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Managing Information Systems and Electronic Commerce

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Managing Information Systems and Electronic Commerce

Chapter Overview

Businesses are faced with an overwhelming amount of data and information about customers, competitors, and their own operations. The ability to manage this input can mean the difference between success and failure. New digital technologies have revolutionized the information management process.

Data communication networks efficiently carry streams of digital data via telecommunication systems, or networks. The Internet is a gigantic system of networks linking millions of computers around the world. Individuals can subscribe to the net via an Internet service provider, or ISP. The World Wide Web is a system with universally accepted standards for storing, formatting, retrieving, and displaying information, providing user-friendly access to information on the Internet. Intranets are private networks that companies can develop to extend Net technology internally, accessible only to employees of each company.

The rapid growth of information technologies has led to new options for organizational design. Firms have become leaner because networked organizations can maintain electronic information linkages among employees and customers. Operations are more flexible because electronic networks allow businesses to offer greater product variety and faster delivery cycles. Through intranets and the Internet, organizations are engaged in greater collaboration, both among internal units and with outside firms. Geographic separation of the workplace and company headquarters is more feasible and increasingly common. Finally, management processes are improving because managers have rapid access to more information about company activities and easier access to electronic tools for planning and decision-making.

Different information system application programs are available for users at various organizational levels. For knowledge workers and office workers, the possibilities include personal productivity tools such as word processing, document imaging, desktop publishing, computer-aided design, and simulation modeling. Middle managers are often heavy users of management information systems that concern reports, schedules, plans, and budgets. Decision support systems are interactive applications that assist middle and top managers. Executive support systems are quick-reference, easy-access programs that assist upper managers. Specialized users at any level may rely on artificial intelligence and expert systems.

The database is a centralized, organized collection of related data, in digital form, within a computer system. The purpose of the database is to make the data accessible on demand for system users.

Chapter Objectives

1. Explain why businesses must manage information and show how computer systems and communication technologies have revolutionized information management. 2. Identify and briefly describe three elements of data communication networks – the Internet, the World Wide Web, and intranets. 3. Describe five new options for organizational design that have emerged from the rapid growth of information technologies. 4. Discuss different information-system application programs that are available for users at various organizational levels. 5. Briefly describe the content and role of a database and the purpose of database software for information systems.

REFERENCE OUTLINE

Opening Case: More Productive Than a Speeding Locomotive

I. Information Management: An Overview
A. Information Systems

II. New Business Technologies in the Information Age
A. The Expanding Scope of Information Systems
B. Electronic Business and Communications Technologies
1. Electronic Information Technologies
a. Electronic Conferencing
b. Groupware
2. Data Communication Networks
a. The Internet
b. The World Wide Web
c. Intranets
d. Extranets
C. New Options for Organizational Design: The Networked Enterprise 1.... Show More

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