Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Technologies That Support Information Systems

Objective one: To identify the computer systems and peripherals recommend for a business of your choice.
Trends in Computer Systems. Today's computer systems come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and computing capabilities. Rapid hardware and software developments and changing end user needs continue to drive the emergence of new models of computers, from the smallest hand-held personal digital assistant for end users, to the largest multiple CPU mainframe for the enterprise. Categories such as mainframes, midrange computers, and micromputers are still used to help up express the relative processing power and number of end users that can be supported by different types of computers.
Computer Generations. It is important to realize that major changes and trends in computer systems have occurred during the major stages of computing, and will continue into the future. The first generation of computers developed in the early 1950s, the second generation blossomed during the late 1960s, the third generation took computing into the 1970s, and fourth generation has been the computer technology of 1980s and 1990s. A fifth generation of computers that accelerates the trends of the previous generations is expected to evolve as we enter the 21 century.
Micro-computer Systems. are the most important category of computer systems for end user. Though usually called a personal computer, or PC, a microcomputer is much more than a small computer for use by an individual. The computing power of microcomputers now exceeds that of the mainframes of their cost. Thus, they have become powerful-networked professional workstations for endusers in business.
Some microcomputers are powerful workstation computers that support applications with heavy mathematical computing and graphics display demand such as computer-aided-design (CAD) in engineering. Other microcomputers are used as network servers. They are usually more powerful microcomputers that coordinate telecommunications and resources sharing in small local area network, and Internet and intranet.
Midrange Computer Systems. Including minicomputers and high-end network servers, are multi-user systems that can manage networks of PCs and terminals. Though not as powerful as mainframe computers, they are less costly to buy, operate, and maintain that mainframe systems, and thus meet the computing needs of many organizations.
Midrange computers first became popular as microcomputers for scientific research, instrumentation systems, engineering analysis, and industrial process monitoring and control. Midrange computers are also used as front-end computers to assist mainframe computers in telecommunications processing and network management.

Operations Support Systems

Information systems have always been needed to process data generated by, and used in, business operations. Such operating support systems produce a variety of information products for internal and external use. However, they do not emphasize producing the specific information products that can best be used by managers. Further, processing by management information system is usually required. The role of business firm's operations support systems is to efficiently process business transactions, control industrial processes, support enterprise communications and collaboration, and update corporate databases. Operation support systems include the major categories are: Transaction processing systems, Process Control Systems and Enterprise Collaboration Systems.
Transaction Processing Systems record and process data resulting from business transactions. Transaction processing systems process transaction in two ways. In real-time processing, data is processed immediately after a transaction occurs.
Process Control Systems operations support system also make routine decisions that control operational process. Examples are automatic inventory reorder decisions an production control decisions. This includes a category of information systems, which decisions adjusting a physical production  process are automatically made by computers.
Enterprise Collaboration Systems are information systems that use a variety of information technologies to help people work together. Enterprise collaboration systems help us collaborate-to communicate ideas, share resources, and coordinate our cooperative work efforts as members of the many formal and informal process an project teams and other workgroups that are a vital part of today's organizations. For example, many businesses from teams of engineers, marketing specialists, and other knowledge workers to develop new products or improve existing ones. They may form virtual teams of people from several departments and locations within a company, and include outside consultants as a team members. Such teams would make heavy use of the Internet, corporate intranets and extranets, and collaboration software know as groupware. Then they could easily collaborate via electronic mail, discussion forums, data and video conferencing, and multimedia project web sites on the company's intranet. In this way, a product development team could efficiently communicate with each other and coordinate their work activities, and effectively collaborate in the development or improvement of products and services.