Right, while all the members of the group have written about information systems today and future trends, I said I’d be a little bit different and approach the subject from a different angle. In this blog I’m going to refer to the history of information systems and how they evolved from simple technology to a crucial resource used in the day to day running of firms.
Up to the 1960’s, information systems were very simple and used mainly for processing transactions, record – keeping and accounting. The primary purpose of information systems at this time was to record, classify and summarize data. Transaction processing systems is an example of such a system that processes data resulting from business transactions.
During the 1960’s another function was added to role of information systems in businesses. This was implementation of an informative reporting system. This was the beginning of the idea of the Management Information System. Management support systems are used in firms to aid decision making by providing information in the form of reports containing specific information.
With the expansion of many firms, these reports weren’t adequate enough to fully support business decision making. In order to fully satisfy the decision making process in businesses, the decision support system was born. Decision support systems are used to provide interactive support for managers and business professionals making decisions.
With the penetration of PC’s into the workplace during the 1980’s and the development of software packages and telecommunication networks, users could use their own computer resources to complete tasks instead of referring to a centralized information services department. This resulted in the decreased use of the Management Information System as well as the Decision Support System. The idea of the Executive Information System was born. The executive information system draws on data from both Management Information Systems and Decision Support Systems and tailors this data to the needs of the user.
Expert Systems were also introduced around this period offering expert information and advice and act as specialist consultant to end users.
The 1990’s saw the emergence of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. This systems main objective is to facilitate the flow of information between all departments internally in the business. It combines data from all departments such as manufacturing, finance, sales and marketing. Enterprise Resource Planning enables management to make strategic decisions. ERP is seen as a crucial resource for businesses and used in the day to day running of many firms globally.