identification badges of information services, electronic door locks, security alarm, security policy, closed circuit TV and  dust control etc., are installed to protect the computer centre.

Telecommunication Controls

The telecommunication processor and control software play a vital role in the control of data communication activity. Data can be transmitted in coded from and it is decoded in the computer centre itself. The process is called as encryption.

Computer Failure Controls

Computers can fail for several reasons like power failures, electronic circuitry malfunctions, mechanical malfunctions of peripheral equipment and hidden programming errors. To protect from these failure precaution, any measure with automatic and remote maintenance capabilities may be required.


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