The 5 main components that must come together in order to produce an Information System are;
The information system model highlights the relationships among the components and activities of information systems.
1. Hardware: The term hardware refers to machinery. This category includes the computer itself (CPU) and all of its support equipments. Among the support equipments are input and output devices, storage devices and communications devices. Computer peripherals also include the other parts such as keyboard, mouse, screen, printer for output of information and optical discs for storage of data resources.
2. Software: The concept of Software Resources includes all sets of information processing instructions. This generic concept of software includes not only the sets of operating instructions called programs, which direct and control computer hardware, but also the sets of information processing instructions needed by people, called procedures.
It is important to understand that even information systems that don’t use computers have a software resource component. This is true even for the information systems of ancient times, or the manual and machine-supported information systems still used in the world today. They all require software resources in the form of information processing instructions and procedures in order to properly capture, process, and disseminate information to their users.
The following are the examples of software resources:
- System Software, such as an operating system program, which con controls and supports the operations of a computer system.
- Application Software, which are programs that direct processing for a particular use of computers by end users. Examples are a sales analysis program, a payroll program, and a word processing program.
3 .Data: Data are facts that are used by programs to produce useful information. Like programs, data are generally stored in machine-readable form on disk or tape until the computer needs them. It must be managed effectively to benefit all end users in an organization. It can take many forms from letters and numbers, sentences and paragraphs, images and audio sounds. . Data are raw facts or observations, typically about physical phenomena or business transactions. For example, a spacecraft launch or the sale of an automobile would generate a lot of data describing those events.
Information is data that have been converted into a meaningful and useful context for specific end users.. So you should view information as processed data placed in a context that gives it value for specific end users.
Example: Names, quantities, and money, amounts recorded on sales forms represent data about sales transactions. However, a sales manager may not regard these as information. Only after such facts are properly organized and manipulated can meaningful sales information be furnished, specifying, for example, the amount of sales by product type, sales territory, or sales persons.
4. Networks: A computer network is a collection of computers and other hardware interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information. Where at least one process in one device is able to send/receive data to/from at least one process residing in a remote device, then the two devices are said to be in a network.
Telecommunications networks like the Internet, intranets, and extranets have become essential to the successful operations of all types of organizations and their computer-based information systems. Telecommunications networks consist of computers, communications processors, and other devices interconnected by communications media and controlled by communications software. The concept of Network resources emphasizes that communications networks are a fundamental resource component of all information systems. Network resources include:
5. People: Every Information System needs people if it is to be useful. Often the most over-looked element of an information system is the people, probably the component that most influence the success or failure of information systems. People are required for the operation of all information systems and these people resources include end users and IS specialists.
- End users (also called users or clients) are people who use an information system or the information it produces. They can be accountants, salespersons, engineers, clerks, customers, or managers. Most of us are information system end users.
- IS Specialists are people who develop and operate information systems. They include systems analysts, programmers, computer operators, and other managerial technical, and clerical IS personnel. Briefly, systems analysts design information systems based on the information requirements of end uses, programmers prepare computer programs based on the specifications of systems analysts, and computer operators operate large computer systems.
These components combine to make an efficient Information System if issing any of these elements it just would simply not work. Further post will include more examples of organisations and a more practical outlook on Information Systems.