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1. What are the main characteristics of the industrial and information societies?

There are 3 major characteristics:

a) The emerge and strengthening of the global economy (globalization)
A new threat to domestic firms: because of global communication and management systems, customers now can shop in
a worldwide marketplace, obtaining price and quality information reliably, 24 hours a day.
- management and control in a global marketplace
- competition in world markets
- global work groups
- global delivery status

b) Transformation of industrial economies and societies into knowledge and information-based service economies
Today most people no longer work in farms or in factories but are found in sales, education, healthcare, banks, insurance
and law firms. These jobs involve working with, distributing, or creating new knowledge and information.
- knowledge and information based economies
- productivity
- new products and services
- time-based competition
- shorter product life
- turbulent environment

c)Transformation of the business enterprise

Information technology is bringing about changes in organization that makes the firm even more dependant than in the
past on the knowledge, and decision making of individual employees.
- flattening
- decentralization
- flexibility
- location independence
- low transactions and coordination costs
- empowerment
- collaborative work and teamwork

2. Distinguish between a computer, a computer program and information system. What is the difference between
data and information? What is knowledge?

Information system = a set of interrelated components that collect, process, store, and distribute information to support
decision making and control in a organization. Computer – based information systems rely on computer hardware and
software technology to disseminate information. Computers provide the equipment for storing and processing information.
Computer programs (software) are sets of operating instructions that direct and control computer processing.
Data = streams of raw facts representing events occurring in organizations or the physical environment before they have
been organized and arranged into a form that people can understand and use.
Information = data that have been shaped into a form that is meaningful and useful to human beings.
Knowledge = an intellectual capital, what an organization learn, what it knows to accomplish and how can use what it
knows, how fast can learn or assimilate something new. Lately, people talk about “knowledge production” as a key of the
technological progress, a category that includes basic research and applicative research, different forms of education,
associate to capacity of invent and innovate in rapport with production of goods and services.

3. What are an organization, the management and technology dimensions of an information systems?

Organization: Information systems are a part of organizations, and in some cases (such as credit card companies and
financial market information services) they are the organization. Information systems will have imbedded within them the
SOPs and the culture of an organization. It coordinates the activities within a structure, on the basis of a standard
operating procedure. Categories of persons needed in an organization:
• knowledge workers
• data workers
• production/service workers
Management: Information systems supply tools and information needed by managers to allocate, coordinate and monitor
their work, make decisions, create new products and services and make long-range strategic decisions. The management
has to solve problems in order to ensure the mission of the organization, ensuring the necessary solutions in time.
Several levels of management:
• top management = long-medium term decisions
• middle management = for superior level objectives
• operational management = operative survey of activities
Technology: Management uses information systems technology (hardware, software, storage and telecommunications) to
carry out their functions. It is the glue that holds the organization together. Technology ensures high performances in the
specific domain of the organization, as well as in the decisional and information system, by means of new information and
communication technologies:
• computers and networks of comp
• software, middle-software, application software
• peripherals

4. Why should managers study information systems?

Because modern information systems directly affect managerial decision making, planning, and the nature of products
and services of the organization. Information systems are no longer limited to technical operational issues, but play a
critical role inside an modern organization.
This new orientation, with the new role that IS have, assumes that ISs are to be realized by defining an information
architecture of the company and of the company’s information and communication infrastructures.

5. What is the relationship between an organization and an information system? What is the architecture of an
organization based on information and knowledge?

Figure. Functions of an information system.

An information system contains information about an organization and its surrounding environment.
An information system can be defined technically as a set of interrelated components that collect or retrieve, process,
store, and distribute information to support decision making and control in an organization.

Three activities in an information system produce the information that organizations need for making decisions, controlling
operations, analyzing problems, and creating new products or services. These activities are input, processing and output.
Input captures or collects raw data from within the organization or from its external environment. Output transfers the
processed information to the people who will use it or to the activities for which it will be used. Information systems also
require feedback, which is output that is returned to appropriate members of the organization to help them evaluate or
correct the input stage.
Figure. The interdependence between organizations and information systems.

In contemporary systems there is a growing interdependence between organizational business strategy , rules and
procedures and the organization’s information system. Existing systems can act as a constraint on organizations. Often,
what the organization would like to do depends on what its systems will permit it to do.

The figure illustrates the new relationship between organizations and information systems. There is a growing
interdependence between business strategy, rules and procedures on the one hand, and information systems software,
hardware, databases and telecommunications on the other. A change in any of these components often requires changes
in other components. This relationship becomes critical when management plans for the future. What a business would
like to do in five years is often dependent on what its systems will be able to do. Increasing market share, becoming the
high quality or low-cost producer, developing new products, and increasing employee productivity depend more and more
on the kinds and quality of information systems in the organization.

