Management Information Systems

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1) Define Information Technology. Describe various types of information systems. Is Information Technology as vital to modern global business as money? Why or why not? Discuss some trends in IT development. Ans: In order to define Information Technology, let me define the term information first. By the term "information" we mean data that has been shaped into meaningful form that is useful to human beings. Data, in contrast, are streams of raw facts representing events occurring in the organization or physical environment before it has been organized and arranged into a form that people can understand & use. (Put diagram similar to the one in Laudon page 17 figure 1-3 and explain the example). .The technology plays the role of delivering timely & error free information to all the required recipients who are users of this information. In the context of a business firm technology consists of all the hardware and software that a firm needs to use in order to achieve its business objectives. This includes not only computer machines, disk drives and handheld mobile devices but also software, such as windows or Linux operating systems, the microsoft desktop productivity suite and many thousands of computer programs found in a typically large business firm. IT has become a major facilitator of business activities in the world today. IT is also a catalyst of fundamental changes in the strategic structure and management of operations. IT can help in : * Improving Productivity * Reducing Cost * Improving decision making * Facilitating Collaboration * Enhancing Customer Relationships * Developing new strategies IT in its narrow definition, refers to the technological side of an information system. It includes the hardware, software, data & database, networks and other electronic devices. It can be considered as a subsystem of Information systems which has a wider definition as a system which is used for collecting, storing, analyzing and disseminating information for a specific purpose. The terms information technology & information systems is sometime used interchangeably. Information Systems can be classified by the organizational level that they are needed as well as the level of support provided. As depicted in the figure (put the figure 2.2 from Turban page 43), there are various types of system based on the organizational hierarchy, shown in the form of a triangle. 1) Personal and Productivity systems These are small systems primarily intended for individual users. These are systems that support activities that we as individual users perform as part of our work or life. Examples of this type of system include personal productivity software tools such as calendars, PDA and MS Excel. These systems improve our productivity & satisfaction. Such systems are abundant in an organization, are inexpensive and have fairly standard capabilities. 2) Transaction Processing Systems In any Business there are basic routine tasks such as flow of raw material, sale of finished item, raising an invoice, payroll etc. to be performed in the context of various functions of the organization. A system which is used to monitor, collect, store, process & disseminate the basic business transactions in an organization is know as TPS (Transaction Processing System). The principal purpose of systems at this level is to answer routine questions and to track flow of transactions through the organization. How many parts are in the inventory? What happened to Mr

X's payment? to answer these kinds of questions, information generally must be easily available, current & accurate. Examples of TPS are, in a retail store at the point of sale when sale of a particular item is made, a transaction is generated which reduces the item in the inventory and increases the company's revenue by the amount of collected cash. In a bank cash deposits and withdrawals and money transfers between account with in the bank and with other banks are examples of some basic...
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