Perspectives on Information Systems
is a set of interrelated components that collect or retrieve, process,
store, and distribute information to support decision-making and control
in an organization. Information systems can also be used to analyze problems,
visualize complex subjects, and create new products.
Computer-based information systems (CBIS) are structured information systems that rely on computer hardware and software technology. Information systems are employed to support decision making and control in an organization.
Input, processing, and output are the three activities in an information system that produce the information an organization needs. Feedback is output returned to the various members of the organization to refine or correct input. [Figure 1-6]
From a business perspective, an information system may be important for increased productivity or increased revenue, for coping with governmental regulations or other environmental demands, or simply for remaining competitive within the industry.
Information systems can also lead to better management decisions, more efficient business processes, and higher firm profitability. Every business has an information value chain in which raw information is acquired and systematically transformed through various stages that add value to that information. [Figure 1-7]
An information system also represents an organizational and management solution, based on information technology, to a challenge posed by the environment.
Information systems literacy, the understanding of information systems, includes the understanding of the broader organization, management, and information technology dimension of systems and their power to provide solutions. [Figure 1-8]
The key elements of an organization are its people, structure, operating system, politics and culture. An organization coordinates work through a structured hierarchy and formal, standard operating procedures. Managerial, professional, and technical employees form the upper levels of the organization's hierarchy while lower levels consist of operational personnel.
Knowledge workers such as engineers and scientists design products and create and distribute new knowledge for the organization. Data workers such as secretaries process the organization's paperwork. Production or service workers produce the products or services.
Different levels of management have different information needs. Senior managers need information for long-range strategic decisions. Middle managers need information for carrying out the plans of senior management. Operational managers need information to monitor the firm's daily activities.
Computer-based information systems use computer hardware, computer software, storage technology, and communications technology. These technologies constitute the firm’s information technology (IT) infrastructure.
Information technology investments cannot make organizations and managers more effective unless they are accompanied by complementary assets: supportive values, structures, and behavior in the organization and management. Investments in organizations and management that allow a firm to realize value from technology investments are called organizational and management capital. [Figure 1-9]