MIS is generally defined as an integrated, user-machine system for providing information to support operations, management and decision-making function in an organisation. The system utilises computer hardware and software, manual procedure, models for analysis. Information is viewed as a resource like land, labour and capital. It is not a free good. It must be obtained, processed, stored, retrieved, manipulated and analysed. The objective of an MIS is to provide needed information to each manager at the right time, in right form and relevant one, which aids his understanding and stimulates his action. It supports the planning, control and operational functions of an organisation by furnishing correct and uniform information in proper time frame to assist the decision making process.
The main limitations of MIS are as follows:
1. The quality of output of MIS is basically governed by the quantity of input and processes.
2. MIS is not a substitute for effective management. It is merely an important tool in the hands of management executives for decision making and problem solving.
3. MIS may not have proper flexibility to quickly update itself with the changing needs of time, especially in fast changing and complete environment.
4. MIS takes into account mainly quantitative factors, thus it ignores the non-quantitative factors like morale and attitude of staff members of the organisation who have an important bearing on the decision making process of executives.
5. MIS is less useful for making non-programmed decisions.
6. Effectiveness of MIS is reduced in such organisations, where the management executives are in the habit of boarding information and not interested in sharing with others.
7. Frequent changes in top management, organisational structure and operation team also effects adversely the effectiveness of MIS.
8. MIS can not provide tailor made information package for every type of decisions made by executives.