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1. Qns: Define system.

A system is an organized set of components that interact in a regulated fashion to achieve an objective or goal. It is a set of interrelated parts that turns inputs into outputs through processing The set of interrelated parts are arranged into an organized whole or orderly structure and they continue to influence one another directly or indirectly to maintain their activity and the existence of the system in order to achieve the goal of the system Ubiquity - System is ubiquity everywhere i.e. all around us. A system is defined as the inter-relation of parts (or components) working together to achieve a goal.

1b. The types of systems

1. Mechanistic / Deterministic system - Simplest type & very mechanical - given known input can determine known output, interrelated parts - predictable - possible to predetermine the stages or states through which it will pass - goal seeking - possessing defined boundaries - some form of feedback & control - e.g. sales processing system, procurement system, purchasing system, salaries, payroll, input stock controlling 2. Probability / Stochastic system - the output can only be reasonably determined with known input - due to wear and tear, a mechanistic system can become a probability system - subject to many varying internal & external factors - always some degree of error asso ciated with the predictions - e.g. gambling, examination, share market, weather forecast, economic & business systems 3. Cybernetic / Organic / Adaptive / Self-organising system - Very complex - Given known input, output cannot be determined with accuracy - Unpredictable - React to a stimuli in a learning pattern - Used for decision making - They learn fr their mistake/ experience so that they do not react to the same way to a particular input - Most businesses are characterized this way so that they can grow to meet the needs of a changing business environment

E.g. Business system, Human system, Interconnections, Coupling & Decoupling

4. Homeostatic system - once developed a system remains in control despite the changes that occurs within the environment or internally - is one with controls that allows it to revert to its original state when affected by external events - e.g. human body (when affected by a disease, it will fight back to revert back to its normal state)

2. talk about the 5 BENEFITS of the system 1. GST General Systems Theory. GST defines the term
2. 3. 4. 5. system in such a way that it meets a certain pre-determined objective GST highlights the existence of sub-systems GST helps to identify the external environment that exerts pressure on the organisations i.e P.E.S.T/ S.T.E.P. -> Political, Economical, Social or Cultural, Technology GST helps in the implementation of an Information System taking into consideration of total system approach or Holistic approach GST emphases that organization is dynamic and not static

3. Concept of GST & Open & Close System

a) The concept of GST A system is a set of interrelated parts, arranged into an organised whole or orderly structure. This is referred to as holism All systems can be decomposed or broken down into constituent parts. This is known as reductionism. They can be reduced to sub-systems and reduced further until the most basic constituents of the larger system. Systems can have perspectives & boundaries that establish viewpoints & set perimeters around it. The behaviour or activities of system & sub-system can be modelled The activities & actions of a system give rise to emergent properties. Organisms usually share common underlying characteristics but are very different in appearance b) Open System Open Systems are connect to, and interact with the outside world

Open System allows the interchange and the exchange of information, energy or material with the external environment Open information system is influenced & affected by the external business environment Most organization systems are open system e.g. Accounting System or Marketing System c) Closed system Is independent of its environment Is not influenced by & does not influence its environment Does not take in or give to it Does not exchange information, energy or material with the environment In reality there are very few closed systems In the business world, close system does not exist at all

4. The characteristics of system

The elements of a System: to be defined as a system, all these characteristics must be present in the domain of the system
1. Input & output chap 2-4, MDIS text

o All systems have input. It cannot be a static object likeand must

assume some form of activity. o In information system, input is data & output is information o The output of one system can form the input of another system
2. Processing Chap 2-6

o In the case of information system, the fundamental activity is to

process data & information to provide knowledge for subsequent decision-making

3. Control Chap 2 pg 5

o o All systems have a regulatory control that allow a system to maintain

or pursue its objectives. o To ensure objectives are met, control must be exercised with systems processes & activities. It can only be achieved by accurate & effective informatn tt is feedback to the system so as to allow changes to be made, to maintain the direction of the system towards the goal

o System feedback refers to the information that enables the system

4. Feedback Chap 2 pg 5

processes to modify themselves and in turn meet the systems ultimate goal o 2 types of feedback, NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. The output of the system is fed back to achieve a specific or predetermined state. Examples of natural systems are human temperature system, human heart

and kidney

Positive feedback is the output of the control system that is fed back as an input for growth. Eg. Profits fr business org can be reinvested back into the org for expansion or create economic growth within a businesses. The environment is where the system within an organisation operates. It distinguishes the internal & external environment. The system environment determines how the system functions.
6. Boundaries Chap 2-2 5. Environment

