|< Day Day Up >|| |
IODSSs really only became practical in the late 1990s. Prior to the widespread diffusion of the Internet and Web-based technologies, it was very expensive and tedious to use dial-up connections or value added networks (VAN) for data interchange and inter-organizational decision support. Until recently, it was almost impossible to provide any stakeholders with access to knowledge-driven DSSs. Some model-driven DSSs were accessed using time-sharing systems when and if that was practical. Communications-driven and document-driven DSSs were confined to intracompany LANs. Extranets, collaboration and coordination mechanisms, and improved information-sharing practices and processes are helping companies streamline their supply chains.
As noted, IODSSs serve a focal organization’s stakeholders, including investor organizations (stockholders, mutual funds), financial organizations (banks), government agencies, and customer, supplier, media, and labor organizations (see Figure 1). An IODSS usually provides selected stakeholders with access to a company’s extranet and authority or privileges to use specific decision support capabilities. Companies are creating Web-based, IODSSs that customers can use to evaluate products or that suppliers can use to control costs or reduce inventories. The target users are managers and knowledge workers in a customer, supplier, or partner organization and in some cases retail customers of the organization deploying the specific DSS. IODSSs should provide benefits beyond the elimination of paperwork and the reduction in human processing errors that occur as a result of inter-organizational transaction processing systems.
Figure 1: Potential inter-organizational DSS target users
Creating inter-organizational, communications-driven, data-driven, and document-driven DSSs is closely linked to improving supply chain management (SCM). DSSs in a supply chain can enhance value for participants by helping integrate the management of the flows of goods/services and associated information, from initial sourcing of raw materials to final delivery to consumers. An organization’s competitors are aware of such an IODSS, and they may have easy access and can imitate or even improve upon the system. Because IODSSs are externally facing systems, it is especially hard to maintain a competitive advantage. Realistically, competitive benefits will usually be transitory, but any other benefits from IODSSs should be lasting.
|< Day Day Up >|| |