Info System

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NO-NONSENSE LICENSE FOR FREE EDUCATIONAL USE This edition is released for “open use” for non-commercial purposes only. It may be copied and printed freely for personal or educational use without requiring permission from the authors. This permission does not diminish the copyright of the authors in any way and use of any of the material must be appropriately acknowledged. Incorporation into other works is subject to written permission by the authors MORE FORMAL LICENSE APPLICABLE TO THIS WORK This work is being distributed under the “Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Licence” To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Kindly note that this edition was last substantially edited in 2001 and so some of the material contained herein is dated and/or applicable to South Africa only.

© 1999-2003 Mike G. Eccles, Jane M. Nash & Jean-Paul Van Belle Contact Email Address: This book is copyright under the Berne Convention. ISBN 0-620-24194-2 (for the printed edition only)

DEDICATIONS

To my parents, Roger and Monique for showing me how to live And to my own family Eva, Anneke, Jonathan and Sylvia For showing me why to live JPVB

To my wife Stella For being such a wonderful person ME

To my students of the past, present and future JN

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword .................................................................................................................... i Why Study Information Systems? ........................................................................... i The Importance of Information Systems................................................................. ii Information Systems and Related Disciplines......................................................... ii Contents of This Book ..........................................................................................iii Section I: What is “Information Systems”? ................................................................ 1 1. The Role of IS in Business ................................................................................. 2 1.1 Classification of Information Systems ........................................................ 2 1.2 Office Automation Systems (OAS)............................................................. 5 1.3 Groupware ................................................................................................. 6 1.4 South African Perspective .......................................................................... 8 1.5 Beyond the Basics ...................................................................................... 8 1.6 Exercises .................................................................................................... 9 2. Transforming Data into Information................................................................. 10 2.1 Data.......................................................................................................... 10 2.2 Information .............................................................................................. 16 2.3 Knowledge and Wisdom........................................................................... 18 2.4 Producing Business Information ............................................................... 19 2.5 South African Perspective ........................................................................ 20 2.6 Beyond the Basics .................................................................................... 20 2.7 Exercises .................................................................................................. 21 3. How Systems Function..................................................................................... 22 3.1 What is a System?...
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