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To gain a basic understanding of an information system


1. What is the difference between an information system and information technology?
Information technology is really on more a set of tools that can be used for many purposes, while an information system involves the application of information technology to some purpose, typically to achieve an objective or to solve a problem. One analogy is the difference between gardening tools (spade, lawnmower, trowel, etc.) and the activity of gardening. The tools can all be used for a variety of purposes (the spade could be used to wedge a door open). For some, the activity of gardening fulfils the objective of giving relaxation and wholesome food.

2. Identify some things that a computerized information system can do, which are difficult or impossible, for a non-computerized equivalent.
Computerize information systems are generally much faster at storing and retrieving data and at performing calculations than their non-computerized equivalents. Many activities that involve the retrieval, analysis or synthesis of large quantities of data are not feasible for people to carry out manually, even though it may be technically possible for this to be done. One example is the growing use of data warehouses and data mining software by marketing companies to product very detailed information about individual shopping preferences and habits, which can then be used to direct the marketing of products and services very precisely towards those people most likely to be interested in them. While it would always have been theoretically possible to gather and correlate this data manually for an individual customer, in practice it would take far too much effort to be worthwhile.

3. Why are boundary and environment important for understanding a system?
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, setting a boundary defines the scope of what you are trying to understand. Without a boundary, your...
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