It is defined as whatever lies within the scope of the system & interacts with the system The emphasis to establishing boundaries is to determine the specific impact of the environmental considerations on the system or subsystem. Anything that resides outside the system boundaries & does not impact/affect the system in any way, then this would be outside the systems Immediate boundaries. The shape & constituent parts are not determined by the physical boundary, but by the pre-established Logical boundary

5. The competitive forces acting against an organization.

txt Chap 1 The Global Information Age


1) The threats of new entrants to the competitive market i. Today, internet increasing increases the threats of new entrants ii. Internet reduces the traditional barrier of entry iii. New entry only need to set up a website and become a competitor iv. Internet is global and it breaks down geographical barrier

2) The bargaining power of suppliers i. The internet can also impact the suppliers as it is with the new entrants ii. Buyers/ Customers can find alternative suppliers iii. Buyer can reduce suppliers bargaining power iv. Suppliers on the other hand have power or dominant over the price especially monopoly. v. It does not apply in a perfect competition. vi. In prefect competition, all suppliers have no power to dictate price; market dictates price 3) The bargaining power of the customers (buyers) i. The internet provides buyers access to a vast amount of information on products and suppliers ii. Buyers can easily buy products or services from the cheapest suppliers iii. As suppliers, the prices quoted to the buyers must be competitive 4) The threats of substitute products and services i. In a perfect competition, there are many buyers and many sellers and also many homogenous products being offered ii. Especially so in the internet, when customer s(buyers) can easily compare prices of substitute products 5) The competition and rivalry between business organization i. There is no secrecy when the internet is so visible ii. One way to reduce cost is to distinguish competitors in terms of cost iii. Cost can be easily reduced with the implementation of technology

6. The strategies to counter against the forces

Once an org recognizes the competitive forces, they can develop strategies to counteract these forces that is affecting the competition. 5

There are 5 main strategies that can be used to deal with the competitive forces: 1. Cost leadership producing products & services that are of lower price than its
competitors into new product, merger or integrating 3. Product differentiation: creating new or different product to distinguish itself from its competitors 4. Innovation strategy/ Niche marketing: focusing products & services to a specific market, segment, customers so that better products & services can be delivered than its competitors 5. Alliance Strategy. Customer & Supplier linkage: synergy, join forces with your competitors, tapping on your competitors talent locking-in suppliers to a price & delivery structure or locking-in a customer to the orgs products or services. Both of this can be achieved by linkages of a business system of the customers, orgs or suppliers inherent in the structure of a competing org. - ICT can be used to lock suppliers or cms to a biz system org. In doing so, it wld create cm loyalty and make it inconvenient or costly for them to switch allegiance to a competitor. By having unique products & services. - The supplier becomes technologically linked through its dependence & connectivity with the systems infrstructure f the purchasing org. - That is aside from provision of better services & products, with value-added.

2. Growth strategy: economy of scale. Expanding company capacity, diversify

7. Knowledge Management
Is a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute & enable adoption of insights & experience. Such insight & experience comprises of knowledge embodied in an individual or embedded in an organizational process. It caters to the critical issues of organizational adaption, survival & competence in the face of increasingly discontinuous environmental change. The knowledge base of an organization is normally composed of 2 components. Formal structured knowledge (EXPLICIT knowledge) e.g process, procedure, manuals, company policy documents Informal unstructured knowledge (TACIT knowledge) - Needs, habits, abilities - Experience and understanding of an organization that resides in employees mind - Ways of doing things - In the mind of the employee 1. Info systems play an important role in enabling an org to structure information flows & capture the inherent knowledge base of an org.

2. It can be released by encouraging group collaboration among employees & establishing system that enable knowledge to be shared and integrated into the way the organization operates 3. Information enables business organization to undertake the activity of decision- making. Knowledge represents the interpretation & conceptualization of information by human beings 4. In the information age, knowledge management is aimed at enabling a business organization to encourage innovation & stimulate business ideas. 5. KM tries to encourage employee to share knowledge & understanding of the businesses environments.

8. Competitive Advantage

is defined as the ability of an org to compete w other org. OR the advantage of one organization over the other in the efficient & effective use of using ICT & information systems to deal with competitive forces. For example, marketing information system can be developed to enhance the information available from sales & marketing systems. This info can be used to identify niche marketing and/ or determine strategies to target products & services to cms Also to create more attractive products & services. ATMs & INB for banks, mobile banking. This is possible due to ICT & its application to business competitiveness. Banks are constantly looking to review internal & external business systems productivity to gain C.A. In the past, economic winners are those that come up with new products but in the 21st century, sustainable competitive advantage will come out more for new process technologies compared to product technologies. Business organizations are realizing that in a dynamic business environment, the competitiveness is established not just by the services or products but by the ICT-based information that delivers those product & services to customers. Business competition usually takes on a global scale. The globalization of trade means larger market, stiffer competition & greater economic uncertainty. For example, globalization has lead to greater uncertainty within the information environment due to different national laws, trading practices, competition policies & cultural attitudes to technology and its use However, the rewards of globalization can also be greater in terms of increased revenue & profits.

