Leveraging Information Systems Tools, Security and On-Line Usage in Banking and Insurance Sector

By Mehta, Versha; Manhas, Parikshat Singh | Journal of Services Research, October 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Leveraging Information Systems Tools, Security and On-Line Usage in Banking and Insurance Sector


Mehta, Versha, Manhas, Parikshat Singh, Journal of Services Research


Banks are playing increasingly important role in the economy and there has been an equivalent role of Information Technology in it. Systems in banks are becoming increasingly dependent upon IT. The most important thing to learn from Y2K problem that struck world wide in the year 2000 has not been its direct cost but the warning about how companies software applications are becoming the central nervous system of the organisation. Software tools and techniques are, as a result of this, increasingly determining the nature of the experiences the customers, the employees, the partners and the investors have with the organisation, and its products, services and the operations. In this context, therefore, the software-mediated experiences are critical for retaining the customers, motivating the employees, collaborating effectively with the partners and communicating with the investors. The advent of the intranets and electronic commerce has further brought an upsurge in the demand for better tools of analysis, system security and communication irrespective of the setting in which the company is placed in. The ever changing landscape of the market place demands that the company's competitive advantage not only depends upon the sophistication of its software but also on the company's information architecture, which includes, its data sources, databases, operating systems and the hardware. As a prelude to the discussion on technology issues in Banks and Insurance companies, Wal Mart has provided a meaningful insight into what a retail company can do by using an integrated information systems architecture for effective business decisions. Its integration of the supply chain software with data mining and data warehousing applications ensures on time and efficient delivery of products and services. For instance, a bank information about its customers in every transaction, should be able to track its customers throughout their lives and should be able to market appropriate products. The pitfall is that many banks do not even cross sell products, i.e. selling a mortgage to a checking account customer- let alone life stage services (Prahalad, 1999).

The efficiency and effectiveness of information systems, besides depending upon the culture of the organisation (Smith and Salter, 1992), also depends upon the appropriate use of systems tools and techniques. There have been numerous studies that have tried to relate the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation from the point of view of the information technology as a whole. However, there have been very few studies in India that have studied the relationship of the information system tools and techniques for the data security and online usage with that of the organisational performance. The present study aims to achieve this by examining the use of information systems tools, data security services and on-line databases by the banking and insurance companies which are at the forefront of the transformational dynamics.

Additionally, a comparative analysis is provided of the use of these items based on the firm's size, nature of data processing activity, reporting hierarchy, type of organisation, impact on organisation and the end user empowerment.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND THE ORGANISATIONS

It has been widely acclaimed in the contemporary literature that the development and refinement of information systems have altered the manner in which the information is derived and disseminated throughout the national and global organisations. Consequently, the nations become increasingly interdependent, the organisations get networked and thus contribute to the smooth functioning of the global economy. The ability of modern organisations to collect, sort, process and distribute information directly and indirectly influence other business firms in the national and global network (Adams, 1993; Dunning, 1980; Smith and Salter, 1992).

Further, advance technology influences business organizations at all levels, along with the ability of the organisation to generate accurate, speedy, reliable and timely information that will eventually allow the organizations to compete both locally and globally with improved performance. …

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