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Excerpts from the Foreword:
This edition is released for open use for non-commercial purposes only.
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This text consists of thirteen chapters, which have been grouped into four sections:
* What is Information Systems?
These three chapters describe the role of information systems in modern organisations, and explain the underlying concepts of "information" and "systems" in some detail.
* IS Technologies.
These four chapters provide an overview of the basic technologies that are found in all computer-based information systems: computer hardware, software, communications systems and databases.
* IS Applications.
These three chapters examine in some detail how information systems are used to support and enhance business processes, at all levels of the organisation and in linking organisations with their customers and suppliers. We also consider some wider societal concerns such as ethics.
* IS Management.
An information system does not simply appear out of nowhere; it needs to be planned, developed and maintained using well tested management principles. Issues ranging from software and hardware acquisition to disaster recovery are discussed in these three chapters.
You should not see this text in isolation from the practical worksheets, case studies, videos and group work that will be provided in the lectures. The intention of these additional materials is to enhance the educational process through participatory learning units: as you know, you learn best when doing.
It is also our conviction that university students need to be introduced from the first year to academic pluralism: too often undergraduate students are given the impression that there is one single correct approach or, even worse, that most problems have one and only one correct solution. You may therefore be asked to locate and discuss additional readings related to concepts covered in this book, which will expose you to alternative views on the course