A second change in the relationship of information systems and organizations results from the growing complexity and
scope of system projects and applications. Building systems involves a much larger part of the organization than it did in
the past.

The medium of the organisation


The infrastructure of processing for informations

F and knowledge
/ The existent
o The
stock of The necessary
r information
information base to
g and implicit
and explicit achieve values
a knowledge
knowledge Stocks
a Obtained through
Originals Utilization through
t education/instructio effective stocks
Figure. The architecture of a modern organization based on knowledge

6. Describe some of the major changes that information systems are bringing to organization. What is the
structure of a virtual organization?
The explosive growth in computing power and networks, including the Internet, is turning organizations into networked
enterprises, allowing information to be instantly distributed within and beyond the organization.
Contemporary information technology has made such changes possible. It can make more information available to line
workers so they can make decisions that previously been made by managers. Networked computers have made it
possible for employees to work together as a team, another future of flatter organizations. With the emergence of global
networks such as the Internet, team members can collaborate closely even from distant locations. These changes mean
that the management spans of control has also been broadened, allowing high-level managers to manage and control
more workers spread over great distances.
It is now possible to organize globally while working locally. Information technologies such as email, the Internet, and
video conferencing to the desktop permit tight coordination of geographically dispersed workers across time zones and
cultures. Entire parts of organizations can disappear. Inventory and the warehouse to store it can be eliminated as
suppliers tie into the firm’s computer systems and deliver just what is needed and just in time.
Collaborative technology has eliminated distance as a factor for many types of work in many situations. Salespersons can
spend more time in the field with the customers and have more up-to-date information with them while carrying much less
paper. Many employees can work remotely from their homes, and companies can reserve space at smaller central offices
for meeting clients or other employees.
Collaborative teamwork across thousands of miles has become a reality as designers work on a new product together
even if they are located on different continents.
Companies are not limited to physical locations or their own organizational boundaries for providing products and
services. Networked information systems are allowing companies to coordinate their geographically distributed
capabilities and even coordinate with other organizations as virtual corporations (or virtual organizations), sometimes
called networked organizations. Virtual organizations use networks to link people, assets and ideas, allying with
suppliers and customers, and sometimes even competitors, to create and distribute new products and services without
being limited by traditional organizational boundaries or physical location. One company can take advantage of the
capabilities of another company without actually physically linking to that company. Each company contributes its core
competencies, the capabilities that it does the best.
While most organizations will not become fully virtual organizations, some of their key business activities may have
“virtual” features, such as using networks and the internet to source products and components, to leverage knowledge
and expertise located inside and outside the firm, and to help customers experience products and services remotely.

7. How information systems are changing the management process?

Small and large companies can use information systems and networks to conduct more of their business electronically to
make them more efficient and competitive. Information systems can help companies extend and perhaps profoundly
change the way they conduct business.
Information technology is recasting the process of management, providing powerful new capabilities to help managers
plan, organize, lead, and control. For instance, it is now possible for managers to obtain information on organizational
performance down to the level of specific transactions from just about anywhere in the organization at any time.
Many companies now use information technology for enterprise resource planning.

8. Identify and describe the four levels of the organizational hierarchy, and what types of information systems
serve each level?

The four levels of the organizational hierarchy are:

The six major types of information systems needed for the four levels of an organization are:
• Transaction process systems (TPS) serve the operational level of an organization: Computerized
system that performs and records the daily routine transactions necessary to conduct the business.
• Knowledge work systems (KWS): Information system that aids knowledge workers in the creation of
knew knowledge in the organization and office automation system (OAS):Computer systems such as
word processing, electronic mail system, and scheduling system, that is designed to increase the
productivity of data workers in the office serve the knowledge level of an organization
• Decision support system (DSS): Information system at the management level of an organization that
combines data and sophisticated analytical models or data analysis tools to support semistructured and
unstructured decision making
• Management information systems (MIS): Information system at the management level of organization
that serves the functions of planning, controlling, and decision making by providing routine summary and
exception reports
• Executive support system (ESS) serves the strategic level of an organization is designed to address
unstructured decision making through advanced graphics and communications.

09. What are the characteristics of MIS, and how do MIS differ from other information systems (TPS, DSS, KWS,

Characteristics of MIS:
• MIS support structured decisions at the operational and management control levels. However they are also useful
for planning purposes of senior management staff.
• MIS are generally reporting and control oriented. They are designed to report on existing operation and therefore
to provide day-to-day control of operations.
• MIS rely on existing cooperate data and data flows.
• MIS have little analytical capability.
• MIS generally aid in decision making using past and present data.
• MIS relatively inflexible.
• MIS have an internal rather then external orientation.

