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What is Information System?

July 12, 2018
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An information system is designed to collect, process, and store and information. Although information systems are upgraded continuously in this context Information Technology (IT) plays an important role. Due to technological innovations, today most information systems are based on modern IT technology. That enables efficient computing as well as effective management for all sizes of organizations. The information systems enable more diverse human behavior, therefore a profound influence over society is also affected by information system. These systems accelerate speed of daily jobs. That technology also enables us to develop and maintain new and more-rewarding relationships.

Defining Information System

An information system is integrated and co-ordinate network, which combine together to convert data into information. Information system (IS) refers to a system of people, data records and activities.  For example, that process information for organizations and includes manual and automated processes. Therefore large amounts of data are needed to be process. Basically, data is a value for given facts and stored on a database. However, information actually consists of data that can be organized is some information model that help in various application such as answers questions and solve problems. Such system is defined as software program that organize and analyze data. So, the purpose of an information system is to turn raw data into useful information. That can be used for decision making in some applications.

Classification of Information System

The information system can be classified based on usage or application. Therefore, information system it can be divided into operations support system (OSS) and management support system (MSS).

Operations support system: The data input is produced by end users. That is processed to generate information  i.e. reports, which are utilized by internal and or external users. Such a system is called operation support system (OSS).

The purpose of the OSS is to facilitate business transaction, control production, support internal and external communication. The operation support system can be divided into a transaction-processing system, processing control system and enterprise collaboration system.

Transaction Processing System (TPS): In manufacturing organization, there are several types of transaction across department. Typical organizational departments are Sales, Account, Finance, Plant, Engineering, Human Resource and Marketing. Across which following transaction may occur sales order, sales return, cash receipts, credit sales; credit slips, material accounting, inventory management, depreciation accounting, etc.

These transactions can be categorized into batch transaction processing, single transaction processing and real time transaction processing.

Process Control System: In a manufacturing organization, certain decisions are made by a computer programs and can work without any manual intervention. Critical information is fed to system in time series manner to enable process control. This kind of systems is referred as process control systems.

Enterprise Collaboration System: there is various complication on team effort or collaboration across different functional teams. Such system enables collaborative effort by improving communication and sharing of data is referred to as enterprise collaboration system.

Management Support System: Managers require precise information in a format to make an decisions. The system  facilitates an efficient decision system for managers, this is called management support system. Management support systems are categorized as management information system, decision support system, expert system, and accounting information system.

Typical Components of Information Systems

The information systems may differ according to, how they used in an organization. That typically contain following components:

information system components

Figure: Information System Components

  • Hardware: Computer-based systems use computer hardware, such as processors, monitors, keyboard and printers.
  • Software: These are programs used to organize, process and analyze data.
  • Databases: Information systems work with data, organized into tables and files.
  • Network: Different elements need to be connected to each other, especially if many different people in an organization use the same information system.
  • Procedures: These describe how specific data are processed and analyzed in order to get the answers for which the information system is designed.

The first four components are part of the general information technology (IT) of an organization. Procedures, the fifth component, are very specific to the information needed to answer a specific question.


[1] “Types of Information Systems – Components and Classification of Information Systems”, available online at:

[2] Vladimir Zwass, “Information system”, available online at:

[3] “What Are Information Systems? – Definition & Types”, available online at:

[4] Richard T. Watson (editor), “Information Systems”, University of Georgia, 2007.

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