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Benefits Of Information Systems (Is) Essay

2093 words - 9 pages

IntroductionThere is no clear consensus on the definition of the term IS (Information Systems). This confusing situation is rooted in the rapid growth of the MIS field (from the data-processing era, powered by early mainframes, to the strategic information system era powered by the Internet and the Web), and in the multiple points of view adopted by researchers and writers in management, communications, decision making, political science, sociology, economics, and strategy (Wiseman, 2005). As a result, there is an alternative terminology for information systems and management information systems, which includes expressions such as 'information and communication system,' "information and ...view middle of the document...

Approaches and methods for developing an IS have changed with the appearance of new IT capabilities. Each IS development project requires the explicit and formal expression of a stated problem. That formalization expressed through various approaches and formal languages leads to design and implementation phases.Evolution of Information SystemsIn North America, IT has evolved through three eras, each era leading to new IS definitions and uses. During the first era, approximately 1965-1975, large corporations and government agencies developed large-scale transactional applications running on centralized mainframes. This was the data processing era (Anthony, 2005). Automation, and the substitution of machines for human work, were the catchwords of the day. Information systems were deployed at the operational level using detailed historical data. The evolution of hardware led to the invention of the mini- and later the micro-computer.The next era extended from 1975 to 1985, as the business unit (with the mini-computer) and soon middle management (with the micro-computer) became the new participants, developers, and users in the world of management information systems (MIS). This was truly a new era for managers as they acquired a range of radically new information systems based on spreadsheet packages and the new relational databases (Earl, 2000). These applications led to new interactive information systems using simulation models and sophisticated query languages. New applications were built around the rulesbased approach to application development, bringing the notion of expert systems to life. Expert systems, decision support systems, executive information systems, and exploitation of massive databases were the new products of the MIS era. The growth of local and wide area networks built bridges between the islands of automated information systems.The most recent era, beginning around 1985, can be described as the strategic network era. Its characteristics are the integration and networking of all informational applications, which are more and more frequently Web-based, through new data warehouses and intelligent applications: data-mining and text-mining software, online analytical processing (OLAP) applications, decision support systems, and reporting capabilities. New information development techniques are object- or hypertext-based (Hartman, 2000). The multimedia capabilities of new personal computers offer more intuitive interfaces and better person-machine interaction. During this period, top managers have come to realize the competitive or strategic benefits of IS. The quest for competitive advantage through a well-designed and well-deployed IS began to be acknowledged in American head offices in the 1980s, at a time when their Japanese counterparts were still committed to more of a social process of sharing and managing information and knowledge. With the exponential success of Internet and the Web, this most recent era is a period of...

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