IntroductionThere is no clear consensus on the definition of the term IS (Information Systems). This confusing situation is rooted in the rapid growth of the MIS field (from the data-processing era, powered by early mainframes, to the strategic information system era powered by the Internet and the Web), and in the multiple points of view adopted by researchers and writers in management, communications, decision making, political science, sociology, economics, and strategy (Wiseman, 2005). As a result, there is an alternative terminology for information systems and management information systems, which includes expressions such as 'information and communication system,' "information and decision system," "organizational information system," and 'strategic information system' to refer to a computer-based information processing system.
Defining Information SystemsBy definition, the term IS is not an alternative name for IT. The use of the word system indicates that the users are a part of the information system. At a more abstract level, an IS can be imagined, designed, or proposed without any technological reference.
The IS is a part of a larger social system composed of individuals and groups. In their social lives, individuals, groups, or business units experience information needs whose satisfaction would enable them to solve organizational problems. These organizational problems may be located at the level of the task, process, organization, or industry. Information needs pertaining to a problem can be formalized into a requirements analysis. In this sense, an IS is an answer to information requirements for a particular problem; the IS, combined with new procedures, processes, competencies, and resources will lead to new capabilities that will solve the identified problem with the help of information technology (Ciborra, 2004).
In order for a problem to be solved, an IS must be developed or adapted in accordance with the requirements analysis. Approaches and methods for developing an...