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It Challenges Essay

2379 words - 10 pages

Management Information Systems 2010/2011

Lecture … (5)

Sources of Information
Information systems should support both formal and informal communication. Formal communications can include reports and accounting statements. Informal communications can include conversations and notes.

Formal Communication Information transmitted by formal communication tends to be presented in a consistent manner. Company reports, for example, will often use the same basic format. This allows the recipient to locate items of interest quickly and easily. Since formal communications tend to be presented in a more structured manner, they are also more likely to present a more comprehensive view of the ...view middle of the document...

Information obtained in this way also tends to be highly detailed, although it may often contain inaccuracies and may not be entirely relevant. The scope of information obtained in this way is often very narrow, relevant only to localized problems and situations. However, even at a local level, this can improve problem solving and decision making since it allows managers to gain a more detailed and in-depth understanding of a given situation. One of the major disadvantages of informal communication is that it cannot deal with large volumes of information. Furthermore, as a means of communication, it is relatively slow and inefficient. Informal communication can also be highly selective, for example a person taking part in a conversation may be able to restrict what information is transmitted and who is able to receive it.

Formal and Informal Information Systems
Recently, a lot of interest is being in formal, organizational computer-based information systems. Formal systems rest on accepted and fixed definitions of data and procedures for collecting, storing, processing, disseminating, and using these data. The formal systems are structured; that is, they operate in conformity with predefined rules that are relatively fixed and not easily changed.

Management Information Systems 2010/2011

Lecture … (5)

Informal information systems rely, by contrast, on unstated rules of behavior. There is no agreement on what is information or on how it will be stored and processed. Formal information systems can be either computer based or manual. Manual systems use paper-and-pencil technology. These manual systems serve important needs, but they too are not the subject of this text. Computer-based information systems (CBIS), in contrast, rely on computer hardware and software technology to process and disseminate information. From this point on, when we use the term information systems, we are referring to computerbased information systems—formal organizational systems that rely on computer technology. Although computer-based information systems use computer technology to process raw data into meaningful information, there is a sharp distinction between a computer and a computer program on the one hand, and an information system on the other. Electronic computers and related software programs are the technical foundation, the tools and materials, of modern information systems. Computers provide the equipment for storing and processing information. Computer programs, or software, are sets of operating instructions that direct and control computer processing. Knowing how computers and computer programs work is important in designing solutions to organizational problems, but computers are only part of an information system. Another possible component of an information system is one or more of smaller information systems. Information systems that contain smaller systems are typical of large companies. For example, FedEx’s corporate information...

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