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An information system can be a mainframe, mid-range or network computer concept

that allows distributed processing for a group of users accessing the same software
application. These systems provide management with control over their data, with
various tools to extract data or view data structures and records. The role of an
information system is to foster a data management environment that is robust and
can be expanded according to an organizations’ strategic plan for information
processing. An information system also satisfies diverse information needs in an
organization.

Automation of Manual Tasks


Information systems architecture can assist an organization in automating manual
tasks. Automation can save time, money and resources and enhance organizational
workflow. There are various types of information systems that automate manual
tasking, ranging from robotic information systems used in areas such as health and
medical services to logistical information systems (automated warehouses and
distribution systems).

Hardware and Software Integration


An organization can have several different computer platforms (hardware and
software). The concept of information systems as a scalable platform can merge
different hardware and software systems. A system can process, store and distribute
information if integrated into the workflow of an information system. For example, a
local area network (LAN) can integrate into a mainframe system that processes
accounting information through a concept called a “gateway.” An open architecture
information system allows for integration at all levels throughout an organization.

Support of a Multi-Processing Environment


An information system can support a “real-time” multi-processing environment
through the concept of “time-sharing application.” Time-sharing application allows for
the prioritizing of applications based on user-id and system priority assigned to an
application, device, and database or system catalog. These features are important to
an organization that process transactions while developing and testing program
applications. In a multi-processing environment, various departments, divisions or
branches can have access to the system at the same time intervals.

System Partitioning
The layout of an information system is partitioned according to data security policies,
user access and program applications. The partitioning of the physical hard drives,
memory and storage space related to software applications creates system balance
and effective use of the system Central Processing Unit (CPU). System partitioning
programs, tools and routines keeps the system from overloading, which slows down
system performance. Extra files paged to memory that are not being used can slow
down a customer support system, which relies on timely processing of customer
inquiries. System partitioning is maintained by a process of “preventive maintenance”
which ensures the integrity of system partitioning.

Provides Data for Decision Support


The most important role of an information system in an organization is to provide
data to help executive management make decisions. Data is compiled through
transaction processing or query routines built into the information system to access
item and detail records. Through decision support programs, which are packaged as
software routines, executive management can analyze several areas of an
organization and create scenarios through the information system for a desired
result. These results are defined in the organizations’ objectives and goals to
improve productivity.