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Computer Science
Computer Science 1032A/B

Computer Science 1032 Chapter One Information Systems and You What is an Information System? (IS) • Agroup of components that interact to produce information All information systems use algorithms and databases to predict customer behaviors, through a five-component framework: Hardware Software Data Procedures People These 5 components are often linked together through networks that leverage the power of connectivity to tie software, hardware and data together to make information more accessible and powerful. For example: Facebook, LinkedIn Hardware refers to the electronic components associated gadgetry that constitute a computer system Software used to refer only to programs or applications that run or operate on computer systems Data are the basic building blocks of information such as facts and observations Procedures instructions or processes that you follow to achieve your desired objective, these can be formal and documented People actors who want to achieve a particular outcome by interacting with the system Example: Owl. The hardware is the physical devices that are used to access the system (computers). The software of the system includes the stored set of instructions that run on your access device. Data for the system may be stored on specialized computers called servers that can be accessed anywhere in the world. The procedures are the steps that you follow to achieve your goal and you are one of the people in this system. Management Information Systems: • Comprise the development and use of information systems that help organizations achieve their goals and objectives • Has 3 key components: o Development and use o Information systems o Goals and objectives Development and Use of information systems: • Information systems are created by business analysts and system designers at the request of senior managers to solve a particular problem or meet a need • To have an information system that meets you needs, you need to tale an active role in that systems development Achieving Business Goals and Objectives: • Information systems can be found in almost every type of enterprise, social organization, and nonprofit organization How does IS differ from IT? Information Technology refers to methods, inventions, standards and products o It refers to raw technology, and it concerns only the hardware, software and data components of an information system and how these are networked together * IS refers to a system of hardware, software, data, procedures and people who produce information *IT will not help an organization achieve its goals and objectives, only when it is embedded into an IS, that it will become useful *The main difference between IT and IS, is that IS includes people in the equation. When you include people, if makes a big difference in how you design and implement systems. How Important are information Systems to our Economy? • The information and communications technology (ICT) sector includes companies involved in: o Software and computer services o Cable and other program o Telecommunications services o ICT manufacturing o ICT wholesaling What is the importance of information systems? • Delivery of services is a growing area of employment • Employment in this sector can be financially rewarding • With a career choice as a business professional, one cannot ignore the importance of understanding and working with information systems Information Systems: • Everyone uses numerous information systems • Basic business uses: o Email o Accessing web pages o Using word processors o Creating power point presentations CompetitiveAdvantage: • Think creatively about problems, challenges and opportunities • Create innovative applications using emerging technologies • There is need to expand and include: o Mobile devices o Business graphics o Project management software o Collaborative systems Gaining a competitive advantage • Think about IT and IS when you consider the problems and opportunities that confront your department or organization • To remain productive, there is need for innovation • You need to be a developer of technology • Think creatively about problems, challenges and opportunities in your business/organization • Apply new technology and a knowledge of IS to your business needs Example: Amazon.com -Innovated use of the Internet --One of the first to sell goods over the Internet -Began as an online bookstore Shape of things to come: Moore’s Law • Published in 1965 by Gordon E. Moore (Intel) • Noted that the density of circuits on an integrated chip was doubling approximately every two years or so • Price/Performance Ratio o Dramatically fallen over the years o Computers are smaller and less expensive • Important trend in history of hardware o Stood the test of time • Expected to continue for at least another decade • Predicting the future: o Difficult due to innovation  Apple ipod  Sophisticated phones Business of IT & IS- • How will it affect the way we live and work? o Hal Varian (Google Economist) suggests  Business changes because of advances in IS and IT  Mobility devices will change what it means to go to work David Ticoll suggested that within the next decade: • Unlimited storage will be almost free • Analytical software will reveal hidden messages • Networks will become cheap, reliable and widely available Google Knows Best: • Millions of people worldwide use G-mail (mail service) • Gmail launched four years ago o Supported entirely by advertising o Considered a success by almost any standard • When an email is sent, a column of ads appear on the side of the screen • Google has created to tie advertising to the content generated in an email • Though it is an innovative idea it creates issues