Differences between MIS and other information systems:

Management information system serve the management level of the organization providing managers with report and in
some cases, with online access to the organization current performance and historical records. Typically these systems
are oriented almost exclusively to internal, not environmental or external events. MIS primarily serve the functions of the
planning, controlling and decision making at the management level.
Where as the other information systems such as DSS, TPS, KWS and EES are defined as:
Decision support system (DSS) is an information system at the management level of an organization that combines data
sophisticated analytical models or data analysis tools to support semi structured and unstructured decision making.
Transaction processing system (TPS) is a computerized system that performs and records the daily routine transaction
necessary to conduct the business; these systems serve the operational level of the organization.
Knowledge work system (KWS) is an information system that aids knowledge workers in the creation and integrations of
new knowledge in the organization.
Executive support system (EES) is an information system at the strategic level of an organization designed to address
unstructured decision-making through advanced graphics and communication.

10. What is a strategic information system and a knowledge management?

Strategic information system changes the goals, operations, products, service or environmental relationships of
organization to help them gain an edge over competition. System that has these effects may even change the business of
organization. Strategic information system should be distinguished from strategic level systems for senior manager that
focus on long term, decision-making problems. Strategic information system can be used at all levels of organizations and
are more far-reaching and deep-rooted then the other kinds of system we have described.

Knowledge Management caters to the critical issues of organizational adaptation, survival and competence in face of
increasingly discontinuous environmental change. Essentially, it embodies organizational processes that seek synergistic
combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative
capacity of human beings.

11. Describe the various ways that information systems can be used to support business-level strategies?
Information systems can be used to support three levels of strategy used in business, firm, and industry level. At the
business level of strategy, information systems can be used to help firms become the low cost producer, differentiate
products, or serve new markets. Information systems can also be used to “lock in” customers and suppliers using efficient
customer response and supply chain management applications. Value chain analysis is useful; at the business level to
highlight specific activities in the business where information systems are most likely to have a strategic impact.
At the firm level, information system can be used to achieve new efficiencies or to enhance services by tying
together the operations of disparate business units so that they can function as a whole or promote the sharing of
knowledge across business units.
At the industry level, systems can promote competitive advantage by facilitating cooperation with other firms in
the industry, creating consortiums or communities for sharing information, exchanging transactions, or coordinationg
activities. The competitive forces model and network economics are useful concepts for identifying strategic opportunities
for systems at the industry level.

12. What are the components of the contemporary computer systems, and what is the difference between
mainframe, a server, a PC or a workstation?

A contemporary computer system consist of central processing unit, primary storage, secondary storage, input devices,
output devices, and communications devices as can be seen in the picture below:
• The CPU manipulates raw data into a more useful form and controls the other parts of the computer system.
• Primary storage temporarily stores data and program instructions during processing.
• Secondary storage devices (magnetic and optical disks, magnetic tape) store data and programs when they
are not being used in processing.
• Input devices (keyboard, mouse) convert data instructions into electronic form for input into the computer.
• Output devices (printers, video display terminals) convert electronic data produced by the computer system
and display them in a form that people can understand.
• Communication devices provide connections between the computer and communication networks.
• Buses are path for transmitting data and signals among the parts of the computer system.

Computers represent and process data the same way, but there are different classifications. Computers can be
categorized as: mainframes, minicomputers, PCs, workstations, and supercomputers.
A mainframe is the largest computer, a powerhouse with massive memory and extremely rapid processing power. It can
be used for very large business or military applications where a computer must handle massive amounts of data or many
complicated process.
A PC is a small desktop or a portable computer. PC are used in business
Workstation is a desktop computer with powerful graphics and mathematical capabilities and the ability to perform
several complicated tasks at once. Are used for scientific engineering, and design work.
A Server computer is a computer specifically optimized to provide software and other resources to other computer over
a network. They have large memory and disk storage capacity, high speed communications capabilities, and powerful

13. What is a client-server processing and what is a computer network?

Client-server processing represents splitting jobs between two computers connected in a network, with each one being
assigned functions best suit to perform. Usually, the “client” represents the user-terminal for the required function and is
normally represented by a desktop computer, workstation or laptop. The user typically interacts with only the client portion
of an application, with the tasks of introducing data, performing actions or retrieving results. The “server” responds to the
client queries and provides the services required by the client. The server can stand for almost anything, from a super
computer carrying over 10 processors down to a simple desktop computer. Servers take and process shared data and
also perform back-end functions not visible to users. The figure below illustrates the “Client – Server” model.

A computer network represents a cluster of computer communicating with each other by a series of possible methods.
The computers are usually connected with the intend of performing specific tasks in an organized manner. Generally, the
core of a computer network is represented by a server and there are several clients linked in a network, with the server in
the central position. The use of multiple computers joined by a communication network for processing is called distributed
processing. In contrast with central processing, in which all processing is accomplished by the server. A network
computer, in the traditional sense of the term, represent smaller, simpler and cheaper versions of the traditional personal
computer with minimal storage and processing capabilities.

