Anatomy of an Information System |

Systems and most of all information systems invade our personal and or business lives. This simple overview could be used to understand some basics about systems and their place in an organization.Technically speaking, any (information processing) system has a user-interface, a database to store the information that is to be managed and an engine the process the information.Functionally speaking, an information systems is used to support a business process.
If the systems supports the business process directly the systems could be categorized as an operational system, if it supports the business process indirectly it is better categorized as infrastructural or supporting system. If your phone (PBX) system is used to channel calls from clients it is directly operational, otherwise it supports the organization indirectly. This example shows that (in some cases) a system can harness both.In the area of operational systems there are three main variants: A system dedicated to production. In this case the information system directly assesses the manufacturing process and holds information about parts and requirements, where they are located and indication of quantities to be used. The main goal of such a system is to increase the quality and reduce the Obviously there are many different types of production systems.Another area of operational systems is distribution and exchange. This is another wide area dedicated to handle existing products and services: delivery, distribution, but also storage. The delivery of a financial order from a client to the stock-exchange could be typed as such a sub-system.The third area of operation systems deal with client interaction. Sales systems are mainly concentrated around client information. This is information about the client, but also about possible prospects, contact information – how to contact them and through what medium or channel – but also information about products and services they hold, or such details as the product that has been ordered, but not yet delivered.Support systems is another broad category including a balanced score card, a data warehouse, business intelligence, resource management, financial reporting systems, billing systems, etc, etc, etc.Al these functional components together could be pictured as a systems architecture that serve a specific business goal. One system could excel in either one of the sketched functions or hold many of them in the same device.This system view described above serves in general any organization or business and comes in handy when this business is affected by a possible change. For example the one where a new system – the PDA – is introduced in a restaurant. The new system will have to communicate and cooperate with existing systems and will influence the (new) organization.