Chapter 1: Information Systems Data is raw facts.

Information is a collection of facts organised so that the collection has greater value than the facts themselves. Data quality is determined by accuracy, completeness, economics, flexibility, reliability, relevance, simplicity, timeliness, verifiability, accessibility, and security. These must almost always be traded off against each other. An information system is a set of interrelated components that collect, manipulate, store and disseminate data and information. It consists of inputs, processing mechanisms, outputs and feedback. A model is an approximation used to represent reality so as to gain a greater understanding of the situation. They can be narrative, physical, schematic/graphic, or mathematical. Information systems consist of hardware, software, databases, telecommunications / networks / internet, people, procedures. Types of systems: E and M commerce systems (b2b and b2c, purchasing and logistics, simplifies purchase procedures), transaction processing systems (sales, payroll, purchasing; accelerates, simplifies and records COMPLETED BUSINESS transactions), enterprise resource planning systems (all areas; manages business operations for an entire multi-site global organisation), management information systems (an organised collection of people, procedures, software, databases and devices to provide routine information to managers and decision makers), decision support systems (like MIS, but for solving specific problems). MIS: do things right. DSS: do right thing. Special-purpose systems: knowledge management systems and expert systems. Threats: information systems can be attacked and information stolen from them, facilitating identity theft and fraud. The internet makes it easier for such attacks to occur. Information systems increase the effectiveness and efficiency of pretty much everything, from reporting and forecasting to managing inventory, overseeing production, or conducting design. Cost reduction: outsourcing contracts out certain business roles or services to outside firms. Ondemand computing allows an organisation to only pay for the computer resources it uses. Chapter 2: Electronic Commerce and Supply Chain Systems E-commerce allows businesses and individuals to reduce transaction costs, accelerate the flow of goods and information, improve customer service, improve coordination between business partners, and access world markets. E-commerce encompasses the whole of supply chain management: demand planning (buyer analysis, demand forecasting), supply planning (strategic, inventory, distribution, procurement, transportation plannings, supply allocation) and demand fulfilment (order fulfilment, backlog management, order promising, customer verification and order capture). The multistage model is: search and identification, selection and negotiation, electronic purchasing, order delivery, and after-sales service. Uses of m-commerce: even more efficient, using mobile devices to conduct business (especially purchasing). It requires an internet-enabled device using the wireless application protocol. It is accessible anywhere the mobile device has internet access. E-commerce applications: online retailing and wholesaling; manufacturer and supplier ordering, purchasing and invoicing; payment; online banking / stock trading. E-commerce infrastructure: web server hardware, on which a server operating system runs, which coordinates the activities of the server software, which handles security, web page retrieval and sending, tracking, development, and allows the e-commerce software to show a catalogue, take orders and arrange payment, which connects via a high-speed network connection to the internet. Electronic payment systems must be secure (using secure sockets layer (SSL) or similar, and offer a digital certificate of authenticity), and take payment in several forms, such as credit cards, Paypal, electronic cash or smart cards. E-commerce threats: Identity theft and fraud; theft of intellectual property; spam; invasion of privacy. Components of e- and m- commerce strategy: Define website functions; establish the website; build traffic to the website; maintain and improve the website. Chapter 3: Business Usage of Information Systems All TPSs go through a transaction processing cycle. Data collection involves capturing relevant data at the source. Data editing validates the data. Bad data goes through data correction, where error messages are generated so corrections can be made. Data manipulation classifies, sorts, performs calculations on, summarises and stores the data. Data storage updates relevant databases with new transactions. TPS reports and document production generates output reports. Issues with TPSs: TPSs are a mission-critical system. As such, management must: conduct business continuity planning to identify what processes must be restored in what order in the event of a disruption; plan disaster recovery, the actions to be taken to restore computer operations in the event of a disaster. They should also minimise the risk of accounting irregularities or privacy breaches by conducting TPS audits. TPS Inputs, processing and outputs: Order processing systems (customer to company) involve order entry, sales configuration, shipment planning, shipment execution, inventory control, invoicing, customer relationship management, and routing and scheduling. Purchasing transaction processing systems (company to supplier) include inventory control, purchase order receiving, and accounts payable. Accounting systems (accounting department) include the budget, accounts receivable, payroll, asset management, and general ledger. Challenges for