Business Processes and Information Systems

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1)Define IT Infrastructure from both a technology and a service perspective. Which services does IT infrastructure comprise? IT infrastructure consists of a set of physical devices and software applications that are required to operate the entire enterprise. It is also a set of firmwide of services budgeted by management and comprising both human and technical capabilities. Services include:

Platforms used to provide computing services that connect employees, customers, and suppliersinto a coherent digital envronment, including large main frames, desktop and laptop computers, pda’s, and internet appliances. Telecommunications services that provide data , voice and video connectivity to employee, customers, and suppliers. Data management services that store and manage corporate data and provide acapabilities for analyzing the data. Applications software service that provide enterprise wide capabilities such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationsip management, supply chain management and knowledge management systems that are shared by all business units. Physical facilities managament services that develop and manage the physical installations required for computing, telecommunications, and data management services. IT management services that plan and develop the infrastructure, coordinate with the business units for IT services, manage accounting for IT expenditures, and provide project management services. IT education services that provide training in system use to employees and offer managers training in how to plan and manage IT investments. IT research and development services that provide the firm with research on potential future IT projects and investments that could help the firm differentiate itself in the marketplace.

2) List each of the eras in IT infrastructure evolution, and describe their distinguishing characteristics. Electronic ACCTG Machine Period (1930 to 1950)
Specialized machines that could sort computer cards into bins, accumulate totals, and print reports. Software programs wer e hardwired into circuit boards, and they could be changed by altering the wired connections on a patch board. There wer eno programmers, and a human machine operator was the operating system, controlling all systems resources.

Genereal Purpose Mainframe and Minicomputer Period (1959 to present) Commercial all electronic vacuum computers appeared through the introduction of UNIVAC computers and the IBM 700 series. It was the first commercial computer with a powerful operating system hat could provide time sharing, multitasking, and virtual memory. Mainframe computers eventually became powerful enough to support thousands of online remote terminals connected to the centralized mainframe using proprietary communication protocols and propritary data lines. The mainframe period was a period of highly centralized computing under the control of professional programmers and systems operators, with most elements of infratsucture provided by a single vendor, the manufacturer of the hardware and software. This pattern began to change with the introduction of the minicomputers by Digital Equipment Corporation DEC in 1965. DEC offered powerful machines at lower prices than IBM mainframes, making possible decentralized computing, customized to the specific needs of individual departments or business units rather than time sharing on a single huge mainframe. Personal Computers Period (1981-Present)

The first personal computer appeared in 1970’s, but was not widely adopted by Americans until the IBM PC in 1981. It first used the DOS operating system, a text based command language, and later the Microsoft Windows operating system, the Wintel PC Windows operating system with Intel processor) computer became the standard desktop personal computer . 95% of the billion computers use WINTEL. The proliferation of PC’S launched spate of personal desktop productivity software tools- word processors, spreadsheets,...
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