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What Is an Information System?

What’s an Information System?
Dave Bourgeois and David T. Bourgeois

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this chapter, you are going to be able to:

define what an info system is by determining its major components;
describe the basic history of info systems; as well as explain the simple argument behind the article Does IT Matter? by Nicholas Carr.
Please note, there’s an updated edition of this book readily available at https://opentextbook.site. In the event that you’re not needed to make use of this edition for a course, you might wish to look it over.

Introduction
In case you’re reading through this, you’re probably taking a course in info systems, but do you have any idea what the course will cover? When you tell the friends of yours or the family of yours that you’re taking a course in info systems, can you describe what it’s about? For the past few years, I’ve taught an Introduction to Information Systems course. The very first day of class I ask the pupils of mine to tell me what they think an info system is. I usually get answers like computers, databases, or perhaps Excel. These’re answers that are many good, but certainly incomplete ones. The study of info systems goes beyond understanding some technologies. Let us begin the study of ours by defining info systems.

Defining Information Systems
Just about all programs in business require pupils to take a training course in something called info systems. But precisely what does the term mean? Let us check out several of the more popular definitions, first from Wikipedia then from a few of textbooks:

Information systems (IS) is the study of complementary networks of software and hardware that individuals and businesses use to collect, create, process, filter, and send data.[1]
Information systems are combinations of telecommunications networks, software, and hardware that individuals build and use to collect, create, and distribute useful data, usually in organizational settings.[2]
info systems are interrelated components working in concert to collect, process, store, and disseminate information to help decision making, analysis, control, coordination, and viualization in an organization.[3]
As you are able to see, these definitions focus on 2 ways of describing info systems: the components that make up an info system as well as the job that those components play in an organization. Let us check out every one of these.
The Components of info Systems As I stated previously, I spend the 1st day of my information systems class discussing just what the phrase means. Many pupils realize that an info system has a thing to do with spreadsheets or databases. E-Commerce and others mention computers. And they’re all right, more than in part: info systems are made up of various components that work in concert to offer value to an organization.

The very first way I describe info systems to pupils is to tell them they’re made up of 5 components: hardware, people, data, software, and process. The very first 3, fitting under the technology category, are usually what many pupils think of when asked to define info systems. But the final 2, process and folks, are what separate the idea of info systems from much more technical fields, like computer science. To be able to completely understand info systems, pupils must know how all of these components work in concert to deliver value to an organization. Abu Dhabi Banks

Technology
Technology can easily be regarded as the application of medical knowledge for practical purposes. From the creation of the controls to the harnessing of electrical power for artificial lighting, technology is a component of the life of ours in a lot of ways that we are likely to get it for granted. As discussed before, the first 3 elements of info systems? hardware, software, and data? all fall under the category of technology. Each of these will get a chapter and a much lengthier discussion, but we’ll have a moment here to introduce them so we are able to get a complete knowledge of what an info system is.

Hardware
info systems hardware is definitely the component of an information system you are able to touch? the physical parts of the technology. Computers, iPads, disk drives, keyboards, and flash drives are a number of examples of info systems hardware. We are going to spend time going over these components and just how they all come together in chapter two.

Software
Software is a set of instructions that tells the hardware what to do. Software isn’t tangible? it can’t be touched. When programmers create software programs, what they’re actually doing is just typing out lists of instructions that tell the hardware what to do. There are many categories of software, with the 2 major categories being operating system software, that tends to make the hardware usable, and application software, which does something useful. Examples of operating systems include Microsoft Windows on a pc and Google’s Android on a mobile phone. Examples of application software are Microsoft Excel and Angry Birds. Software will be explored much more thoroughly in chapter three.

Data
The final component is data. You are able to think of data as a group of facts. For instance, the street address of yours, the city you live in, and the telephone number of yours are a number of pieces of data. Like software, data can also be intangible. By themselves, pieces of information aren’t actually very helpful. But aggregated, indexed, and organized together into a database, data could become an effective tool for businesses. In reality, all of the definitions presented at the start of the chapter focused on just how info systems manage data. Organizations collect all data types and make use of it to make decisions. These choices can then be analyzed as to the effectiveness of theirs and also the organization could be enhanced. Chapter four will focus on databases and data, and the uses of theirs in organizations.