multinationals developing TPSs: Different languages and cultures; disparities in information systems infrastructure; varying laws and customs rules; multiple currencies. ERP advantages: eliminates many separate systems and replaces them with a single integrated set of applications, reducing maintenance and conversion costs; improves work processes; improves access to data for decision making; simplifies technology infrastructure. ERP disadvantages: expensive and time-consuming to implement; difficult to integrate with other systems; risks the vendor going out of business and requiring a new system; risks implementation failure. Decision making is part of problem solving. It has three parts. Intelligence: identifying and defining problems and opportunities; gathering information. Design: developing alternative solutions to the problem; evaluating feasibility of these solutions. Choice: selecting a course of action. Problem-solving: Implementation follows on from choice; it is where the decision is put into effect. Monitoring is the last step, where decision makers evaluate the implementation to determine whether the anticipated results were achieved and to modify the process in light of new information. MIS uses, inputs and outputs: An MIS helps an organisation achieve its goals by providing managers with insight into the regular operations of the firm so they can control, organise, and plan better. It must provide the right information to the right person at the right time. Inputs include data from TPSs, ERPs and related databases, business intelligence databases, and external sources such as customers, suppliers, competitors and the internet. Outputs are reports, such as scheduled report, key-indicator (summary) reports, demand reports (produced on demand), exception reports (errors) and drill-down reports (specific). DSS capabilities: Decision support systems are flexible; they support various phases of the decision making process, different decision frequencies, different problem structures, and different decisionmaking levels.

DSS components: database; model base (allowing quantitative analysis to be done on the data); dialogue manager (guides the user to the right data and model). GSS goals: A group support system is designed to provide effective support in group decision-making settings. This includes workgroup software, brainstorming and collaboration support, etc. ESS uses: An executive support system is a specialised DSS that includes all hardware, software, data, procedures and people that help senior-level management make decisions. They are used to highlight important corporate issues, indicate new possible directions the firm may take, and help executives monitor the company’s progress. Chapter 5: Information system project management The key participants in systems development are stakeholders, users, managers, systems development specialists and support personnel. They are collectively termed the development team. Information systems planning is the translation of strategic and organisational goals into systems development initiatives. Information systems support business activities. Systems development projects are undertaken to develop a competitive advantage and to bring systems in line with the organisation’s strategy. The systems development life cycle is the continuous process of developing and implementing systems. The traditional cycle is as follows: (systems) investigation; analysis; design; implementation; maintenance and review. It allows maximum management control, good documentation, and opportunity for review. It is expensive and may not meet real user needs. Prototyping is an iterative approach: investigate and analyse, prototype, implement, review and modify, complete. There are operational and nonoperational prototypes. It allows for many cycles of feedback and can begin being implemented quickly. However, it produces limited documentation and there is often no fixed finish point. Rapid application development (RAD) uses tools and techniques designed to accelerate development. It is useful for DSS and MIS but not TPS. It is fast and produces good documentation, but can burn out participants and consumes stakeholder resources. End-user systems development is any project primarily undertaken by managers or users. It is generally more suited to user needs, but produces poor documentation and carries a higher risk of major failure due to poor testing. Objects in programming consist of both data and the operations that can be performed on that data. Object-oriented programming is much faster and more efficient than standard programming. Factors of success in systems development: Degree of change: higher is worse. Planning quality and standards: higher is better. Organisational experience with systems development: higher is better. Use of project management tools: higher is better. Use of computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools: higher is better. Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools automate many systems development tasks. They produce better systems with better documentation, but are more expensive and require more training of users. Project management is the control of a project. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a standard of project management. Project management typically involves five stages: initiating, planning, executing, controlling/monitoring, and closing. PROCESS: Systems investigation is the first phase of the traditional SDLC. It aims to identify problems with the current systems, opportunities presented by a potential new system, and consider them in light of company goals. Feasibility analysis assesses technical, economic, legal, operational and schedule feasibility. Systems analysis answers the question ‘what must the system do to solve the problem?’ This involves considering organisation goals, collecting data, analysing data, requirements analysis, and producing a systems analysis report. Systems design answers the question, ‘how will this system solve the problem?’ Logical design describes the process by which the system solves the problem. This will involve considering what input, processing, output, data, telecommunications, procedure, security and personnel is required. Physical design specifies the hardware, software, database, telecommunications, personnel and control that will actually be used to make the system. Considerations for interface design and control: access control, interactive processing (menus, help facility, lookup tables), clear dialogue to user. Considerations for system security and control: error prevention, detection and correction; disaster planning and recovery; systems controls (anti-fraud). RFP: A Request for Proposal is a document specifying the resources required for a systems project. Vendors can read the document and use it to tender for the contract to deliver these resources. Options for acquisition include renting, leasing and purchasing. Systems selection evaluations: A preliminary evaluation is used to filter out shitty proposals. The final evaluation is used to choose the best of the good proposals. Techniques include group consensus, cost/benefit analysis, benchmarking and point evaluation. Systems implementation is the process of: acquiring hardware; then software; user preparation; hiring and training personnel; site preparation; data preparation; installation; testing; start-up; and user acceptance. Hardware can be acquired from an IS vendor, an application service provider (ASP), an internet service provider (ISP). It can be bought new, leased, rented or bought used. Software can be bought or developed. Buying is cheaper, has consistent quality, but may not meet organisational requirements. Development can meet organisational requirements more closely, but quality can vary and the cost is high. Note that an in-between step is buying software and having it customised by the vendor. User preparation is the process of readying managers, decision-makers, employees, other users and stakeholders for the new systems. This usually involves training internal users and developing selftraining and help facilities for external users. This training can be delivered internally or by external training firms. IS personnel hiring and training is pretty obvious. Site preparation is too (note that bigger systems may need renovations, security, or extra power supply). Data preparation / conversion involves making sure all files and databases are ready to be used with the new system. This may involve data entry or scanning of non-computerised documents. The format must be correct! Installation is the process of physically placing the computer equipment on site and making it operational. Testing ensures the system operates as intended. There are several steps. Alpha testing is testing of an early or incomplete version of the system. Beta testing is testing of a complete system. Unit testing involves inputting data that will force the computer to execute every statement in its programming, including abnormal data to search for errors. System testing is the testing of the system as a whole. Volume testing ensures the system can handle high data volume. Integration testing ensures each program can interact with the programs to which it is linked. Finally, acceptance testing makes sure the system as a whole is operating as intended.

and wide-area networks (WAN). Good ergonomics: Good posture: hips back. Networks are also inherently less secure than using a standalone computer. Application software uses: they apply the power of the computer to solve problems and perform specific tasks. workgroup (Windows Server 2008. no disposal. Web 2. and Green Computing Ergonomics is the science of designing machines. magnetic strip reader. Access can be sequential (only in the order it is stored) or direct. Distributed processing: processing devices in various locations but connected in a network. Connections can be made via a LAN server. Direct conversion involves stopping the old system and starting the new system on a given date. camera. Multiplexers combine data from multiple data sources into a single output signal. to provide a seamless browsing experience. There are five generations: machine / binary (1940s. take regular breaks. high-level (1960s. Creating content: Web content is produced using a web document processor much like a word processor. included upgrades. User acceptance is the formal conclusion. and Social Networking The internet: a collection of interconnected networks. When users are comfortable with the new system. high-capacity. The internet is a WAN. workstation. has limited capacity and is more expensive than optical media. Open source software is freely available and easily customised ‘hobby’ software which can be an alternative to proprietary software. barcode scanner. and managed service providers (anti-spam. Web browsers access and display linked files. microphone. Copyrights and licences are legal restrictions on the usage of computer programs. inadequate planning for malfunctions / environmental issues / capacity. Computer-related mistakes are: data-entry errors. machine-dependent). chair slightly reclined. Email. fastest. implementing. mainframe. work close to body. offer ongoing support as required. e-Waste. programs and databases. requires stable internet