The use of Executive Information Systems is widening beyond executives and into the middle management of companies, a market survey has found. London-based Business Intelligence Ltd questioned information technology managers in 156 UK companies and found the increasing use of client-server systems was changing how companies used and bought Executive Information Systems. And this had implications for vendors because they could no longer expect to sell a whole package to companies that were shopping around, mixing and matching. Three quarters of the companies questioned used some form of information system for their managers and nine tenths said they expected to expand the system’s use over the coming year, presumably down a management layer from executive to middle. More than half of current users said they were considering a change of system on which to run their programs, with a major shift to client-server working being predicted. Because of this vendors, were being forced to ‘unpick’ applications, selling only the parts that customers wanted, but the researchers said vendors did not have a clear view of what was happening. Business Intelligence predicts some form of market convergence of products, but pointed out that tools and programs that hitherto had not been considered as part of Executive Information Systems ought to be included such as Decision Support Systems applications; client-server tools such as Visual Basic; databses; query tools; spreadsheets; and high level languages. And the survey forecasts that object-oriented technology would soon mean that users could develop their own systems.
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