Group Decision-Support Systems (GDSS)

The systems we have just described focus primarily on helping you make a de­cision acting alone. However, what if you are part of a team and need to make a decision as a group? Group decision-support systems (GDSS) are avail­able for this purpose. The collaboration environments described in Chapter 2 can be used to help a set of decision makers working together as a group, in the same location or different locations, to solve unstructured problems. Originally, GDSS required dedicated conference rooms with special hardware and software tools to facilitate group decision making. But today GDSS capa­bilities have evolved along with the power of desktop PCs, the explosion of mobile computing, and the rapid expansion of bandwidth on Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Dedicated rooms for collaboration can be replaced with much less expensive and flexible virtual collaboration rooms that can connect mobile employees with colleagues in the office sitting at desktops in a high-quality video and audio environment.

For example, Cisco’s Collaboration Meeting Rooms Hybrid (CMR) allows groups of employees to meet using any device via WebEx video software, which does not require any special network connections, special displays, or complex software. The software to run CMR can be hosted on company servers or in the cloud. The meetings can be scheduled by employees whenever needed. CMR can handle up to 500 participants in a meeting, but that is quite rare. Skype began deploying a similar cloud-based collaboration environment integrated with Microsoft Office called Skype for Business to support online meetings and sharing of documents, audio, and video.

Source: Laudon Kenneth C., Laudon Jane Price (2020), Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, Pearson; 16th edition.

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