14. What is multimedia and what technologies are involved in it?

Multimedia is defined as the technologies that facilitate the integration of 2 or more types of media, such as text, graphics,
sound, voice, full-motion video, still video, or animation, into a computer based application. Multimedia is becoming the
foundation of new consumer products and services, such as electronic books and newspapers, electronic class-room
presentation technologies, full-motion video conferencing, imaging, graphics design tools, and video voice mail.

From the technical point of view, a simple multimedia system can consist of a computer with a 32 bit microprocessor, a
high resolution color monitor, a high capacity hard disk, and a CD-ROM drive (as a CD can hold about one hour of video,
couple of thousands pictures, and several hours of audio).

Teachers can now hold their classes “on-line”, during webbinars, still maintaining the interaction mutual, like in an actual
class room. More, they can make full benefit of imagery, like pictures, diagrams, flow charts, schemes and animation, as
well as sound. Or training of new personnel can be done through explanatory videos, like in Duracell’s case, that used
this method successfully in their facilities in China. Sales people can promote their products over the internet – a cheaper
and more accessible method to a greater number of potential customers, for example, by including video demonstrations
of their offerings. The wide public also has access to internet television and radio, ranging from small clips or audio to
round the clock broadcasts.

The main issues remains the video files, as they have to be digitally encoded, stored and manipulated electronically,
using technologies that compress the data, special adaptors must be used, and the connections must be very powerful.
But the performance is continuously improving, as proves the appearance of streaming technologies, which allows audio
and video files to be processed at a steady and continuous stream as they are being downloaded (e.g., RealAudio and
RealVideo), or the appearance of digital products, such as the compression standard called MP3 (mpeg3 – motion picture
expert groups – audio layer 3), which compress the files to around 10% of their original size.

15.What are the main types of software, and how do they differ in terms of users and uses?

The usage of the hardware componenet in a Information System depends hardly upon he software component and the
management ability to evaluate and control the usage of the software in the organisation, being considered as an major
The software itself represents the the entire instructions used for the control, detailed one, the functionality and the
operation of the hardware infrastructure of the I.S. The software cover three main functions:
1. dispecer the usage of the hardware resources;
2. insures the tools used by the users that to value these resources, by alocation at will.
3. act as link beteween the ones that ask informations (including partners, customers, others) and the
datawarehouse built in a organisation, by a I.S.

Applications: Programs
written by users of for the
users using programming

System Software:
Operating System
Utility Software

Hardware infrastructure
The software is found in the computers in form of programs, formed as logical units of declarations or instructions,
asociated with data, executed by the computer when they are located in the main memory in a special shape, recognized
by each type of computer.
Regarding the destination in relation with the user, software is splited in two cathegories: Applications and System

I System Software, reprezenting a set of programs for general usage, designed to manage the computers resources
(CPU, Memory System, Peripheral Devices, Communication etc.), that have direct connection with the hardware
infrastructure by intreruption system belonging to the phisical component of the operating system and the application
software by logical component of the operating system (commands and macro-commands, programming languages,
messages, others).
II Application Software, reprezenting programes built by the users or for the users with the scope of the usage of the
hardware infrastructure for some results. Applications are written in different programming languages forming the so
called „source code”, used by the system software and translated (by compilers, interpretors) in object programmes
directly executed on a specific computers (called machine language, a specific language for every type of proccesor).
The user have the oportunity to interact with both software chategories in the usage of the infrastructure and the
execution of the application software.

16. Name and describe the major software trends that managers should be aware.

A number of key software trends are of special interest to managers. As computer hardware costs drop, concern with
machine efficency is being replaced with efforts to create software that provides more natural, seamless relationships
between people and information systems through graphical interfaces, natural language, voice recognition, touch, or other
1. Increased use of Java and Internet will find more software tools integrated and available through networks,
instead of using stand-alone PC. These network-based software services wshould lead to further software
services for firms.
2. Another major software trend is the development of integrated programs such as enterprise resource
planning (ERP) that support organizational needs for communication and control. ERP’s integrate modules
that where once separate systems (like accounting, order proccesing and others).
3. Due to legacy of old information systems a lot of firms are forced to create new links in order to better use
and integrate their existing applications. One way to integrate various legacy applications is by creating
special software called middleware to create an interface or bridge betweeen two different systems. In the
middleware firms can build the business logic used inside for their procceses.

17. What criteria should be used when selecting software for an organization?

Selecting Software for the Organization

Although managers need not become programming specialists, they should be able to use clear criteria in selecting
application and system software for the organization. The most important criteria are as follows.

