From the other posts in this section it is clear that there are lots of different types of information systems available. They each have different functions and ae used for different things. For example Management Information Systems (MIS), Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Transaction Processing Systems (TPS).
Office Automation Systems (OAS) is used all the time, in most businesses big or small. Office Automation Systems are crucial in every business setting. OAS processes, stores and transmits data and information in the form of electronic office communication. Some examples are word processing, e-mail, desktop publishing, telecommunications and document image processing. OAS has come a long way. It started out primarily as word and data processing and has now moved onto more sophisticated office automation tasks such as advanced copying, scanning and printing processes that integrate front office and back office systems and processes. OAS means the complete integration of word processing, electronic filing, diary management and communications. These functions are the basic requirements of any department or office within an organisation. Office automation aims to organise the functions in such a way that they do not have to be carried out on a variety of equipment.
Generally, there are three basic activities of an office automation system: storage of information, data exchange, and data management. Within each broad application area, hardware and software combine to fulfill basic functions.
1. Storage of Information: Is usually considered to include office records and other primary office forms and documents. Data applications involve the capture and editing of files, images, or spreadsheets. Word processing and desktop presentation packages accommodate raw textual and graphical data, while spreadsheet applications provide users with the capacity to engage in the easy manipulation and output of numbers. Image applications allow the capture and editing of visual images.
2. Data Exchange: While data storage and manipulation is one component of an office automation system, the exchange of that information is another equally important component. Electronic transfer is a general application area that highlights the exchange of information among multiple users. E-mail and voice mail are examples of electronic transfer applications. Systems that allow real time transfer of information (i.e., online conversations via computer or audio exchange with video capture) are considered electronic sharing systems. Electronic sharing software illustrates the collaborative nature of many office automation systems.
3. Data Management: OAS is also often used to track both short-term and long-term data in the realms of financial plans, workforce allocation plans, marketing expenditures, inventory purchases, and other aspects of business. Task management or scheduling systems monitor and control various projects and activities within the office. Electronic management systems monitor and control office activities and tasks through timelines, resource equations, and electronic scheduling.