Functions of Information Systems

Databases & Information Systems Lachlan M. MacKinnon

Databases & Information Systems - F29IF2

Lachlan M. MacKinnon

”(Hicks 1993) Databases & Information Systems .” (Burch & Grudnitski 1989)  “An information system (IS) is a formalized computer information system that can collect. Information involves the communication and reception of intelligence or knowledge. MacKinnon . What do we mean by Information Systems?  “Information is data that have been put into a useful and meaningful context and communicated to a recipient who uses it to make decisions.F29IF2 Lachlan M. store. process and report data from various sources to provide the information necessary for managerial decision making.

 Information systems are concerned with a much broader domain of interest than purely computerised application of information technology. Definitions and descriptions of information systems almost all define them in terms of computer technology.F29IF2 Lachlan M. MacKinnon .  Information systems incorporates information Databases & Information Systems .  However. we need to divorce the concept of information systems from its technological manifestation.

Databases & Information Systems . MacKinnon . However.  Since it is concerned with activities which are defined as being relevant to different fields of knowledge. all that this means in practice is that the information systems professional should not be hidebound into addressing issues from a single disciplinary perspective. information systems can be seen as an interdisciplinary subject. but is also concerned with information and organisational activities. technology.F29IF2 Lachlan M.

MacKinnon .F29IF2 Lachlan M. Information  We Systems Functions : have identified that information systems is an interdisciplinary subject that must be seen as more than just computerised information collection. Databases & Information Systems . storage. processing and distribution. we must also identify what other functions information systems perform. including the information processing function described earlier. in order to justify this argument.  We can identify 5 functions of information systems (Jayaratna 1994). However.

MacKinnon .F29IF2 Lachlan M. Information Processing and Usability Function Databases & Information Systems .1.

Expecting users to abandon the status quo in favour of a new and potentially threatening system is unrealistic without transition information and support (change management). 2.F29IF2 Lachlan M. Enabling users to make best use of systems incorporates the effectiveness of the decisionmaking process based on the information provided. – – Educating & Learning Function Systems should provide learning opportunities for inexperienced and naive users. MacKinnon . – – Databases & Information Systems . Continuous examination and modification of models and decisions is necessary where users have to operate in a dynamic environment.

MacKinnon .Databases & Information Systems .F29IF2 Lachlan M.

Information Systems Development Function (Methodologies) Databases & Information Systems . MacKinnon .3.F29IF2 Lachlan M.

F29IF2 Lachlan M. MacKinnon . and also providing performance information for the Information Strategic Function.  The breakdown of of tasks identified as belonging to the Management & Control Function can be shown by using the other Information Systems Functions as headings : – So the Management and Control Function is Databases & Information Systems . Management & Control Function  The Management & Control Function is concerned with maintaining efficient and effective performance of the first 3 functions. 4.

safety standards and service performance – communication and procedural controls for client and user requests .concerned with the following activities.F29IF2 Lachlan M. MacKinnon . revisions and amendments Databases & Information Systems . relative to the : • Information Processing & Usability Function : – acquisition of new hardware and software (including upgrades and amendments/extensions) – budget management – cost analysis – guidelines and policies (both statutory & permissive) – supplier and service contracts – task prioritisation – quality control. complaints.

MTBF. standards.F29IF2 Lachlan M. production targets) – user management • User Education and Learning Function : – provision for user training/retraining – budgetary control – co-ordination of training effort with requirements of other Information System functions – timetabling – promotion/promulgation of guidelines. MTTR. new technology and models Databases & Information Systems . down-time. lead-time. policies and controls – user awareness of competitive products.e. MacKinnon .– target-setting and monitoring (i.

competitive factors. Databases & Information Systems . MacKinnon . constraints – amendment/upgrade to systems on basis of user feedback.F29IF2 Lachlan M. controls.• Information Systems Development Function : – Project Management – Policy on performance and delivery targets – Decisions on standardisation. etc. new methods/technologies.

F29IF2 Lachlan M.5. Strategy & Planning Function – As we have already identified. The relationship is that the Management and Control Function is informed by strategy developed by the Information Strategic Function in relation to the following activities : – The Manager – Budgeting Databases & Information Systems . MacKinnon . the Management and Control Function provides performance data to the Information Strategic Function. which in turn provides the Management and Control Function with the strategy by which the system evolves.

F29IF2 . MacKinnon Databases & Information Systems .– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Time Constraints Production Planning Auditing Quality Assurance Law Market Factors Competitive Products Capital Available Manpower Skills Distribution Technology Location Infrastructure Economic Trends Management Techniques Lachlan M.

products. etc.F29IF2 Lachlan M. etc – Identification of new marketplaces. MacKinnon . • “An information system is strategic if it changes an organisations products or service or the way it competes Databases & Information Systems .• From this list we can see that the Information Strategic Function provides the following necessary facilities for the Information Systems Functional Model : – Supports corporate strategy – Executive Information Support – Comparison of strategic position with marketplace and broader markets – Aid in development of existing market/product-base and lateral movement – Aid in deriving corporate strategy – Altering balance of power with suppliers. approaches. competitors.

Information Technology – 2. We can identify five specific areas of study : – 1. MacKinnon . Social Implications of Information Systems – 5.in its industry.” (Wainwright et al. Systems Integration Databases & Information Systems . Organisational Studies – 4.F29IF2 Lachlan M. Information Systems Functions – 3. 1991)  Our consideration of the Information Systems Functional Model leads to the conclusion that the discipline of Information Systems is an interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary subject.

Databases & Information Systems .F29IF2 Lachlan M. MacKinnon .