Whether you’re interacting with friends on a social network, buying a product in an online marketplace or producing personalized content for business customers, you’re putting a computer information system to work for you.
But just what is a computer information system?
According to the worldwide employment website Indeed.com, a computer information system (CIS) “facilitates the conversion of raw data into useful information.” Basically, a CIS helps business leaders make decisions based on data. It helps answer questions such as:
- Will a process be profitable?
- How can we target a product to consumers who visited our company website?
- Can a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human labor get the job done more efficiently?
In a broader sense, businesses and organizations rely on CIS “to carry out and manage their operations, interact with their customers and suppliers, and compete in the marketplace,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
As such, you might think CIS involves computers or databases — and you’d be mostly right. But, as a category, information systems is a much broader umbrella in the field of computer science. According to Techopedia.com, CIS can be envisioned as a triangle with three main components: people, processes and IT.
People – Without people, a CIS wouldn’t operate properly. IT professionals, programmers, system analysts, high-level managers and help-desk workers are all part of an IS, according to Technopedia.com.
Processes – Processes are the activities carried out in a business for specific goals, according to Indeed.com. For example, on a vehicle assembly line, the process of the line production of car parts would be part of the information system.
IT – Information technology, or the use of computer hardware, software and data, ensures the information system works and can be indexed and interpreted for effective use by an organization.