Therefore information system needs to be focused in tackling this global challenges so as to enable organisations to compete in increasingly competitively global environments. A significant challenge in business information systems is the need to attain competitive advantage both nationally & internationally. Competitive biz org recognize that ICT can be used to transform org infrastructures. ICT can be used to define the manner in whc an org conducts biz activity in relation to its cms & suppliers

9. Fundamental Resources of an organization (socio-technical pillars

1. The success of a business depends on how well (effectively & efficiently) you manage & control the 3 fundamental resources in a systematic way. 2. A system is a set of interrelated & integrated components. 3. Business systems not only interact with one another but also with other systems in the world at large. For example, government agencies, education, transportation & social systems. 4. The overaching purpose of commercial business system activity is to make a profit. An information system within the business results from structured & successful integration of the 3 main resources of P.E.T. Therefore, a business info system is a set of interrelated parts to handle, store & process data that is in turn disseminated to users to provide info & knowledge for decision making & control within the business domain. People Organisation (structure) Technology people organisation technology

career education ergonomics Employee attitude Employee participation Employee monitoring statutory regulation

Bureaucracy Culture Competition Environment Management Mission Policy

software Hardware telecommunication informatics



5. These components constitute the elements to consider when dealing with the integration of people organization & technology. 6. These 3 pillars are also known as the socio-technical pillars of a business organization 7. The socio-technical view of an organization gives the most paramount importance to people as the major and significant asset in a business within this information systems domain. 8. Most businesses aim to be efficient and effective in maximizing the utilization of the 3 resources in order to generate a business profit.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Interrelated-holism-systematic-methodical Decomposed-sub systems-give eg Perspectives & boundaries-perimeters-define perspectives & boundaries Behaviour can be observed &modeled-defines the activity & r/s-abstract rep-activities simple, structured, complex & unstructured Emergent activities-what emerges fr b buildg block-determined by structure,r/s, connectivity determine nature & appearance-imp to take a holistic view than. Have input, outputs & feedback mechanism Goals or objectives Feedback & cont Interrelated parts Interdependence Homeostasis Display properties that are unique Subsystems integration

The characteristics of system The characteristics of a system are: a) They have inputs, outputs & feedback mechanisms. Organisation implies structure & order b) Goals or objectives: for e.g one of the main purposes or goals of ICT-based business info systems is to make human activity of info processing more efficient & effective within an org. The outputs from the processes of a system are directly related to the systems goal, set of goals or objectives. Every system has a predefined objective. Objective define the goal & the aim of a system c) Have boundaries that are usually defined by the system observer. It is defined as whatever lies within the system and interacts w tt system. Boundaries are imp so that we can focus attention more effectively on issues that affect the system. The shape & constituent parts of a particular system are determined by the preestablished logical boundary d) Feedback & control. Feedback refers to info tt enables the system processes to modify themselves & thus meet the systems ultimate goals. Negative vs positive. Negative is fed back an as input to achieve a specified or predetermined state. Positive feedback is fed back as an input for growth e) Interrelated parts, each component function interacts with other component of the system. The interrelationship btw these components & integration enables the computer to perform smooth functions. f) Interdependence- output of one system can be input of another system. Systems depend on one another for proper functionality. coordinated & linked together according to a plan g) Maintain a homeostasis (steady-state) despite a changing external environment h) They display properties that are unique to the whole but are not possessed by the individual elements i) Every system is a part of a larger system, that is it is composed of subsystems j) Integration is about how systems are tied together. It is concerned with sharing of resources.

10. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network & Client / Server Network


There are basically 2 types of networks. It depends on the size of network. P2P networks is used for smaller network e.g. TAN (tiny area network), FHM (family area network). For bigger network, a Client / Server network is being implemented. There is no server involved in a P2P network. All nodes are peers i.e. equal in capacity. In a Client/ Server, a server is needed. A server is a computer that provides resources or information to all other computers (nodes) that need to access information.

