What information needs does a company have?

Aligning organizations' strategy with the right information systems helps support decision making.

Information is the most important asset for decision making in companies; understanding and planning the use of technology to manage it will largely determine the quality and cost of the internal activities of the company. Therefore it will also determine those of the product or service aimed at customers.

We can divide the information needs for decision making into two categories: strategy and operations.

  1. Strategic decision making: addresses issues that have long-term implications for the performance of the entire company in general, typically being data related to market share, trends in the global market, consumer preferences, proposed changes to relevant legislation, etc.
  2. Operational decision making: relates to day-to-day operations, regional sales data, and supply chain management for a specific product.

The nature of the information needs for any company depends on a variety of factors: the type of industry, the level of competition and the source of competitive advantage. Whatever situation you are in, you must have policies, processes and plans to define the distribution chain; it is very important to understand the benefit of having a systematic way to make decisions with suitable systems for supporting the process.


Information Management

The digital strategy is among those with the highest return for companies. Unlike other business functions (marketing, production, or finance), IT systems are embedded in all the processes of the organization.

Learn about the four pillars of the information systems strategy:

  • Vision: explains the future of the business.
  • Architecture: connects vision, structure and needs with technology and determines the shape of the information in the enterprise.
  • Plan: is an intelligent and focused agenda, formed by a set of projects.
  • Data governance: effectively distributes responsibilities and rights for decision-making. The governance determines the flow of data, which is nothing other than the path it travels to reach the users.

Two types of systems notably stand out for the supply chain and are applicable to any area: CRM and ERP systems.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) customer relationship management software. Among its functionalities:

  • Manage sales and customers
  • Automation and promotion of sales
  • Data warehouse technologies to aggregate transactional operations and provide reporting
  • Dashboards and key business indicators
  • Functionalities for tracking marketing campaigns and managing business opportunities,
  • Predictive and sales projection capabilities

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) enterprise resource planning systems.

  • They integrate and manage many of the resources and processes associated with production operations as well as aspects of the distribution of goods and services.
  • They commonly handle purchase orders, invoicing, catalogs, inventory, etc.
  • They are called back office, since the client and the general public do not have access.
  • It is a system that deals directly with suppliers.

It is said that strategy is built every day in the process of execution, so it is essential to implement the right tools to maintain competitiveness.

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José Ramón, ICT Management, Information Systems. UOC. (2018). Los cuatro pilares de la estrategia de sistemas de información [The four pillars of the information systems strategy] accessed August 2019.