Foundations of Information Systems in Business

Importance of Information Systems – An understanding of the effective and responsible use and management of information systems and technologies is important for managers, business professionals, and other knowledge workers in today’s internetworked enterprises. Information systems play a vital role in the e-business and e-commerce operations, enterprise collaboration and management, and strategic success of businesses that must operate in an internetworked global environment. Thus, the field of information systems has become a major functional area of business administration.

An IS Framework for Business Professionals – The IS knowledge that a business manager or professional needs to know includes (1) foundation concepts: fundamental behavior, technical, business, and managerial concepts like system components and functions, or competitive strategies; (2) information technologies: concepts, developments, or management issues regarding hardware, software, data management, networks, and other technologies; (3) business applications: major uses of IT for business processes, operations, decision making, and strategic/competitive advantage; (4) development processes: how end users and IS specialists develop and implement business/IT solutions to problems and opportunities arising in business; and (5) management challenges: how to effectively and ethically manage the IS function and IT resources to achieve top performance and business value in support of the business strategies of the enterprise.

System Concepts – A system is a group of interrelated components working toward the attainment of a common goal by accepting inputs and producing outputs in an organized transformation process. Feedback is data about the performance of a system. Control is the component that monitors and evaluates feedback and makes any necessary adjustments to the input and processing components to ensure that proper output is produced.

An Information System Model – An information system uses the resources of people, hardware, software, data, and networks to perform input, processing, output, storage, and control activities that convert data resources into information products. Data are first collected and converted to a form that is suitable for processing (input). Then the data are manipulated and converted into information (processing), stored for future use (storage), or communicated to their ultimate user (output) according to correct processing procedures (control).

IS Resources and Products - Hardware resources include machines and media used in information processing. Software resources include computerized instructions (programs) and instruction for people (procedures). People resources include information systems specialists and users. Data resources include alphanumeric, text, image, video, audio, and other forms of data. Network resources include communications media and network support. Information products produced by an information system can take a variety of forms, including paper reports, visual displays, multimedia documents, electronic messages, graphics images, and audio responses.

Business Applications of Information Systems - Information systems perform three vital roles in business firms. Business applications of IS support an organization’s business processes and operations, business decision-making, and strategic competitive advantage. Major application categories of information systems include operations support systems, such as transaction processing systems, process control systems, and enterprise collaboration systems, and management support systems, such as management information systems, decision support systems, and executive information systems. Other major categories are expert systems, knowledge management systems, strategic information systems, and functional business systems. However, in the real world most application categories are combined into cross-functional information systems that provide information and support for decision-making and also perform operational information processing activities.