MIS vs ERP: What’s The Difference?

Managing a business requires skill and flexibility, to keep functioning with the ups and down’s that one faces daily. What if a business wants to expand and grow its operations; what does it take? With the evolution of technology, businesses can achieve greater reach in all aspects, such as managing core-business processes in real-time, real-time data management, etc…

At a certain point in the growth of a business, it would need to upgrade and improve the systems needed to manage the data generated from the various functions in the business, such as production data, financial data, HR related data. That’s where MIS (Management Information Systems) & ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems come into play. Both MIS & ERP systems are designed to make data management in a business much simpler and more efficient, although both systems are not alike and have core differences.

To understand the difference between MIS (Management Information System) & ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Systems, let’s understand the underlying relationship between these two data management systems.

What is an MIS (Management Information System): 

An MIS is technically a system to collect and store data that can be dated back to the maintenance of financial ledgers in an organization. In today’s technological era, an MIS is a software solution for enterprises, used as a centralized database to store and process all the data from financials, operations, personnel & working processes of a business.

The main role of an MIS system is to collect, process, and store data that can be used for monitoring organizational processes, and forecasting and planning future business processes. An MIS offers better efficiency and increased profitability of certain business functions such as finance, marketing, and manufacturing among other professional business areas.

An MIS system covers a large section of the functionality of an organization, which led to the creation of more niche software solutions such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, DSS (Decision-making Support Systems) & OAS (Office Automation Platforms) which are used to create reports, analyze data and support organizations in their decision making process through analytical insights.

Advantages of an MIS:

  • Increased productivity – All the data is stored digitally. Time and resources are saved with the lesser paperwork and lack of manual storage & retrieval.
  • Assisted decision making – Inbuilt data processing tools help the decision makers in the organization to make a decision based on real-time data with autogenerated reports and insights.
  • Enhanced Financial Insights – Easily accessible financial data which can be generated at any time to assess feasibility and efficiency.

Disadvantages of an MIS:

  • Expensive to purchase – Typically Management Information Systems can be costly to purchase, both ready-made solutions and custom-made solutions.
  • Requires proper training – Users of the systems need the training to use the system, which can be costly and time-consuming. Untrained staff can lead to inefficiency.
  • Functionality – Ready-made MIS solution could lack critical features which would be necessary for your business or it could have features that are unnecessary to your business. Alternatively, businesses could choose to have custom-built MIS solutions to suit the needs of their organization.

What is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system?

An ERP system is a business process management solution developed by software developers for enterprise resource planning as part of an MIS system, In short, an ERP System is an extension of an MIS System.

An ERP system allows for real-time resource planning by integrating all the processes of an organization such as finance, purchasing, inventory, planning, marketing, sales, human resource, etc… into a single system thus allowing for accurate real-time data reporting with the free-flow of information within the different departments of an organization. Without an ERP system, each department within an organization would have separate systems configured for the relevant department. ERP systems synchronize the systems of all the departments into a centralized database accessible through a single application without hindering the individual systems of each department.

Enterprise Resource Planning systems have become much more popular than Management Information Systems in SMEs as well as larger enterprises due to the scalability and the centralized database concept which allows for more synchronized communications within the organization. Industries such as retail, wholesale, e-commerce, logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, production, finance, IT, and real estate have been rapidly adapting to the use of ERP systems.

Advantages of an ERP System:

  • Simplified Reporting Process – Built-in templates make it easier to access comprehensive reports of all the functions in an organization.
  • Scalability – ERP solutions can adapt to the growth of a business.
  • Data security – Most of the ERP solutions come with enhanced security in-built into the system, thereby eliminating the need to have additional security measures taken.
  • Easy to implement – ERP solutions have shifted to the cloud. Organization need not have their physical servers and operation centers to maintain ERP solutions.

Disadvantages of ERP:

  • Solutions can be costly – Most ERP solutions are sold as SaaS products, on a subscription basis. Failure to uphold the conditions of the subscription could lead to inaccessibility of the system and direct impact on the operation of a business.
  • Not easy to onboard – Relevant training is required to set up and operate the system for maximum efficiency.
  • Can be expensive to operate – If an enterprise chooses to maintain the system in-house, expensive hardware will be required, such as up-to-spec servers and storage devices. Ensuring maximized up-time and other maintenance of an in-house system could also be costly. Alternatively, a reputed cloud-service provider eliminates such a disadvantage.


Both MIS (Management Information System) & ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are information systems used in an organization. MIS is all about collecting, storing, and processing data & information to generate reports whereas ERP systems are aimed at automating business processes whilst managing the resources of the company and allowing the decision-makers in a company to forecast the future of the company.

Should you be wondering which system to implement, it is advisable to first and foremost identify and understand the needs of your organization and then choose a suitable system solution.

MBiz Software has been the IT partner of choice for multiple global brands, empowering businesses with modern technology. We are more than happy to help you find a suitable IT solution to grow your business! Get in touch with us!

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