CS507 - Information Systems - Lecture Handout 06

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Systems vs. Procedures

Procedure is a defined set of instructions aimed at describing how to proceed in achieving a pre-defined milestone/target. Systems have collection of predefined procedures related to each other in a sequenced logical manner in order to collectively achieve the desired results. The system & procedures in all kinds of environment are subject to internal controls and checks that are necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the same.

Purpose of Systems & Procedures

The basic purpose behind setting up systems and procedures is to make available information when required. But when procedures are organized in a logical manner to form systems, the value of information as an output of a system enhances. When technology is added to the system, scope of a system changes to include hardware, software and designs linked together in accordance with the procedures contained in that system to give a purposeful architecture.

Data & Information

Before defining what information systems are? I would like to once again differentiate between data and information. Data represents facts of any kind. Information is the processed form of data being verified and substantiated from various sources.

Example

100,000 is a figure which by itself does not add to the knowledge
But
When we say 100,000 sales orders, it does add to our knowledge, hence is information.

Data & Information

Generation of relevant information is the objective of every information system. Now we would move fwd with the definition & necessity of information systems.

What are Information Systems?

Interrelated components working together to collect, process, store and disseminate information to support decision making, coordination control, analysis and visualization in an organization.

Manual Vs Computerised Information Systems

As advancement was made in every field of life, manual information systems were converted to computerized systems. In manual environment, the concept of transformation was difficult to apply, since input of data into records was by itself the output which also included simple computations. Concept of control mechanism grew stronger as computerized information systems emerged. Now the concept of Information system exists with the usage and benefits of Computers as an inevitable part.

What is Computer based Information System (CBIS)?

CBIS is an Information System that uses computer & telecommunications technology to perform its intended tasks. In CBIS, Information technology (IT) becomes a subset of the Information system.

The terms Information System (IS) and Computer Based Information System (CBIS) with the extensive use of computers in almost every field renders it inevitable to think of an IS as CBIS.

Why Information Systems?

In modern age, there has been felt a growing need for the use of information systems. Let’s take a look at what factors increased the importance of efficient information systems.

Emerging Global Economies

High level of foreign trade has resulted in imports and exports which require inter linkage for smooth coordination. Core business functions (manufacturing, finance and customer support) have been distributed in different countries. Coordination

Transforming Industrial Economies

Industrial economies have started merging as knowledge-and-information-based economies. Manufacturing activities being shifted to low wage countries. More opportunities are available in education, health care, banks, insurance firms and law firms. More knowledge and information intense products are being created.
Higher commitment expected from customer e.g. overnight package delivery, world wide reservation systems.

Transformed Business Enterprise

The structure of business enterprise have also changed, initially the organizations used to be Hierarchical, Centralized, Structured following a Fixed Set of SOP’s. However, now the organizations are moving towards more Flatter, Decentralized and Flexible structures. Information Technology makes it convenient and efficient to promote this new culture.

Emerging Digital Firms

Firms where all significant business process and relationships with customers and suppliers and employees are digitally enabled and key corporate assets are managed through digital firms. This results in rapid response with more flexibility to survive and getting more global.