Information Systems: Creating Business Value by Mark Huber, Craig Piercy, and Patrick McKeown Chapter 2: IT for the Organization
What We Will Cover:
The technological infrastructure of an organization
Databases: the primary data storage for organizations
Beyond databases: using other methods to store data, information, and knowledge
The IS integration problem
Information systems that support business activities
Student ROI (Return on Investment)
Your investment of time and effort in this course will result in your being able to answer these questions:
How do organizations use processors, networks, software, and storage?
What are the key concepts of data organization for an IS?
In what ways can organizations use IT to store and share data, information and knowledge?
What is the IS integration problem and how are organizations solving it?
How do organizations use IT to support transactions and business processes?
How does business intelligence enhance organizational decision making?
The Components of IT
Accepting and storing data and information
Performing mathematical calculations
Applying logic to make decisions
Retrieving, displaying, and sending information
Consistently repeating the above actions many times
Information Technology Categories
Hardware : the electronic and mechanical components you can see and touch
Software : the set of instructions that direct the hardware
Network technology : increases the power of IT by allowing the sharing of resource
Processing: Directs execution of instructions and the transformation of data
Memory: Temporarily stores data and instructions before and after processing
Input: Provides the interface used for data entry into a device
Output: Provides the interface to retrieve information from a device
Storage: Stores data, information, and instructions for the long term
Communications: Connects one IT device to another
The Central Processing Unit
Core of all computing operations is a chip composed of millions of transistors called the central processing unit (or CPU ).
A transistor is an electronic switch that can be on (1) or off (0).
By combining multiple transistors we can represent data in a binary format.
The CPU works together with memory to control the execution of instructions and the processing of data.
CPU speed is measured by its clockspeed in billions of cycles per second ( gigahertz ).
There are two types of memory—long term (ROM) memory and short-term (RAM) memory
Both types of memory are built onto memory chips
Both are measured in number of bytes stored:
Read Only Memory
Read Only Memory (ROM) contains instructions that are not meant to be changed or changed only infrequently
ROM is present in most IT devices
In computers, ROM holds instructions used to control the startup process
There are far fewer ROM chips than RAM chips in a computer
Random Access Memory
Random Access Memory (RAM) is the predominant form of memory in a computer.
The CPU can access any item stored in RAM directly (randomly).
RAM is temporary memory so anything in RAM is lost when the computer is shut down.
Increasing RAM capacity is the easiest way to increase effectiveness of a computer.
Input devices provide one interface between the internal processes of an IS and its environment.
It allows us to enter data and commands.
Input devices include:
Pointing devices such as a mouse
Scanning devices such a barcode scanner
Most widely used input device for computers.
Highly versatile, providing the capability to enter all types of data as well as instructions.
Ergonomic keyboards are keyboards that are designed to keep users safe as well as enabling them to be more productive.
Pointing and Scanning Devices
Pointing devices such as a mouse allow users to provide instructions to a computer using physical movements, such as “point” and “click”.
Pointing devices tend to require less training than a keyboard.
More useful to entering commands than for entering data.
Scanning devices such as barcode readers improve speed and efficiency or perform a task more efficiently.
Output devices convert IT-processed information into a form usable by knowledge workers (or other machines)
Quality and speed of output is important in choosing an output device.
Common output devices include
Display devices such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs)
Printers, typically laser or ink-jet as well as plotters
IT Storage Hardware
Storage refers to hardware media and devices used to contain large amounts of data and instructions for the long term.
Storage is much slower to access than memory.
CD and DVDs
USB flash memory
Network interface card (NIC) provides the physical connection between the computer and a local network
Modems allow you to connect to a remote network over a telecommunications line (telephone line or cable TV service)
Software is information that specifies how the device should work with other data, information, and knowledge.
Software is legally protected just like music and books.
Firmware is software built into chips (hardware) like that in cell phones and PDAs
Software gets the job done!
Controls the hardware associated with a system
Supports the execution of application software
Two main types of systems software
Operating Systems (OS) Software – coordinates and handles the details of working with the computer hardware.