Some languages are general-purpose languages that can be used on a variety of problems, whereas others are special-
purpose languages suitable for only limited tasks. COBOL has been excellent for business data processing but poor at
mathematical calculations. Language selection involves identifying the organizational use for the software and the users.
Application software should also be easy to maintain and change, and flexible enough so that it can grow with the
organization. These organizational considerations have direct long-term cost implications.

Although less important than in the past, the efficiency with which a language compiles and executes remains a
consideration when purchasing software. Some programming languages are more efficient in the use of machine time
than others and there are instances where such considerations outweigh personnel costs. Languages with slow compilers
or interpreters, such as BASIC or Java or fourth-generation languages may prove too slow and expensive in terms of
machine time for systems that must handle many thousands of transactions per second.

Application software must be able to run on the firm’s hardware and operating system platform. Likewise, the firm’s
operating system software must be compatible with the software required by the firm’s mainstream business applications.
Mission-critical applications typically have large volumes of transactions to process and require robust operating systems
that can handle large complex software programs and massive files.

In order to be effective, a programming language must be easy for the firm’s programming staff to learn, and the staff
should have sufficient knowledge of that software so that they can provide ongoing support for all of the systems based
on that software. It is also important to purchase package software that has widespread use in other organizations and is
supported by many consulting firms and services. Another kind of support is the availability of software editing,
debugging, and development aids.

18. Why can a new information system be considered planned organizational change?

An information system is a socio-technical entity, an arrangement of both technical and social elements. Information
systems change involves hardware and software, but in addition it involves changes in jobs, skills, management and
organization. When we design a new information system, we are redesigning the organization, reordering its technical
and social elements.

19. What is the difference between: systems analysis and systems design, logical and physical design?

System analysis is the analysis of the problem that the organization will try to solve with an information system. It
consists of defining the problem, identifying its causes, specifying solutions and identifying the information requirements
that must be met by a system solution.
System design shows how the system will fulfil the information requirements specified in system analysis. It has three
objectives: considering alternative technology configurations, the management and control of the technical realization of
the system, and detailing the system specifications.
Logical design describes the components of an information system and their relationship to each other as they would
appear to users. It shows what the system solution will be but not how it will actually be implemented.
Physical design translates the abstract logical model into the specific technical design for the system. It produces the
actual specifications for hardware, software, physical databases, input/output media, manual procedures and specific

20. What is testing stage and conversion, maintenance and development for an information system?

Testing: Write the test conditions – test conditions are conducted by comparing expected outcomes to actual outcomes. If
these differ, a bug is generated and a backtrack to the development stage must occur
Testing is critical to the success of a system because it is the only way to ascertain whether the system will produce the
right results. Three stages of information system testing are:
Unit testing: individual programs are separately tested.
System testing: the entire system as a whole is tested to determine whether program modules are interacting as planned.
Acceptance testing: the system undergoes final certification by end-users to ensure that it is ready for installation.
Conversion is the process of changing from the old system to the new one. A detailed conversion plan is essential to
insure that all aspects of conversion are treated properly and validated. They include data conversion, procedure
conversion and training.
Development – executing the design into a physical system by
- Building the technical architecture – purchasing the material needed to build the system
- Building the database and programs – the IT specialists write programs which will be used on the system
Programming translates the design specification into software, thus providing the actual instructions for the computer.
Programming constitutes a smaller portion of the systems development cycle than design and perhaps testing activities.
Production is the operation of the system once it has been installed and conversion is complete. The system will be
reviewed during production by both users and technical specialists to determine how well it has met its original objectives
and to decide whether any revisions or modifications are needed.
Maintenance is modifications to hardware, software, documentation or procedures to a production system to correct
errors, meet new requirements or improve processing efficiency.
System development refers to the structuring of hardware and software to achieve the effective and efficient processing of

21. What are the new technologies for the design and implementation for an information system?

Object oriented technology

This technology has been imposed because ensures the design of some adaptive, flexible systems, while the changes
requirements have a high frequency. A easy adaptable to the market requirements firm, must offer quick solutions to the
clients, surpassing competitors regarding the response time, through the reduction of the natural ineptness, which
restrains the change. IS can be themselves inertial, if they are not designed to cope the change requirements. Short term
designing of an IS or its development, doesn’t mean, that the system responds quick to the changes. That’s why, the
software must be flexible enough to be easily modified regarding the requirements and the opportunities which appear for
the firm/organization. Object oriented technology answers to all these requirements, the objects themselves being
software adaptable units, the condition being not to be blocked in conventional applications.

Agent oriented technology

In many applications from IS, mainly when they serve media with large geographical dispersion or distributed processing,
there is a need for the defined and used objects in the object oriented technology to be equipped with the capacity of
acting over the medium by taking into account some rules, taking the responsibility in the system’s functionality.

