1. Why are information systems (IS) essential in organizations?
Information systems standardize and enforce rules on business transactions, which helps to ensure quality of both service and process. IS informs management of a business' health, mid-level managers of department needs and planning, employees of standard operating procedures, and customers of business services. IS also provides numerous communications tools for all levels of business, both for quicker collaboration and asynchronous discussions.
2. Why do systems analysts need to know who the stakeholders are in the organization?
The system analyst is responsible for understanding the perspectives of everyone who will have some form of interaction with a system, be it ownership, supervision, architects, or programmers, end-users within the company, or customers. Any deployed system that fails to take into consideration the unique needs and perspectives of any one of these groups will, at the very least, require refactoring and, at the worst, end in project failure as one or multiple groups reject the system.
3. What kind of knowledge and skills should a system analyst possess?
As the diplomat between the various IT and business cultures in an organization, the most important quality of the system analyst is good communication skills. To support this ability to communicate, the system analyst must posses a strong grasp of the many different technological languages, such as programming, hardware and networking, as well as the many levels of business-specific language, such
as the terminology used in management's high-level view of the business, the employee-level users' terminology for their various tasks, and the customer-level users' perspective on the system.
4. What are some of the business drivers for today's information systems?
E-commerce has expanded competition between companies beyond local communities, forming online