P2P Networks:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Used for smaller network No server is installed All nodes are Peer - equal capacity P2P is used in Ring topology or Mesh topology No need for a strong firewall compared to Client/ Server network
Advantages : Less expensive than mainframe computing for network functions More flexible with regard to network architecture More appropriate in distributed business computing environments

Client/ Server Network

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Used for larger or bigger network A server is required in a Client/ Server network All nodes connected in a Client/ Server is known as a Client Client/ Server network is used in Bus Topology and also the Star topology A stronger firewall is required in a Client/ Server as compared to the P2P network.
Servers offer services to clients Clients are computer/ nodes or other devices that request services from the server Predominant on the internet Used in most MNC


1) B2B (Business to Business): In B2B e-commerce, companies are doing business with each other e.g. manufacturers selling to distributors or wholesalers and who in turn sells to retailers. All prices are based on the quantity of order and is often negotiable. 2) B2C (Business to Consumer): In B2C, the business sells products or services directly to the consumers. In internet business, the use of shopping cart. Consumers pay for the purchased items online using credit card. In such a business, the business if global and not local. 3) C2B (Consumer to Business): A consumer posts his project with a set budget online and within hours companies review the consumers requirements and bids for the project e.g. house renovation. The consumer will review all the bids and quotations and select the company that will be awarded to undertake the project. 4) C2C (Consumer to Consumer): There are many websites offering free classified, auctions, and forums where individuals can buy and sell online e.g. E-Bay. E-Bay is an auction site that gathers millions of consumers or buyers online.

Business Consumer Government Enterprise

Business B2B C2B G2B E2B

Consumer B2C C2C G2C E2C

Government B2G C2G G2G E2G

Enterprise B2E C2E G2E E2E


12. Topology
Network topology is defined as the physical layout of the network. There are 4 types of topologies:


Bus topology (must draw diagram)

a. Bus topology is the most common topology in most organization b. Bus topology is commonly used in Client/ Server network environment c. It is used for larger or bigger network d. The two extreme ends of a bus topology is known as terminators e. Ethernet is the bus lane available to nodes or server to be connected


Star topology (must draw diagram)

a. Star topology is also meant for client/ server network environment b. All nodes are connected to a server c. When the server is down the whole network is down


Ring topology
a) b) c) d)

(must draw diagram) Ring topology is used in a P2P network environment No server is required in a Ring topology All nodes are connected using a daisy chain Data are passed around the token ring


Mesh Topology

(must draw diagram) a. It is commonly used in a P2P network environment b. Every node is connected to every node c. The number of possible interconnections can be computed as nC2


13. Intranet/ Internet/ Extranet Intranet

Intranet is an internal company network Intranet is only used by staff or employee Intranet require a very strong firewall compared to extranet or internet With internet, employees can share information

- An extranet is an extension of an intranet - Extranet permit authorized or permitted outsiders to access the network e.g. business partners, business associates, customers, suppliers, agents, students, lecturers etc - Firewall requirements is still needed although it is not as strong as intranet Internet - it is an open network - usually accessible by the public - firewall requirement is not strict - networks upon networks


The forces of exerted by the external environment (PEST or STEP): a) Political Environment I. Political environment refers to the laws, official regulations, rules and guidelines established by the government II. It is designed to protect the consumers and the communities III. Some of the regulations is designed to protect property rights IV. Law, rules and regulations must be respected and strictly observed b) Economical Environment


I. The economic environment is concerned with the production of goods and services II. It is also concerned with the import and the export of goods and services III. Government sis more concerned about tax imposed and duties to be collected IV. Government must collect tax just like church collect offering and university collect fees c) Social and Cultural Environment I. It is concerned with the attitudes, desires, expectation, the degree of intelligence and education, belief and the custom of the people in the society II. Ethical behaviour is important to maintain morale d) Technological Environment I. Technology changes very quickly II. Organisation must adapt to changes in the technology III. It is important that organization must keep abreast with technology in order to remain competitive IV. Technology can have a strong impact on the operation and management of the organization

Important chaps in coursebook

Chap 5, Pg 15 to 19 (tutorial question)

End-User Participation and End-User Computing In every system development, it is a must to involve the end-users. Why? The end-users define the system and not the IT Specialist and the new system is used by the end-user eventually. In end-user computing, the end-user is involved in the process of getting thing done e.g. online-banking In end-user computing, it benefits both parties i.e. the bank and the enduser. The bank saves on manpower costs. Queue is lesser at the counter. End-user is happier because he can check his/her bank balance any time and it is more convenient to the end-user.


End-user computing is used to describe the fact that in the modern business information systems domain, the development of information system resides within a group of users or a specific user of an information system. ICT the acquisition, processing, storage & dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual & numeric information by a micro-electronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications. Advantages of end user computing

Encourages active user participation Improves requirements determination Strengthens user sense of ownership Increase speed of development

Tacit Knowledge gained from past experiences and difficult to express.