Utility software – provides additional tools to maintain and service your system (many utility software tasks are now included in the OS).
Basic OS Tasks
Application software is a complete, self-contained program or set of programs for performing a specific job.
Application software is the software you use to get things done.
Productivity software – software used by knowledge workers to work with data, information, and knowledge. For example, MS Office and Intuit’s Quicken software.
Types of Productivity Software
Document Preparation Software : used in creating documents composed of text, images, and graphics.
Electronic Spreadsheet Software : used to perform general calculations and analyses.
Presentation Graphics Software : used for preparing slides and graphics for business presentations.
Database Management System (DBMS) software: used to design, create, update, and query data.
Personal Information Management (PIM) software: used to manage personal information.
Connecting over Networks
Networks are everywhere! In this section, we concentrate on a computer networks.
A computer network consists of nodes that represent computer hardware and network user with hardware, software, and communications media forming links between nodes.
Network consists of 4 primary components:
Software that allows computers to share data.
Communications media to link computers together.
Computer networks are commonly described by the physical size of the network.
The most commonly use types are LANs and WANs.
A Local Area Network (LAN) is confined to a relatively small area like a building.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) connects computers over regions, countries, and continents.
There are three basic categories of network hardware
Hardware to connect a device to a network.
Specialized hardware for handling network traffic.
Specialized computers that control the network and delivery of data on the network.
Network Connection Hardware
Modems, cable modems, network interface cards, and wireless cards
The physical link that creates the network connection is referred to as the carrier or communications medium.
Copper wire for telephone systems
Coaxial cable or fiber-optic cables for faster transmission
Wireless technologies including infrared light, radio waves, and microwaves.
Network Traffic Hardware
A bridge is a device that lets you connect to networks or break a large network into two smaller, more efficient networks.
A router is an intelligent bridge that connects, translates, and then directs data that cross between two networks.
A hub (or concentrator ) serves as a central connection point for devices on a a network.
A wireless Access Point ( AP ) is a special bridge that connects between wireless devices and a wired network.
Specialized Network Computers
Servers are specialized computers that manage the various functions on a network.
A file server is a fast computer with large amount of RAM and storage.
File servers run the network operating system as well as storing shared software applications and data files.
Computers connected to a file server are called clients or workstations.
Network operating system software manages network functions and the flow of data over a computer network.
Network application software provides the instructions that allow for the creation of data and for transformation to fit appropriate protocols for transmission over a network.
A protocol is a standard set of rules that allows the communication of data between nodes on a network.
Efficient communication: E-mail and instant messaging are just two ways that networks allow us to communicate more efficiently.
Effective resource management: Networks allow easy sharing of software, hardware, and data resources.
Complete, accurate, reliable, and timely information: Multiple users can access or update data quickly from a central database.
Expanded marketing and customer service capabilities: Businesses and individuals can carry out remote business transactions anytime and anywhere.
Any computer network that connects several networks together is an internet .
Typically we refer to the single largest and most popular internet as the “Internet.”
Over 1 billion people had access to the Internet in 2006.
The Internet uses the TCP/IP suite of packet switching protocols.
Any computer using software compatible with TCP/IP, regardless of OS, can connect and communicate over the Internet.
Access the Internet
Home users access the Internet through dial-up over traditional telephone lines or broadband through cable or DSL.
Most users connect through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) using Internet access software.
Internet access has moved into libraries, airports, or coffee shops using Wi-Fi.
Wi-fi stands for 802.11 standards for wireless network access.
The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web (WWW) is one the two most popular Internet applications (e-mail is the other.)
The Web provides a hypertext system that operates over the Internet.
Hypertext provides an easy way to publish information on a network in documents that incorporate hyperlinks to other information on the network.
Web browser software enables user to view hypertext document and use hyperlinks to browse other related documents.
The Web relies on three basic standards:
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) which specifies a unique address for each page that indicates the location of a document.
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) provides rules used by browsers and servers as they respond to each other.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) provides a language for encoding the information so a variety of IT devices can display it.
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