Rational Unified Process Technology

RUP is a software engineering process, which permits a neat approach regarding the duties and responsibilities within the
organization, trying to design a high quality software which satisfies the finale user requirements within a time period and
a predictable budget.
RUP is a process – product developed and maintained by Rational Software firm, with some developing tools. This
characteristic distinguishes RUP from other methods and techniques, being static by their nature (books, manuals,
documentations, etc.), surpassed very fast by the requirements and the evolution of the IT domain. The main RUP
characteristics are:
1. continuous updating from the manufacturer;
2. the product is available using the web technology at the firm’s website (;
3. it can be updated to organization’s needs;
4. is sustained by a set of tools of the designers and manufacturers.

22. Define and compare the alternatives for information system building approach.

An information system can be defined as a set of interrelated components that collect (or retrieve), process, store, and
distribute information to support decision making and control organization. In addition to supporting decision making,
coordination, and control, information systems may also help managers and workers analyze problems, visualize complex
subjects, and create new products.
Information systems contain information about significant people, places, and things within the organization or in the
environment surrounding it. By information we can understand data that have been shaped into a form that is meaningful
and useful to human beings. Data, in contrast, are streams of raw facts representing events occurring in organizations or
the physical environment before they have been organized and arranged into a form that people can understand and use.
Information systems transform raw data into useful information through three basic activities: input, processing and

Multiple perspectives on information systems show that the study of information systems is a multidisciplinary field; no
single theory or perspective dominates. The field can be divided into technical and behavioral approaches. Information
systems are socio-technical systems.

Technical Approach

This emphasizes mathematically based, normative models to study information systems, as well as the physical
technology and formal capabilities of these systems. The disciplines that contribute to the technical approach are
computer science, management science, and operations research. Computer science is concerned with establishing
theories of computability, methods of computation, and methods of efficient data storage and access. Management
science emphasizes the development of models for decision making and management practices. Operations research
focuses on mathematical techniques for optimizing selected parameters of organizations such as transportation, inventory
control, and transaction costs.

Behavioral Approach

An important part of the information systems field is concerned with behavioral issues that arise in the development and
long term maintenance of information systems. Issues such as strategic business integration, design, implementation,
and management cannot be explored usefully with the models in the technical approach. Other behavioral disciplines
contribute important concepts and methods. For instance, sociologists study information systems with an eye towards hoe
groups and organizations shape the development of systems and also how systems affect individuals, groups and
organizations. Psychologists study information systems with interest in how formal information is perceived and used by
human decision makers. Economists study information systems with an interest in what impact systems have on control
and cost structures within the firm and within markets.
The behavioral approach does not ignore technology .Indeed, information systems technology is often stimulus for a
behavioral problem or issue. But the focus of this approach is generally not on technical solutions; it concentrates rather
on changes in attitudes, management and organization policy, and behavior.

23. Define the data resources, data base environment, and data base trends.

24. Name some threats of Management Information Systems and concerns for MIS builders and users (Vezi ‘ICT
doesn’t matter).

Having a performant Information System was thought by managers to be a way to overcome the competition. This was
true because most competitors didn’t invest in such systems to grow their productivity.
This is not true anymore, or at least not at the same degree, because this resource, which was the basis for sustained
competitive advantage, has lost its scarcity due to the fact that most, if not all, competitors are now aware of the
importance of a good information system. By now, the core functions of IT – data storage, data processing and data
transport – have become available and affordable to all. They have transformed from potentially strategic resources into
commodity factors of production.
A potential threat MIS users have is over investing in information systems, which leads to wasteful spending of money.
Another related threat is trying to have the best information system, which doesn’t lead only to wasteful spending, but also
increases the risk of buying something technologically flawed or doomed to rapid obsolescence.
A good way in choosing an IS is trying to cover all potential vulnerabilities rather than seek opportunities. As little
competitive advantage can be gained from the latest IS, a better choice would be acquiring a glitch-free system which will
prevent any disruptions in the company’s activity.
As for MIS builders the biggest threat is waiting to long before repositioning themselves and their products in response to
the changes of the market. The new best position MIS builders can take now is as commodity suppliers or even as
utilities. The ones who will be able to get the majority of the market and be dominant in the supplying business will do very
well. The others will disappear.

25. Present the architecture of MIS and the modelling problems in management[Strategic approach and ‘strategic
triangle’, different models: IPS-Information Processing System, OID-Operation=Information=Decision, IDC-
Intelligence=Design=Choise, Porter].

The IPS Model (Information Processing System), proposed by H. Simon(Nobel Prize for economy in 1980), which puts at
the base of an organisation’s behaviour, four elements:
 Communication between groups of persons;
 objectives, as a restricted system;
 the decident, who takes action in a manner of limited rationality;
 the employees, trained in the decisional system, in which they have make sure that the required
information exists and that there also a convergency of taken decisions.

