Small Business Technology
What is a System?
-It exists in all fields of endeavor. There are social systems, fuel-monitoring system, political systems, biological systems, electrical systems, economic systems and information systems.
-A system is any group of components (functions, people, activities and events) that interface with and complement one another to achieve one of more predefined goals.
Typically, a system accepts input. Various subsystems work in concert to reduce some kind of output. Depending on the system, the input could be an aluminum, temperature, data and so on. Again, depending on the system, the input could be soda cans, coal or warm air, information and so on.
A system exists within a defined boundary. The conceptual boundary includes: 1. All components of a system
2. That which provides input to the system
3. That which is influenced by output from the system
Hardware, software, people, procedures, and data are combined to create an information system. The term information system is a generic reference to a computer-based system that provides the following: 1. Data processing capabilities for a department or perhaps an entire company. 2. Information that people need to make better, more informed decisions. Scope of Computers and Information Processing
The fascinating field of computers and information processing encompasses everything that deals directly or indirectly with the computer-assisted flow of information. The scope of the field includes everything from word processing to industrial robots to supercomputers to management information systems. The management information system (MIS), is commonly used in the business environment as a generic reference to all technologies, procedures, systems, and people associated with computers and information processing.
The keywords throughout this chapter and in virtually every conversation about the subject are computers and information. Computers are the base technology that enables us to tap the information resource, the value of which will become vividly apparent as you read this chapter. Besides being a generic reference to the computer and information processing field, the term “MIS” is also used to refer to a particular type of computer based system. Whether MIS is used as a generic reference to the field or to refer to a type of system is usually apparent from the context in which it is used.
Successful implementation of the basic planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling functions of management requires that managers have adequate information; managers must first identify and then require the necessary information. These two have historically been the biggest challenges of managers.
The advent and maturing of electronics computers have greatly altered not only the availability of information but also the manner by which it is identified and required. MIS Components
Certain basic components are needed for a successful MIS.
Interactive computer hardware (the computer itself) and software (program allowing the manager to use the computer). 2.
A database upon which the software programs can be seen to produce the desired tables and figures, for example, a software accounting program that allows a manager to evaluate accounting information for the entire company. 3.
Graphical and other displays.
A computer language that is user-friendly so that a manager can use it after a few hours of training and can begin to manipulate company or divisional information.
The actual computer, known as hardware, is one requirement. The selection is abundant and continues to expand.
All computers need instructions or programs to run them. These instructions and programs are referred to as software. Software can be purchased off the shelf for most applications. However, some organizations elect to write their own software. This can require anything from a single...
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