Information System Defintion: Modernizing an Old Concept

If anyone tried looking up the definition for information system, especially on the internet, he is likely to get millions of hits. A lot of these hits provide what he’s looking for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he understands them. Many definitions of information system are too technical for a layman or newbie to understand. This is unfortunate indeed, considering how simple an information system really is in its essence.

An information system has three major elements, and the first one is the data. The data may come from any source; what matters is that it’s usable for the purpose of the system. The second one is the people, who are tasked to do something with the data. The third element is the group of processes which dictate the exact thing the people should do with the data. The end result is information that’s relevant and useful for the organization that implemented the information system.

The definition stated above is a simple and traditional one. The more modern definition includes computers. Not only that, but the term ‘information systems’ has evolved to ‘computer information systems.’  Nowadays, people actually refer to ‘computer information system’s when they say ‘information system.’ Of course, it should be noted that computer information systems are under information system as a general rule. Also, not all information systems make use of computers, even though most do.

Computer information systems are products of information technology (IT). IT is a branch of computer science that deals with studying the conception, implementation, and anything in between, of computer information systems.

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