The IPS Model responses to the certitude that human reason and future decisions can be structured, that normalised and
programed, following a certain process, which can be modeled using TIC. Opposed to the taylorist model, in which
organisation are structured to better operate, in this new model it is structured in order for better decisions to be taken.

The OID Model (Operation-Information-Decision), in which it is proposed the sturcture of an organisation in three
 Operational (O), in which information is processed and specific operations are defined;
 Informational (I), in which all informations from the organisation is structured and memorized, in
order for it to be automatically processed;
 Decisional (D), in which information is integrated by modelling of decisional processing, taking
account of external organisations’ influences.

The IDC Model (Intelligence, Design, Choise) and The DSS Model
(Decision Support System), which refer to semi-structured (IDC) and partially or totally unstructured decisions (DSS), with
which managers confrunt in reality.

In the 80’s the problem of competitive advantage arises, obtained by the creation and maintainance of superior
performances in a certain area of activity. A new Model of competition froces is develloped (M. Porter) defined by :
 threat of potential new entrants on the market;
 competitive rivalry in a certain area of activity;
 threat of substitute products;
 the power of bargain of the providers;
 power of choice of the customers.



TIC s structure

The new dimension of the strategic triangle

The analysis of competitive forces from the above mentioned model is useful in determining the attractivity of the area in
which the organization is in, as well as for establishing its strategy, with the purpose of gaining a competitive advantage
and a superior profitability to the average of the area of activity. For the developpement and sustainment of the
competitive strategy of an organization The Startegic Informational System (SIS) is proposed, explaining the new
dimension of the strategic triangle, which contains in its center SIS.

The new informational and communication technologies will have a key role, with outstanding influences on strategies
and organizational structures, by creating strategic informational systems.

26. Describe some problems which arise when the applications are integrated in an enterprise ( EAI problems,
Cap.5 ).

27. Present the problems of the MIS security.

The security is defined in the terms of two major concepts: layers and levels.
The three layers are : the support infrastructure layer (ruters,switches, servers etc), the services layer and the application
The three levels are : the final user level, the control level and the management level.
Other aspects of the security architecture are: privacy, confidenciality, autentification, integrity, non-repudiation, access
control, communication security, disponibility.
To protect the information sent on the internet it is used the encryption.

28. What are the main trends and approaches in the modern business(e-Business, e-Commerce, and Internet
Electronic commerce consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or
services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.
E-business is more than just e-commerce. It involves business processes spanning the entire value chain: electronic
purchasing and supply chain management, processing orders electronically, handling customer service, and cooperating
with business partners.

The internet services are (RAS) :

 E-mail
 File Transfer Protocol(FTP)
 World-Wide-Web, arhitectura client-server architecture
 News group/ forums
 Gopher services
 Chatting
 Telnet, Grid
The internet, the Intranet and Extranet networks are used as platforms for e-business and e-commerce activities because
they offer a lot of advantages like global connectivity, reducing costs for communication, reducing costs for the
transactions that happen on internet, ensurance of flexibility, interactivity of the aplications, quick access and quick
spreading of the information.

In e-commerce and e-business technology there are used also portals. The portal is
active joining more processes and activities, information sources through one access point and a large graphic
interface.The internet offers potential for more of the needs, but the portal concept offers the mechanism to satisfy those
needs in specific cases or levels.

The intranet structures are used lately in the management and coordonation of the internal processes and activities of the
e-bussiness companies because they are not expensive, they have the capacity to enlarge depanding on the demands
and are accesible from most computing platforms.

As technological fundament for e-business we can relate to:

• Fundamental technologies: browser, universal language XML, universal language of propagation Java and te
comunication enviroment baed on the protocol TCP/IP
• The architectural model : client/server extended to a model which will offer more services.
For the e-commerce part we can use low cost sites which would allow firms to make on-line transactions with parteners
and clients. For example with MS Commerce Server you can make two kinds of sites : business to consumer and
business to business.

29. Define the virtual organization and virtual engineering

A virtual organization is an organization existing as a corporate, not-for-profit, educational, or otherwise productive entity
that does not have a central geographical location and exists solely through communication (information systems) tools. A
virtual organization comprises a set of (legally) independent organizations that share resources and skills to achieve a
common mission/goal, but their alliance is not limited to increasing profit. The interaction among members of the virtual
organization is mainly done through computer networks.
A Virtual Organization is a manifestation of Collaborative Networks, which emerged as a response to the enormous
increase in competitiveness among companies caused by the major shift from an industrial economy to that of an
information economy. Collaborative Networks rely on the technology provided by Information Systems.
A particular case of VO is the Virtual Enterprise, i.e. a temporary alliance of enterprises that come together to share skills
or core competencies and resources in order to better respond to business opportunities, and whose cooperation is
supported by computer networks.
The strategic guideline of virtual enterprise is the Electronic Commerce Model, which is made up of three factors: content,
community, and commercialization. The first two factors, content and community, are used to attract web surfers to the
web site initially, and to keep them coming back. The third factor, commercialization, is extremely important in determining
the success of the virtual enterprise. After the content and community have been established, the virtual enterprise must
use commercialization techniques to come up with ways to earn a profit. The implementation of the three elements of the
Electronic Commerce Model greatly influences the operational performance of a virtual enterprise

