Information Systems

An information system is any organized systematic mechanism that collects, organizes and stores information. Something as simple as a desk diary or a Rolodex can be considered an information system. A more sophisticated information system can be a database of subscribers to an ISP’s internet service. This essay will look at some of what that means

Components of an information system

An information system is usually made up of a number of components. Hardware is the actual machinery required to operate software. It includes devices like CPUs, printers and keyboards. Software refers to programs needed to make the information system functional. Data is information that is either entered into the information system or produced by the information system. Every information system is run using certain rules and guidelines for its use and operation. These are known as procedures. All of these parts must be interacted with by people and based on their experiences they provide either positive or negative feedback.

Information systems also have different uses, based on the needs of the end user. Types of systems commonly in use include the following:

Information Retrieval Systems

This is an environment where information and resources can be sourced in a library or other similar entity. It provides details on where a particular book or data resource can be found in a library. If using a public library as an example, there is usually a terminal for library patrons to use who are looking for a particular book or resource.

Decision Support Systems

These systems assist with problem solving and decision making. It can identify what is causing a problem and find a solution, or assist in making decisions.

The Internet

The Internet is another example of an information system. It has many uses and can be considered both a Decision Support System and an Information Retrieval System. Think of it. It can help with decision making as it stores content that can educate and guide. It can also perform as an Information Retrieval System because search engines can often assist greatly in finding things from a particular website to a specific product for sale.

Mankind has made great strides in the use of information. The majority of us use some of the more complex systems in some way daily. These only appear necessary to us until they fail. We must never forget our modest beginnings, the paper and pencil.