access. Telecommunications and Networks The CPU organises and manipulates data. It requires developers to allow for interaction with the company to occur on their website or on other sites. It allows people to collaborate on projects. diabetes. see Office. on a computer. It also keeps track of all files in a website and the hyperlinks that connect them. utility computing (storage and server hire). speaker. but requires network connection. storage. intelligible. wireless mesh). not machine-dependent). the old one is turned off. Upgrades can be classified as slipstream. Cloud computing: the practice of accessing computer power in a datacentre through the internet. highly intelligible. choosing ‘green’ datacentres. file handling error. which redirects it to the appropriate receiving system. using thin-client computers. It means that computer hardware will continue to become exponentially more powerful. disposing safely of IT equipment. Telecommunications system: sending unit sends a signal to a telecommunications device. or buy and modify off-the-shelf (in between). to allow geographically separated workgroups to work together. Chapter 11: Ergonomics. poorer systems. plus company time wasted by improper use of computers. suppliers or other business partners. monitor. release or version (in order of increasing degree of change). which sends it through a medium to a receiving telecommunications device. Buying: inverse. using and disposing of IT stuff efficiently and effectively to minimise the impact on the environment. information overload and occupational stress. databases. Linux). thin-client. and to improve organisational effectiveness and efficiency. economic memory storage for large quantities of data. instant messaging and video conferencing allow users to communicate over the internet. Solidstate memory (Flash USB sticks) is highly portable. start the system slowly so people can become familiar. It allows employees to access corporate information. They can be divided into personal (Windows 7. Parallel computing is the execution of one set of instructions on multiple chips. DSL or wirelessly. Also. Multi-organisational development is the trend towards collaborative software development across organisations. Examples of cloud services include software as a service. Common software includes word processing. Bridges connect two LANs together. collaboration tools and services. This content is then published. intelligible. Networks issues: Management issues: nobody manages the internet. Gateways serve as entrances to networks. Maintenance costs will generally exceed development costs over their lifetime. sometimes not machine-dependent). Linux) and enterprise level (Windows Server 2008. etc. slightly intelligible. Software suites bundle software together. using co-processors or multiple cores. Large enterprises use a content management system to manage their websites. eye damage. cancer. Web 2. patch. better tax. security management). Linux). from tracking sales to monitoring video feeds to detecting fraud. Outputs: screen. Social networking websites provide web-based tools for users to share information about themselves with others and to meet and converse with others. Two areas businesses should focus on: minimising energy consumption by: turning off unused computers. monitoring and reviewing policies and procedures as to computer use. dial-up. information and processing jobs. increasing efficiency and decreasing waste. The WWW: uses hyperlinks. supercomputer. most effective. a control unit. Bluetooth. laptop. to share hardware. Input and output devices: Inputs: keyboard and mouse. or by wiping and selling / donating. products and systems to maximise the safety. using power-management features. It is the practice of designing. touchpad. manufacturing. It consists of data transfer from a host computer to a client computer in chunks called packets. unintelligible. printer. but is more readily re-written to. desktop. Its chief feature is speed. most independent. Chapter 9: The Internet. Media sharing websites allow users to upload digital media files to the web for others to access. Processing alternatives: centralised processing: all processing occurs in one facility. is non-volatile. or upgrading: Factors: software. Chapter 6: Software Software types: Systems software coordinates the activities and functions of hardware and various programs throughout a computer system. The first allows a system to handle multiple tasks or users. freeware. Global support is the trend towards worldwide support of software packages by their vendors. also called permanent storage. Software issues and trends: Software bugs are defects in programs that prevent them from operating correctly. Switches direct incoming and outgoing messages to the right computer. Networks require a stable connection. media access. medium range: Wireless-Fidelity/Wi-Fi. assembly (1950s. so initially expensive well-developed systems that require less maintenance will save money in the long run over cheaper. Web hosting services provide space on their servers for people or companies that do not have the resources to host their own web server. local-area networks (LAN). using screensavers. Parallel testing involves running both systems simultaneously for a period of time. Applications of telecommunications: VoIP allows users to communicate over great distances without incurring telephone charges. Decentralised processing: processing devices are located in various locations and are isolated from other devices. Read-only memory (ROM) is used to store the boot-up sequence and is not volatile. Preventing comp-based waste and mistakes: Establishing. and strain injuries (RSI. and registers (momentary storage). . hands neutrally positioned. It is also linked to mental health issues such as anxiety. Multiprocessing is the execution of two or more instructions simultaneously. placed on a web server for public access. coaxial cable. symbols. and the TCP header tells the backbone computer where the packet is destined. called pages. Search engines are websites which use automated indexing programs to index pages on the internet and algorithms to process search queries to provide users with links to relevant content. but is less secure. fibre-optic cable) and wireless (short range: near-field communications. Categories of media: guided (wired: copper wire. memory. ISPs also offer this service. Mac OS X. An extranet links selected intranet resources with customers. more reliable and cheaper than deploying local computers. PROCESS ENDS Systems maintenance involves ensuring the system continues to work as intended. no ownership. but less well aligned). and can generally only be written to once. but which generates HTML code either manually or automatically in response to developer input. not machine-dependent). train them how the system works. heart disease. Shareware. comfort and efficiency of the people who use them. Computer waste consists of discarded software and hardware. legally approving the system in whole and minimising the IS vendor’s liability for faults that might occur after the document has been signed. Secondary storage.Start-up is how the company chooses to begin using the system. Systems reviews compare the performance and benefits of the system design with the actual performance and benefits of the system in operation. Networks must be managed locally. Application software consists of programs that help users solve particular computing problems. They generate revenue by supplying relevant advertising links along with search results. and natural / intelligent (1980s to present. Collaborative software allows a team to work together on a problem. Mac OS X Server. DVD) is highly portable but has limited capacity. Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years. Telecommunications devices: Modems convert data to and from analogue signals to be sent through a transmission medium. Approaches to application development: develop proprietary software (expensive and inconsistent. It is more efficient. web services (Google Maps).0. The host computer sends the packets through its ISP to a backbone link. RFID scanner. which is volatile (loses data if power is lost). machine-dependent). An intranet is an internal corporate network built using Internet and WWW standards and technologies. Operating systems are sets of computer programs that control the computer hardware and acts as an interface with applications. These are usually transferred in a specific format known as the Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). They can be time-driven or event driven. when the user acceptance document is signed. Poor ergonomics is linked to physical degeneration. processor. Leasing: better cashflow. Chapter 7: Hardware. Main memory provides the CPU with a working storage area for program instructions and data. buy off-the-shelf (cheap and reliable. either disposing in accordance with the Basel protocol. a natural-language address that Domain Name Servers then convert to Internet Protocol address numbers to figure out where the host is. Host computers can be located using the Uniform Resource Locator. Programming languages: sets of keywords. spreadsheets. Types of computer systems: Handheld. mishandling of computer output. Optical media (CD. The World Wide Web. Green computing is the adoption of environmentally sound practices with relation to information technology. eyes level with centre of screen. It is comprised of an arithmetic/logic unit. and rules for constructing statements by which people can communicate instructions to be executed by a computer. Pilot start-up involves running the system for a small test group of users and rolling it out to more users over time. Electronic document distribution allows users to send and receive documents without printing them. and are limited by speed. Factors when purchasing. How to answer question 4: Involve users from the start. but aligns better with company aims). long range: microwave transmission. Online shopping.0 is a term for the general trend towards user contribution of information to web sources. privacy and fraud issues. Types of networks include personal area networks (PAN). server. The phase-in approach slowly introduces new components and removes old ones until the new system is fully operational. Routers forward data packets across networks. highlighted graphics or text that when selected opens a new address in a web browser. Electronic funds transfers reduce administrative costs and increases security. mini-laptop. and enhancing the system to make it more useful in achieving organisation goals. and public domain software are non-customisable software which are free or free to trial. touchscreen. wrists in line with knuckles. bugs. Magnetic disks (hard drives) are least portable but most dense and most economical. Why network? Share data. failing to keep websites updated. the other allows for intensive tasks to be completed faster. Internet applications: search engines allow users to find information by specifying key words. carpel tunnel). leasing. raising security. query and database (1970s. The most common is random access memory (RAM). and is not suitable for some applications. Social bookmarking websites allow users to recommend sites or files to others.

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