Disadvantages of Decision Support System

Decision Support System can create advantages for organizations and can have positive benefits, however building and using Decision Support System can create negative outcomes in some situations.

(1) Monetary cost. The decision support system requires investing in information system to collect data from many sources and analyze them to support the decision making. Some analysis for Decision Support System needs the advance of data analysis, statistics, econometrics and information system, so it is the high cost to hire the specialists to set up the system.

(2) Overemphasize decision making. Clearly the focus of those of us interested in computerized decision support is on decisions and decision making. Implementing Decision Support System may reinforce the rational perspective and overemphasize decision processes and decision making. It is important to educate managers about the broader context of decision making and the social, political and emotional factors that impact organizational success. It is especially important to continue examining when and under what circumstances Decision Support System should be built and used. We must continue asking if the decision situation is appropriate for using any type of Decision Support System and if a specific Decision Support System is or remains appropriate to use for making or informing a specific decision.

(3) Assumption of relevance. According to Wino grad and Flores (1986), "Once a computer system has been installed it is difficult to avoid the assumption that the things it can deal with are the most relevant things for the manager's concern." The danger is that once Decision Support System become common in organizations, that managers will use them inappropriately. There is limited evidence that this occurs. Again training is the only way to avoid this potential problem.

(4) Transfer of power. Building Decision Support System, especially knowledge-driven Decision Support System, may be perceived as transferring decision authority to a software program. This is more a concern with decision automation systems than with Decision Support System. We advocate building computerized decision support systems because we want to improve decision making while keeping a human decision maker in the "decision loop". In general, we value the "need for human discretion and innovation" in the decision making process.

(5) Unanticipated effects. Implementing decision support technologies may have unanticipated consequences. It is conceivable and it has been demonstrated that some Decision Support System reduce the skill needed to perform a decision task. Some Decision Support System overload decision makers with information and actually reduce decision making effectiveness. We are sure that other such unintended consequences have been documented. Nevertheless, most of the examples seem correctable, avoidable or subject to remedy if and when they occur.

(6) Obscuring responsibility. The computer does not make a "bad" decision, people do. Unfortunately some people may deflect personal responsibility to a Decision Support System. Managers need to be continually reminded that the computerized decision support system is an intermediary between the people who built the system and the people who use the system. The entire responsibility associated with making a decision using a Decision Support System resides with people who built and use the system.

(7) False belief in objectivity. Managers who use Decision Support System may or may not be more objective in their decision making. Computer software can encourage more rational action, but managers can also use decision support technologies to rationalize their actions. It is an overstatement to suggest that people using a Decision Support System are more objective and rational than managers who are not using computerized decision support.

(8) Status reduction. Some managers argue using a Decision Support System will diminish their status and force them to do clerical work. This perceptual problem can be a disadvantage of implementing a Decision Support System. Managers and IS staff who advocate building and using computerized decision support need to deal with any status issues that may arise. This perception may or should be less common now that computer usage is common and accepted in organizations.

(9) Information overload. Too much information is a major problem for people and many Decision Support System increase the information load. Although this can be a problem, Decision Support System can help managers organize and use information. Decision Support System can actually reduce and manage the information load of a user. Decision Support System developers need to try to measure the information load created by the system and Decision Support System users need to monitor their perceptions of how much information they are receiving. The increasing ubiquity of handheld, wireless computing devices may exacerbate this problem and disadvantage.

In conclusion, before firms will invest in the Decision Support System, they must compare the advantages and disadvantages of the decision support system to get valuable investment.

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