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Information System

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The information system aims at providing detailed information on a timely basis throughout the organization so that the top management can take proper and effective decisions. The information system cuts across departmental lines and help achieving overall optimization for the organization. The information system can be of two types:

  1. Integrated information system
  2. Distributed information system

Integrated Information System

The integrated information system is based on the presumption that the data and information are used by more than one system in the organization. Accordingly, data and information are channeled into a reservoir or database. All the data processing and provision of information is derived and taken from this common database. The development of an integrated information system requires a long-term overall plan, commitment from management at all levels, highly technical personnel, availability of sufficient fund, and sophisticated technology. It also requires adequate standby facilities, without which the system is doomed to failure. Because of its integrated component, the modification to the system is quite difficult and the system development takes a fairly long time.

Distributed Information System

There are opinion that development of an integrated information system is embodied with several practical problems and therefore, not feasible. This view has been reinforced by the failure of integrated systems in various large organizations. The concept of a distributed information system has emerged as an alternative to the integrated information system. In the distributed information system, there are information sub-systems that form islands of information systems. The distributed information system aims at establishing relatively independent sub-systems, which are, however, connected through communication interfaces.

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Distributed Information System

Advantages

Following are the advantages of the distributed information system:

  • It does not eliminate duplication of activities and redundancy in maintaining files.
  • Coordination of activities becomes a problem.
  • It needs more channels of communications than in an integrated system. It is possible to consider several alternative approaches, which fall between the two extremes - a completely integrated information system and a totally independent sub-system. It is to be studied carefully what degree of integration is required for developing an information system. It depends on how the management wants to manage the organization, and the level of diversity within the organization.
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