of privacy and security Collaboration Skills • Key business skill in the 21 century • Help project teams o Become more productive o Do better work o Waste less time Collaboration • Two or more people working together toward a common goal • Requires: communicating, sharing information, combining skills Feedback and Iteration: Step 1- one person produces something Step 2- others review and comment Step 3- if changes needed, make changes Step 4- if changes made, go to step 2, otherwise stop *Collaboration takes several weeks, takes time to create a collaborative team Effective Team: R. Hackman’s three characteristics of team effectiveness: • Accomplish goals and objectives that satisfy sponsors and clients • Over time, working together is easier and more effective • Members learn and feel fulfilled Information Systems for Collaboration: • Makes things easier o Not necessary to meet face-to-face o Easier to track progress o Ability to track individual contributions • Facilitates communication: meeting, verbal, written • Creates better results IS Support for Communication: • E-mail • Instant o Text messages over the internet • Podcasts • Conference calls • Video conferencing • Webcast IS support for Collaboration: • Blogs o Allows for comments o Combines text, images and links • Wiki o Shared knowledge management o Provides affordable and effective knowledge management • Team portals o Website publishing teams activities with schedules, etc Chapter Two Business Processes: • Part of our lives every day • Consider: your morning coffee at Tim Hortons o How did all of this get here? • Interaction of business processes o Manufacturing, marketing, selling, purchasing, delivering, ordering, receiving, storing o Business processes must work together o Ensuring that each process is profitable Business Processes/Systems: • Network of: o Activities o Resources o Facilities o Information • Interacting to achieve business function • Example: o Inventory management o Manufacturing o Sales and support • Inventory management process balances: o Demands from customers o Inventory from the suppliers System tracks: 1. Customer orders 2. Current inventory Ordering inventory: 1. Create order 2. Order sent to supplier 3. Ship goods & bills for goods *Example: shows elements of the business process, shows interaction of the elements, different representations can be used Business Process ComponentActivities- • Transform o Resources & information of one type into another • Follow rules and procedures • Manual and/or automated • Example: o Payment (activity) transforms o Quantity received (information) and o Shipping invoice (information) into o Payment to supplier (resource) Business Process Component: Resources: • Items of value • External to organization • Examples: o Customers o Suppliers o Goods Business Process Component: Facilities: • Structures used within business process • Examples: o Inventories o Databases o Factories o Equipment Business Process Component: Information: • Used by activities • Determines transformation Data: • Facts or figures o Collected o Recorded o Stored o Processed • Not meaningful on its own Information: • Knowledge derived from data • Data presented in meaningful context • Data organized and processed to provide meaning • Data processed by summing, ordering, averaging, grouping, comparing The Role of Information in Business Processes- • Business processes generate information: o Bringing together items of data in a context o At a higher level  Useful for management and strategy decisions *Business process generates information-bringing important items of data together… Business Process Management (BPM): • A field of management that promotes the development of effective and efficient processes through continuous improvement and innovation • Methods of BPM: o Total quality management (TQM) o Six sigma o Lean production • Information about the process helps to better manage the process itself Information Systems Support for Business Processes: • IS used by activities: o Several activities may use one system o Activity may have own system o Activity may use several systems Information Systems & Decision Making: • Data important part of any IS • Data transformed into information • Information o Important starting point for decision making • IS support decision o Providing the information (raw material) to make decisions Information Systems & Decision Making: Decision Level: Operational: • Day to day activities • Examples: o How much coffee to purchase? o Which invoices should be paid today? • IS: transaction processing systems (TPS) o Collect, store. Modify, and retrieve transactions o Transactions  Events that generate or modify data o Examples: electronic payments Decision Level: Managerial: • Allocation and utilization of resources o Examples: o How to budget for computer hardware? • IS: Management Information Systems (MIS) o Narrower definitions o Support of management decision making Decision Level: Strategic: • Broader-scope, organizational issues • Examples: o Should a new product line be started? • IS: Executive Information Systems (EIS) o MIS for senior executives  Easy access to information  Supports decision making process  Provides access to internal and external information Decision Process: • Structured decisions o Understood and accepted decisions o Applying knowledge to make an informed decision • Unstructured decision o No agreed on-decision making method o Not standardized Decision steps: 1. Intelligence gathering 2. Alternatives formulation 3. Choice 4. Implementation 5. Review Ethics of Misdirected Information: • Overhear a conversation between a real estate agent and someone competing with you to purchase a condo o Should you listen? o Should you use the information you hear? • You receive the