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Information systems


In a general sense , the term Information System (IS) refers to a system of people, data records and activities that process the data and information in an organization, and it includes the organization’s manual and automated processes. In a narrow sense, the term information system (or computer-based information system) refers to the specific application software that is used to store data records in a computer system and automates some of the information-processing activities of the organization. Computer-based information systems are in the field of information technology. The discipline of business process modelling describes the business processes supported by information systems.

The Information System consists of five parts which include: people, procedures, software, hardware, and data. There are various types of information systems, for example: transaction processing systems, office systems, decision support systems, knowledge management systems, database management systems, and office information systems. Critical to most information systems are information technologies, which are typically designed to enable humans to perform tasks for which the human brain is not well suited, such as: handling large amounts of information, performing complex calculations, and controlling many simultaneous processes.

Information technologies are a very important and malleable resource available to executives.[1] Many companies have created a position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) that sits on the executive board with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Technical Officer (CTO).The CTO may also serve as CIO, and vice versa. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), who focuses on information security within an organization, normally reports to the CIO.

In computer security, an information system is described by the following components [2]:

  • Repositories, which hold data permanently or temporarily, such as buffers, RAM, hard disks, cache, etc. Often data stored in repositories is managed through a database management system.
  • Interfaces, which support the interaction between humans and computers, such as keyboards, speakers, scanners, printers, etc.
  • Channels, which connect repositories, such as routers, cables, etc.

Types of information systems

As new information technologies are developed, new categories emerge that can be used to classify information systems. Some examples are:

  • Transaction processing systems
  • Management information systems
  • Decision support systems
  • Expert systems
  • Office Automation
  • Business intelligence


  1. ^ Rockart et al. (1996) Eight imperatives for the new IT organization Sloan Management review.
  2. ^ Trcek, D., Trobec, R., Pavesic, N., & Tasic, J.F. (2007). Information systems security and human behaviour. Behaviour & Information Technology, 26(2), 113-118.

O’Leary, T. (2008). Computing Essentials Introductory 2008. McGraw-Hill. [www.computing2008.com].

Further reading

  • Kroenke, David (2008). Using MIS – 2nd Edition.
  • Lindsay, John (2000). Information Systems – Fundamentals and Issues. Kingston University, School of Information Systems
  • Dostal, J. School information systems (Skolni informacni systemy). In Infotech 2007 – modern information and communication technology in education. Olomouc, EU: Votobia, 2007. s. 540 – 546. ISBN 978-80-7220-301-7.
  • O’Leary, Timothy and Linda. (2008). Computing Essentials Introductory 2008. McGraw-Hill. [www.computing2008.com.]


This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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