‘Organizations deploy information systems to improve efficiencies and cut costs to gain a competitive advantage by maintaining and growing marketing share, profitability and shareholder value.
WoodWard Avenue, a business tips and ideas site, states that “many businesses have built highly successful businesses by leveraging information systems,” citing Walmart as an example of an enterprise deploying an information systems platform to enhance supply chain operations, which raised its profile to match Amazon’s in e-commerce retailing.
The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Engineering Management program from Henderson State University teaches graduates how to use information systems strategically to benefit their organizations.
How Do Information Systems Help Engineering Firms Gain a Competitive Advantage?
Engineering is the problem-solving backbone of the five sectors that drive the American economy — healthcare, technology, construction, retail and non-durable manufacturing — and virtually every other industry.
As a result, the demand for engineering management professionals with strategic information systems expertise is high among organizations seeking market advantages by defining problems in their business processes, designing solutions to them and refining the outcomes.
Businesses use information systems across their enterprises to improve productivity, reduce costs and enhance decision-making. In the realm of engineering management, information systems support, among other things:
Design and Simulation
Modeling complex systems, evaluating their performance and optimizing the design using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) platforms provide an effective, cost-efficient way to test designs and evaluate compliance with requirements.
However, relying on one-off design and simulation coding can consume time and money and still fail to spot flaws. On the other hand, using information-systems platforms for modeling and simulation automates the processes, consolidates domains like controls and environmental models and provides data in real time.
“As the simulation runs, you have access to simulation analysis capabilities, such as data displays, state animation, and conditional breakpoints,” according to MathWorks, an online archive of scientific and technical articles and newsletters.
Engineering managers use information systems to initiate projects; plan the scope, budget, deadlines and team roles; launch the project and keep it on time, target and budget; and monitor deliverables and team performance.
Project management professionals commonly use software such as Microsoft Project and Primavera P6 in engineering management.
In its evaluation of Primavera P6, Project Manager described it as an enterprise tool that “goes from the highest level of management down the line of project members,” adding that its top-line features included functionality that identifies, tracks and resolves risks before they become issues; information dashboards, reporting and analytics status reports; and contract management.
Data Analysis and Decision-Making
Machine learning, artificial intelligence and big-data analytics enable engineering managers to make decisions faster and with greater degrees of certainty to drive efficiencies that support competitive advantages.
According to the data-integration consultant Hevo, using information systems to drive data-based decision-making enables engineering managers to “move away from the older chaotic process of data maintenance and collaboratively work on rapid availability, creation of data sets.”
How Do Engineering Professionals Gain Information Systems Expertise?
Henderson State’s online MBA with a concentration in Engineering Management program can give graduates an advantage in the competition for c-suite, executive, senior management and consulting roles.
The program equips graduates with high-demand skills in information systems through courses such as:
- Project Management explores the concepts and tools necessary to plan and implement a project, as well as function as a member of a team.
- Strategic Information Systems examines technology implementation, developing and maintaining secure and effective systems, and externally focused systems.
- Evidence-Based Management and Analytics builds students’ ability to manage an analytics workforce, lead an analytics team or project and operate as an analytics translator.