Translating the real concept of the MIS into reality is technically, an infeasible proposition unless computers are used. The MIS relies its ability to store, process, retrieve and communicate with no serious limitations.
The variety of the hardware having distinct capabilities make it possible to design the MIS for a specific situation. For example, if the organization needs a large database and very little processing, a computer system is available for such a requirement. Suppose the organization has multiple business locations at long distances and if the need is to bring the data at one place, process, and then send the information to various locations, it is possible to have a computer system with a distributed data processing capability. If the distance is too long, then the computer system can be hooked through a satellite communication system.
The ability of the hardware to store data and process it at a very fast rate helps to deal with the data volumes, its storage and access effectively. The ability of the computer to sort and merge helps to organize the data in particular manner and process it for complex lengthy computations. Since the computer is capable of digital, graphic word, image, voice and text processing, it is exploited to generate information and present it in the form which is easy to understand for the information user.
The software, an integral part of a computer system, further enhances the hardware capability. The software is available to handle the procedural and nonprocedural data processing. For example, if you want to use a formula to calculate a certain result, an efficient language is available to handle the situation. If you are not required to use a formula but have to resort every time to a new procedure, the nonprocedural languages are available.
The advancement in computer and the communication technology has made the distance, speed, volume and complex computing an easy task. Hence, designing the MIS for a specific need and simultaneously designing a flexible and open system becomes possible, thereby saving a lot of drudgery of development and maintenance of the system. The concept of user friendly systems and the end user computing is possible, making information processing a personalized function. However, the application of the management principles and practices in today’s complex business world is possible only when the MIS is based on a computer system support.