The transition to an information and knowledge-based society was marked by the transformation of “hardware” tools into
information and knowledge processing [software] tools. Changing the means of labor generated a phenomenon of
engineering “virtualization”. Some examples of the transition to virtual engineering are the advancements in Robotics
and NC Machining to develop lean and flexible systems, the evolution from 2D drafting tools to 3D modeling tools, the
development and deployment of sophisticated simulation tools, the introduction of graphical diagnostic and monitoring
tools, high speed Local Area Networks and distributed controls, the reality of low cost Internet connectivity.
All the above are examples of virtual engineering systems, which are collections of new tools designed for information
and knowledge processing, and employed by virtual engineering. Virtual engineering systems are information tools
created to assist the designers of next-generation technologies, by allowing them develop and test the new technologies
in simulated environments, before physically implementing them. Using virtual engineering, the design cycle time is
greatly reduced, and new technologies reach production and operation more quickly than would have been possible in
previous decades.
Virtual engineering techniques work by gathering information from diverse sources through birth-to-death tracking
processes, and then adding engineering judgment and experience to transform the raw information into useful knowledge
and understanding. Effectively presented information allows humans to analyze complex patterns, synthesize
opportunities, and evaluate alternative processes. Necessary adjustments can be implemented and evaluated in real

VE brings together simulation programs, measured plant data, and high-fidelity visualization to produce an experience
similar to a physical inspection of an actual device. In such an environment, people from various disciplines with diverse
but complementary experience can collaborate. This collaboration provides rich opportunities to discover the optimum,
explore the unexpected, and solve problems.

30. Present the problems of MIS evaluation and audit

With the increasing investment in computers and computer-based information systems (CBIS), the evaluation of these
systems is becoming an important issue in the management and control of CBIS.
Evaluation can occur in many forms. One classification can be made by the point in time when the evaluation is
conducted, with respect to the various stages in the lifecycle of the IS:
 feasibility assessment  prior to development
 specifications and designs review/approvals  at the end of requirements specifications and logical
design phase
 evaluations at the end of physical design, implementing, or testing
 acceptance tests and management reviews  before installation
 summative evaluation  post implementation and installation
Of interest for the management level is the summative evaluation.
The criteria according to which the evaluation is conducted can be grouped in three major classes according to the factors
they refer to:
 the informational factor includes criteria which relate to the use and effectiveness of the information system like
accuracy, timeliness and currency, adequacy, appropriateness of information, quality of programs
 the system facilitating factor refers to the aspect of the continuing operation of the systems, including criteria like
system security, internal control, user satisfaction, net operating costs and savings, and quality of
 the system impact factor includes criteria concerned with evaluating the consequences or impacts of the newly-
installed system, like system’s fit with and impact upon the organization, system’s impact on users and their jobs,
system usage, user friendliness.
The benefits and uses of MIS evaluation are:
 verification that installed IS meet requirements
 justify adoption, continuation, or termination of installed IS
 verification of economic payoff of system
 providing feedback to system development personnel
 clarify and set priorities for needed modifications to installed IS
IS evaluation may result in beneficial outcomes such as improvement of systems development practices; decisions to
adopt, modify, or discard information systems; evaluation and training of personnel responsible for systems development.
Other benefits include the ensured compliance with user objectives, improvements in the effectiveness and productivity of
the design and realization, cost savings by modifying systems through evaluation, before, rather than after, a real
operation. However, evaluator (users and project personnel) unavailability, the lack of appropriate methodology and the
lack of agreement on evaluation criteria have been identified as inhibitor factors which hinder the summative evaluation
IS evaluation is critical to investment evaluation. Investment evaluation can be assessed by several methods and
 financial ratios analysis: ROI (Return on Investment), IRR (Internal Rate of Return), PB (Payback Return)
 CBA (Cost-Benefit Analysis)
 TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis
The audit of MIS can be conducted by the guidelines set by IT governance and control organizations such as:
 ISACF (Information Systems Audit and Control Foundation)
 ITGI (IT Governance Institute)
which released the COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology) open standard, also incorporating
standards from:
 ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
 EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport)
 IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing)
 IFAC (International Federation for Automation and Control)
 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

31. Fortune 500 discussions.