What is a basic reason for the failure of all the previous attempts by IT to provide strategic information? What has IT been doing all along? The fundamental reason for the inability to provide strategic information is that we have been trying all along to provide strategic information from the operational systems. These operational systems such as order processing, inventory control, claims processing, outpatient billing, and so on are not de signed or intended to provide strategic information. If we need the ability to provide strategic information, we must get the information from altogether different types of systems. Only specially designed decision support systems or informational systems can provide strategic information. Let us understand why.

Figure 1-4. Inadequate attempts by IT to provide strategic information.

1.4.1. Making the Wheels of Business Turn

Operational systems are online transaction processing (OLTP) systems. These are the systems that are used to run the day-to-day core business of the company. They are the so-called bread-and-butter systems. Operational systems make the wheels of business turn (see Figure 1-5). They support the basic business processes of the company. These systems typically get the data into the database. Each transaction processes information about a single entity such as a single order, ...

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