same information through an e-mail accidentally sent to your inbox o Should you read the e-mail? o Should you use the information to your advantage? Chapter Three Productivity & Innovation: • Consider technology’s impact on economic productivity • Stephen Roach (late 1980’s) o Found no evidence of an increase in worker productivity associated with the massive increase in investment in information technology • Robert Solow (Nobel Prize winning economist) o “We see computers everywhere except in the productivity statistics”  Computers perform a variety of tasks that are done fast • Productivity Paradox: o Productivity growth has slowed while investments in information technology have grown dramatically o Some say this is proof that info technology does not affect productivity • Consider IT’s Impact** o Increased productivity and its value to business o Application of information technology improves productivity Value of an IT investment: 1. Productivity: using IT allows company to produce faster, better output from the same inputs 2. Structure of competition: using IT can alter the way corporations compete 3. End customer: ability to provide cheaper and better goods and services as a result of IT and increased competition IS Improvement to Productivity: • Increasing efficiency- business process accomplished: quicker • Increased effectiveness: company offers new or improved goods or services that is valued by the customer • Companies with a long term success tend to focus on both effectiveness AND efficiency Business Processes & Value Chains: I. Value chain is a network of value-creating activities a. Primary activities b. Support activities II. Contains: a. At least one b. Often many business processes III. Each business process adds value: a. Chain of events value chain IV. Value Chain: a network of activities that improve effectiveness of a good or service, made up of one or many business processes a. Ex: manufacturing natural rubber into tires, the rubber would have no value to you, but the tires do.. PrimaryActivities: • Five activities o Inbound logistics  Receiving, storing and distrubute inputs to the product o Operations  Transforming inputs into the final product o Outbound logistics  Collecting, storing and physically distributing the product to the buyers o Marketing and sales  Inducing buyers to purchase product and providing a means for them to so o Service  Assisting customer’s use of the product  Maintaining and enhancing the product’s value • Each stage: o Accumulates cost o Value added to product • • Example: Car Manufacturer • Receiving & storing steel, glass & rubber • Shipping automobiles to the dealer • Post sales support, assisting customer’s use of the product, providing car repair & maintenance • Assembly line activities, converting raw materials into a car • Introducing buyers to the product and providing a means for them to purchase it SupportActivities: • Four activities: o Firm infrastructure: general management, finance, legal o Human resources: recruiting, hiring, training o Technological development: research & development, new technologies, activities to improve product or service o Procurement/Purchasing: purchasing raw materials, negotiating prices, contract arrangements Porters Five Competitive Forces: 1. Bargaining power of customers 2. Threat of substitution 3. Bargaining power of suppliers 4. Threat of new entrants 5. Rivalry among existing firms Competitive Strategy: Organizations • Examine the five forces • Generate a response • Create a competitive strategy Porter’s Four Competitive Strategies: • Goals, objectives, culture and activities must be consistent with organization’s competitive strategy • Once strategy is formulated: organize & structure organization, implement strategy Information Systems & Industry Structure: • Changes (industry structure) occur through innovation • Sustaining technologies o Changes in technology that maintain the rate of improvement in customer value o Ex: vulcanization of rubber better tires • Disruptive technologies o Introduction of a new package of attributes to the accepted mainstream products o Ex: MP3 format disruptive to Music industry • Consider the importance of technology: o Rate of innovation (staggering) o Speed, memory store and retrieve data quicker Diffusion of innovation: • Theory defined by Everett Rogers • Innovation: “catches on” or diffuses through it • The process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system • Defines 5 stages of diffusion: o Knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, confirmation Principles of CompetitiveAdvantage: 1. Create a new product or service 2. Enhance products or services 3. Differentiate products or services 4. Lock in customers and buyers 5. Lock in suppliers 6. Raise barriers to market entry 7. Establish alliances 8. Reduce costs CompetitiveAdvantage via Products • Create advantage by: o Creating new products or services o Enhancing existing products o Differentiating their products CompetitiveAdvantage via Business Process • Locking in customers • Locking in suppliers • Create entry barriers • Establish alliances • Reducing costs • Using information systems to create competitive advantages Long-term competitive advantage • Companies must successfully integrate many technology systems with people and procedures in the organization • It takes time for people to gain the necessary experience and skill Chapter 4 Hardware and Software Where Did All This Information Technology Stuff Come From? Early Computers • First patent on a digital computer was filed by Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, who developed the ENIAC computer • Complex and expensive • Single person interacted with the computer and only
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