Information Management Through a Multidimensional Information Systems Architecture: A University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Case Study

Information Management Through a Multidimensional Information Systems Architecture: A University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Case Study

José Bessa (University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal), Frederico Branco (INESC TEC and University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal), António Rio Costa (University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal), José Martins (INESC TEC and University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal) and Ramiro Gonçalves (INESC TEC and University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2017100101
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Abstract

Portuguese Higher Education Institutions have more and more data that needs to be processed in order to get information and, therefore, Knowledge. In order to respond to this need, over time there have been several types of IS supported by ICT, which enables them to achieve these features and, at the same time, help with their daily activities. However, the continuous evolution of this technological component has led to a current high degree of complexity, from which the Information Systems Architectures emerged as means of increasing the effectiveness of its management and maintenance. Using the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro as a case study, the research team proposed a generic ISA that enabled it to have a transversal vision of its IS, allowing the validation of existence/need IS focused on Information Management and decision-making under a multidimensional perspective, i.e., geared towards the various organizational levels, since the Operational level to the Strategic level, taking into account the information needs associated with each player.
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Introduction

Nowadays, modern society is often characterized by a dynamic and complex environment, result of the instability, competitiveness and constant changes in the socio-economic conjecture, which makes the management of an organization a highly complex task. In this context, the Information, Knowledge and Intelligence that can be obtained through organizational Information Systems (IS), cause the need to establish and assess the scope and functions of it IS, enabling these organizations to make consistent and timely decisions regarding their areas of expertise, aiming to achieve competitive advantages in the markets they act (Branco, Gonçalves, Martins, & Cota, 2015; Branco, Martins, Gonçalves, Bessa, & Costa, 2015).

Complying with the state of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in these organizations and given the importance and dissemination of these IS for the viability of the activities of the agencies in question, the Information Systems Architecture (ISA) arises as a form of contribution to the development, implementation and maintenance of the IS, as it goes along with their whole evolution process of, by providing a comprehensive overview, considering the different performance, vision and organizational mission perspectives, the IS itself, the technological component that supports them and their users (Branco, 2014; Goepp, Kiefer, & Geiskopf, 2006).

The scenario described above can also be applied to the Portuguese Higher Education Institutions (PHE) and, therefore, in the present work, we tried to develop a multidimensional ISA of a PHE institution, involving it different organizational levels complying with the defined strategies. As a case study, we chose to use as basis the reality of the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), since it is the one with which the authors come across on a daily basis, gathering the conditions for obtaining a more detailed set of information, which makes it possible to pursue the most generic possible information systems architecture, that can be applied and used as reference for all the Portuguese Higher Education Institutions.

This article is composed of six sections: section 1 presents the article introduction and structure, which is followed by the investigation methodology. The section 3 presents the conceptual approach of its supporting themes. The case study is described in section 4, with the suggestion of an ISA in section 5, with its application in one of the spheres of the PHE institution where this work was developed. The article finishes with the final considerations extracted from the work presented and the perspectives for future works.

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